When Neck Pain is more than just Neck Pain

Neck Pain is more than just Neck Pain when it becomes a “Royal-pain-in-the-neck.”

A term that originally referred to the two teeth marks left by an encounter with Count Dracula, today’s royal-pain-in-the-necks are also monsters that can drain your life’s energy. Trauma, computer fatigue and stress are three of the leading causes of chronic Neck Pain that can lead to chronic disease, if left unchecked or masked with pain killer medicines. Let’s discuss each one separately:

Trauma due to Auto Accident Injuries, work related accidents or sports injuries are probably the easiest Neck Pain sources to recognize and diagnose.  Whiplash (a quick forward head movement followed by an immediate reversal movement) is most frequently encountered in an auto accident. Surprisingly, a low impact accident–from the rear or side–that does little damage to the auto, can do considerable damage to the neck, as the kinetic energy of the impact is transferred directly to the soft tissue of the neck rather than a crumpled auto part.

Similarly, work related accidents or sports injuries, involving a direct blow to the head can compress the neck segments, causing misalignments (subluxations) that often result in pinch nerves or herniated discs. Soft tissue injury is also frequently incurred, adding to the Neck Pain.

At Secrest Family Chiropractic, we combine kinesiology, chiropractic and physiotherapy to comfortably restore the natural curve of the cervical vertebrae. This is usually done in a sitting or standing position, using an AuthroStim instrument. The process used is called Koren Specific Technique (KST)1 and permits the doctor to specifically adjust only that part of your spine and body that is misaligned. There is no pushing, pulling, bending, “twisting” or “cracking” associated with the KST therapy. Infants and children seem to especially enjoy the gentle vibration of the ArthroStim instrument. A video, demonstrating KST and the use of the ArthroStim, can be viewed on our website home page at www.SecrestFamilyChiropractic.com.

Computer fatigue is also a leading source of Neck Pain but less easy to recognize as the effects are gradual to occur. The posture position for most computers is with the head forward and lowered to view the screen and computer keys.  Over time, without sufficient breaks and proper stretching exercise, this torturous neck-bearing pose can cause excessive strain on the soft tissue in the neck and shoulders, resulting in stiffness and mounting pain. The continuous posture in this mode can eventually lead to a distortion of the cervical curve of the spine and the subluxations experienced with trauma.  Correction of this condition is quite similar to trauma as well.

The most difficult cause of Neck Pain for most sufferers to recognize is constant stress. Whether it is domestic or professional, personal or external or a combination of stresses, the effects of constant stress can be ravaging on the neck and many other areas of the body.  It creates a condition often referred to as “The Panic Pattern”2 and keeps your body locked in a “fight-or-flight” response mode, thus preventing your physiology from returning to normal.

A “fight-or-flight” mode is how the body deals with scary moments (acute stress). The body is prepared to handle this on a temporary basis and provides extra strength to fight harder, run faster or endure sudden pain. To accomplish this, the body shuts down systems that are not immediately needed to survive.  Digestion ceases, sexual function stops and the immune system is temporarily turned off. The heart begins to pump two to three times faster, sending nutrient-rich blood to our major muscles. Sweating increases to cool these muscles and our eyes dilate so we can see better. The body goes into a crouched position with the coccyx (tailbone) moving forward as well as the shoulders and head, to protect the heart and lungs. While in this crouched position the meninges (protective sheath of the spinal cord from the brain to the coccyx) stretches and becomes taut as you gird for battle.

When stress does not cease, the body can become “locked” in the Panic Pattern, causing severe Neck Pain and other chronic disorders, such as loss of energy, a weakened immune system, heart disease, headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, depression and premature aging, among others.3

Since the meninges can only be adjusted at the neck and the coccyx, the Koren Specific Technique can become extremely effective in releasing the Panic Pattern and relieving associated body pain and dysfunction. Within just a few adjustments, your body can begin to heal itself and returns to normalcy.

While you may or may not be able to control all the stresses in your life, you can start to control your life-style, by reducing the effects of stress on your body, eliminating those stresses that are not essential and removing the “Royal” out of your Neck Pain.

For true royal treatment, contact us at 480-994-4411 or contact us on the web at Info@SecrestFamilyChiropractic.com.


1. Tedd Koren, DC, KST & The ArthroStim Instrument, Koren Publications, Inc. 20072. Tedd Koren, DC, KST & The Panic Pattern, Koren Publications, Inc. 20073. Chandola T. Brunner & Marmot M. Chronic, Stress at Work and the Metabolic Syndrome. BMJ Online, Jan. 20, 2006

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