Archives for August 2010
Your neck consists of seven very small vertebrae and supports the entire weight of your head. The average weight of the human head is 10 to 12 pounds, which isn’t very light when you consider the neck is constantly supporting it!
Add in how much neck strain is incurred when you sit for long periods in front of the computer and you steadily increase the amount of work and strain you are expecting of your neck.
The neck also allows your head in nearly all directions which adds even more stress to your neck. With all of this responsibility, the neck is subject a great deal of stress, which often results in chronic pain and stiffness.
Once neck pain has been persistent for any period of time, you may begin to develop neurological symptoms. These may include numbness, tingling, or a “pins and needles” feeling. Usually these complaints are in the neck at all, but can be felt in the fingertips or up and down the arm.
If you begin to experience any of the neurological symptoms, this is usually an indicator that the neck problem is becoming worse. The early phase of pain is just stiffness, then it moves to real pain that can be sharp in nature. The pain will continue to get worse until the radiating symptoms begin.
Many people have neck pain and it is often extremely bothersome. Medical doctors cannot do a whole lot to permanently relieve neck pain. They can prescribe medications to mask your neck pain and they can do x-rays and other tests to see where the pain is coming from.
When they do find something wrong with the neck they will probably want to schedule surgery, which can prove to be a painful procedure with a long recovery. Surgery, while sometimes necessary, really should be considered a treatment of last resort. You can always do the surgery, but if you do the surgery first, you eliminate many other effective and conservative options.
If you have neck pain it may be wise to consult with a chiropractor before going to the extent of something much more serious such as surgery. Some of the first things that a chiropractor will do on your first visit will be to ask you questions about your neck pain.
Some questions they may ask are:
– When did your neck pain start
– What have you done to try to ease your neck pain
– Are there any other parts of your body that your neck pain stems to or from?
These are a few questions that your Chiropractor will most likely ask. After the initial consultation they will then perform a physical examination. The examination will consist of chiropractic tests, orthopedic tests, and a neurological examination. This entire process will allow the chiropractor to get to the root of your problem and allow him or her to come up with a solution to your pain.
A common practice of chiropractors is to perform a neck adjustment. A neck adjustment is a form of spinal manipulation, and is very specific in nature. This is a very precise technique and is usually very effective in alleviating neck pain.
If you’ve started to notice that your health is declining and it’s time to do something about it, you’re probably wondering where to start. You know you don’t feel good, you know you’re not doing enough healthy things for yourself, but it can all be a bit overwhelming. Even if your primary goal is to drop a few pounds and just feel better… which action should you take first?
One school of thought is to take massive action. This is certainly a good thing and has helped many overcome great obstacles. Taking massive action should lead to massive results. However, when it comes to changing your health, which massive action should you take? Go and buy every vitamin in the store? Run laps around your block until your legs won’t move? Schedule appointments with a chiropractor, personal trainer, massage therapist, and psychologist?
My suggestion is to take massive action… on one thing at a time. Pick something. It doesn’t have to be anything other than something that will move you closer to a long term goal of being healthy. To me, that would mean that I’m an appropriate weight, I’m generally free of pain, I have lots of energy, and my moods are pretty consistent in a positive way.
The major categories are going to be eating better and exercise.
Eating right can start with eliminating the things that you know are bad for you that you regularly eat. Too many sodas? Trips to the vending machine? Double frappacinos with whip? Something just popped into your head and you know it’s been slowing leading to a decline in your health. Pick one and let it go.
Bring your lunch to work a couple of days per week or find something healthy that you can eat at least once per day. Start taking a decent multi-vitamin if you’re not doing so already and drink a lot more water. Just do something healthy.
Once you’ve got this habit formed and are starting to feel pretty good about your results, time to reassess and eliminate something bad and add in something good. Keep this up until you get where you want to go.
What about exercise? I have to admit, doing this regularly is not always the easiest thing for me. I say it’s about spending the time and effort, but I think it’s more about not spending the time finding something that I really enjoy doing. You don’t have to start an exercise program by planning to run a marathon (unless that helps you get motivated).
Walking 1 mile and running 1 mile burn about the same amount of calories since it takes longer to walk that same distance. Find ways to walk more, even if it just means parking your car further away from the building at work. You can do it, but you have to start somewhere and that means taking action towards your goal.
You can get healthy, really! It’s possible for those that are willing to make the effort. If your health has declined to such a degree that you need professionals to help you heal and feel better, then by all means do that too. Take massive action… just do it on one thing a time.