Causes and Risks Factors Of Neck Pain

What are causes and risk factors for neck pain?

Neck pain is a common condition.  It can occur from a number of disorders and diseases of any tissues in the neck.

Common conditions that may cause neck pain are degenerative disc disease (decreased size of disc space) neck sprain or strain, whiplash, disc problems or nerves that are pulled, squished or stretched.

If you are involved in sports or have had a motor vehicle accident, you are at risk of having neck pain.  It is not only sport or car accident related.  Bad posture when sitting at the computer, office or even texting and watching television can put a strain on the neck.


Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching. It can keep you from sleeping if neck positions pull on the adjacent nerves.  Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck. Other symptoms associated with some forms of neck pain include numbness, tingling, tenderness, sharp shooting pain, difficulty swallowing, dizziness or lightheadedness.

Problems with the neck can lead to headaches, pain in the jaw or face, shoulder pain.  Since the nerves of the neck go all the way to the fingers, it can cause pain all the way to the tips of the fingers.

What are the structures of the neck?

The neck has seven bones that protect the spinal cord.  Since the neck moves in every direction, there are several different angles of muscles and tissues.  Since we also have discs, skin, muscles, arteries, veins glands, the esophagus, trachea and larynx, any or all of these areas can be affected with dysfunction or stress on the neck.

How can chiropractic help neck pain?

Well, since your neck pain really stems from physical stress or nerve irritation, we specialize in keeping your nervous system and body functioning at its highest level.  We can easily diagnose and treat your condition safely and gently.  We also use physical therapy and massage to help you get better faster and keep you healthy!

Remember, any pain or sensation you feel is generated by a nerve.  So, if you have pain, a nerve is involved, we track the pattern of your nerve problem and find the area that needs care.  Then we show you how to keep good posture and give you exercises to stay healthy.  No drugs, no pain, just relief!

Foods, Supplements and Exercises That Help Relieve Sciatic pain and Inflammation!

Keeping your body in good shape by eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help your back stay healthy.  Choose foods that are low in saturated fats and sugar. Drink plenty of water.  Also eating foods that are high in antioxidants (such as green leafy vegetables and berries) may help fight inflammation which will decrease pain.

As always, avoid caffeine and other stimulants, alcohol, and tobacco.

When we are in pain it is so easy to find over the counter medicine for pain.  In an emergency, this works great but over time, these drugs can cause a great strain on your kidneys, liver, pancreas and other organs.  Deciding to take natural supplements puts less strain on your body and allows your organs to filter it out more easily.

These supplements may help fight inflammation and pain:

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed and fish oils, 1 – 2 capsules or 1 tablespoonful oil daily, to help decrease inflammation.

Glucosamine/chondroitin, 500 – 1,500 mg daily. In some but not all studies, glucosamine and chondroitin have helped relieve arthritis pain. It has not been studied specifically for low back pain.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), 3,000 mg twice a day, to help prevent joint and connective tissue breakdown. In some but not all studies, MSM has been shown to help relieve arthritis pain.

Bromelain, 250 mg twice a day. This enzyme that comes from pineapples reduces inflammation. Bromelain may increase the risk of bleeding, so people who take anticoagulants (blood thinners) should not take bromelain without first talking to their doctor. People with peptic ulcers should avoid bromelain. Turmeric is sometimes combined with bromelain, because it makes the effects of bromelain stronger.

Take Cloves, Ginger, Rosemary and Turmeric.  Adding just one of these in your smoothie or in a meal can really take down inflammation in the body which is always a big problem.

Here is a great article discussing tennis ball exercises for low back pain and sciatica. Please read it over, it has great tips!

If you have low back pain or have a health concern and would prefer natural treatements, contact our Redwood City Chiropractic office today!

10 Common Reasons For Seeing A Doctor!

According to the Mayo Clinic skin conditions are the #1 reason people see a doctor.  But, did you know that about 60 – 80% of adults in the U.S. have low back pain?   It is the second most common reason people visit their doctor (1st are skin conditions).  Most other conditions deal with the heart and lungs.  Since I am not a dermatologist, I can not address reason #1 but issues with the spine and nervous system I can address.  If you are one of the 60-80% you know that low back problems can really debilitate you and it affects your spine’s movement, stability and strength.  It affects every movement and can  keep you immobile for long periods of time.  You may lose a lot of time at work and time with your family and friends because of pain.

When you think of low back pain, you may think of an older person, but back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old!  Every year about 13 million people go to the doctor because they are experiencing back pain.

This is a serious problem.  Back pain causes approximately 2.4 million Americans to be chronically disabled and another 2.4 million temporarily disabled.

Signs and Symptoms:
* Tenderness, pain, and stiffness in the lower back
* Pain that spreads into the buttocks or legs
* Having a hard time standing up or standing in one position for a long time
* Discomfort while sitting
* Weakness and tired legs while walking

Why does back pain happen?
Most people who come into my office with low back pain describe the injury occurring from a strain from lifting, twisting, or bending.  One thing that a lot of people may not know is normally not a one-time occurrence.  It is frequently caused by chronic bad posture and long hours of sitting.  With all the Hi-techs now,  people sit for long periods in front of a computer.  Smartphones with texting is common and sedentary lifestyles are on the rise.  There are rare cases of low back pain that can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as an infection, a rheumatic or arthritic condition, or a tumor but most of the time it is a musculoskeletal issue and can be helped with proper posture, exercises and lifestyle changes.

Many people under the age of 40 can experience a ruptured or bulging disk.  This happens when the middle of the disk leaks out when there pressure or a tear of the disk that is between each vertebra.

Don’t ignore your body’s signals:
You may have had a twinge or a pull that went away and ignored it.  Well, that is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.  In time, your body will force you to take care of this problem by putting you in pain and interfering with your life.

What are the Risk factors?
*Age (we get tighter when we are older)


*Becoming overweight


*Sedentary lifestyle

*Physical labor (repetitive movements)

So what can help if you are experiencing Low Back Pain?  Chiropractic of course!
According to a comprehensive review conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, chiropractic care was determined to both relieve pain and restore function.  Chiropractic care is effective for acute and chronic low back pain. We are so successful because we guide your body to its proper position and the stress is taken off the problem area, allowing for inflammation to go away and your body heal naturally.

Chiropractic has great success with back and neck pain!  We understand body posture and movement.  You don’t need to suffer with back pain our Redwood City Chiropractic office can help!

Here is the list of ailments people see a doctor for in the United States:

1. Skin disorders;
2. Osteoarthritis and joint disorders;
3. Back problems;
4. Cholesterol problems;
5. Upper respiratory conditions, excluding asthma;
6. Anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder;
7. Chronic neurologic disorders;
8. High blood pressure;
9. Headaches and migraines; and
10. Diabetes.

Chiropractors can help with all of these issues by having you incorporate healthy lifestyles.  Call us at our Redwood City Chiropractic office today and see how we can guide you to greater health.