Chances are we will all experience neck pain at least once in our lifetime. The neck is a complex part of the body, made up of many different bones, joints, supporting muscular structures, nerves and blood vessels. In anatomical terms the neck is referred to as the cervical spine and consists of seven bones or vertebrae (C1 through to C7), intervertebral discs, facet joints, muscles and ligaments. The cervical spine has the responsible job of supporting the skull, which protects the brain while also protecting the brainstem and cephalic portion of the spinal cord. The neck has muscles anterior, posterior and lateral to aid in support and movement. The cervical spine is also home to the cervical and brachial nerve plexuses. These are large bundles of nerve roots from which peripheral nerves branch out from. If you are experiencing severe neck pain we would suggest you see one of Melbourne’s Emergency Chiropractor Clinics, for immediate assessment and treatment.
Doctors of Chiropractic have a whole body approach and want to find the cause of the problem. Chiropractors focus on the nervous system and function of the body. Chiropractic intervention is an accepted treatment for neck pain. Doctors of Chiropractic study and practice spinal diagnosis and management for 5 years at University.
Unsure what Chiropractors do? Chiropractors use many different techniques aimed to restore normal spinal and nervous system function. Most commonly people associate “cracking” or “bone clicking” with Chiropractors, while this is true the correct term for this is a Chiropractic Adjustment – as the saying goes… “the spine gets adjusted, an egg gets cracked.”
The chiropractors at Wellbeing are finding more and more people are presenting to Chiropractic clinics, suffering neck pain due to chronic postural issues such as: spending too long stooped over a computer, excessive viewing of television, carrying bags to heavy with school books and/or excessive mobile phone use. Such habits can be the start of serious postural problems and structural issues later in life.
(Dr. Robbie assessing patients neck range of motion)
(Atlas Orthogonal Technique: for upper cervical conditions)
Hypertonic neck muscles
Forward head carriage
Active trigger points
Poor fitting pillow
Traditional Chiropractic adjustments include techniques such as Diversified and Gonstead Chiropractic which are hands on manual approach. Often a chiropractor will employ these techniques when a fixation or reduced range of motion through palpation skills is identified. A Chiropractor may also use X-rays to determine individual’s posture to assist in determining certain types of traditional adjustments to use to aim in correcting these postures. Before any treatment, chiropractors thoroughly assess and examine patients through a history and testing to determine whether or not this is an appropriate treatment for this particular case.
Atlas Orthogonal (AO) is a specific technique of Chiropractic that focuses on the atlas bone, the top vertebra in the spine. Being so close to the brainstem the atlas bone can affect multiple areas of the nervous system. AO looks at the alignment of atlas bone in relation to the C2 vertebrae and occiput. Accurate X-rays can determine the level of rotation and horizontal shift of the atlas; this gives the chiropractor the exact direction the AO adjustment must be delivered in order to help the atlas start moving into the neutral position. Unlike traditional chiropractic adjustments no cavitation or cracking of the joint occurs, rather it stimulates the atlas and encourages the atlas towards neutral position
Activator is a technique used in multiple situations for a chiropractor treating someone with neck pain. The activator is a handheld adjusting tool that is spring loaded with multiple levels of pressure and forces. Activator can be used on people in acute situations who are unable to received traditional chiropractic adjustments, similarly it may be used for people who have osteoarthritis or fusion of the neck to encourage movement that otherwise would not of been able to be received. Our chiropractors may additionally use the activator on tight muscles and to reinforce joint movements before and after traditional chiropractic adjustments.
Neck pain can be caused by active trigger points present the muscle surrounding your neck. Trigger points are often found in tight or hypertonic muscles and feel like a tight band or nodule, when compressed they reproduce pain and refer to other area in the neck. Trigger point therapy uses ischaemic compression or pressure onto these triggers points until they relieve or dissipate often 30-60 seconds. A chiropractor will employ this technique on your neck structures if trigger points are identified in examination and palpation assessment.
Arthrostim is a handheld machine which uses percussion as it’s form of treatment. Having up to 14 impulses per second this machine can also have its force altered as determine by the chiropractor. Arthrostim works on the theory of muscle spindle reflex to relax the muscles prior to an adjustment. Additionally chiropractor uses this tool over joints to reinforce or prepare the body for an adjustment.
(Dr. Robbie report of findings: explaining a scans result to a patient)
(Our Chiropractor assessing a patient’s neck for spinal dysfunction)
(Left: Straightening and reversal of the cervical lordosis, resulting in anterior head carriage. Right: Healthy neck, observe the C-shape curve allowing even distribution of pressure through the cervical spine)
Chiropractors spend many years of dedicated study exploring human bio-mechanics, structure and anatomy. This time allows Chiropractors to assess, diagnose and manage spinal conditions such as neck pain with chiropractic treatments and exercise. Our team consists of six Melbourne-based Chiropractors, all regarded for individual post-graduate training. Our team have over 30 years clinical experience in a variety of professional settings, including private practice, sporting arena and international setups. See below for additional information about each of our Chiropractors. For a personalised, professional and respected Chiropractic service for your neck pain treatment call our team and schedule an appointment to discuss your case for further details.
(5 phases of neck curvature: 1, represents complete reversal of cervical lordosis, placing maximum pressure on the neck. 3, straightening of cervical lordosis, causing forward head carriage. 5, optimal cervical lordosis, least amount of pressure on neck)