Spring Disc Center

Spring Disc Center Helping people avoid dangerous drugs, risky injections and often unnecessary surgeries

The use of a low back support or brace can make a significant difference for individuals with back pain or those who eng...
01/10/2024

The use of a low back support or brace can make a significant difference for individuals with back pain or those who engage in activities that place stress on their lower back. These supports and braces provide additional support to the muscles and ligaments in the lower back, which can reduce pain and discomfort. They can also help to improve posture, which is important for preventing further injury and reducing strain on the lower back. While a back support or brace should not be relied on as the sole treatment for back pain, they can be a helpful tool in managing symptoms and improving overall function. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using a back support or brace to ensure proper fit and use.

12/19/2023
Surgical Vs. Non-Surgical Care for Rotator Cuff TearsRotator cuff tears are a common cause of shoulder pain and can occu...
12/15/2023

Surgical Vs. Non-Surgical Care for Rotator Cuff Tears

Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of shoulder pain and can occur as a result of injury, overuse, or degenerative changes in the shoulder joint. The treatment options for rotator cuff tears include both surgical and non-surgical approaches.
Non-surgical care for rotator cuff tears typically involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and pain management techniques. This approach may be recommended for patients with mild to moderate symptoms, or for those who are not good candidates for surgery due to age or other health concerns.
Surgical care for rotator cuff tears may be necessary for patients with severe symptoms or for those who have not responded to non-surgical treatments. Surgery typically involves repairing the torn tendon or reattaching it to the bone using sutures or other surgical techniques. Recovery time after surgery can vary depending on the extent of the tear and the type of surgery performed, but physical therapy is typically necessary to help restore range of motion and strength in the shoulder.

We have had patients that have been told surgery is the only option when our non-invasive therapies have helped improve shoulder pain.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out if a non-invasive option is a better choice - www.SpringBackandSpine.com

Neck and Arm Pain – The Herniated Disc? Neck and arm pain are common complaints among many people, and one possible caus...
12/14/2023

Neck and Arm Pain – The Herniated Disc?

Neck and arm pain are common complaints among many people, and one possible cause of these symptoms is a herniated disc. A herniated disc occurs when the soft, gel-like center of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tough outer layer, which can put pressure on nearby nerves and cause pain and discomfort. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatments of neck and arm pain caused by a herniated disc.

Schedule a free consultation today: www.SpringBackandSpine.com

Why Does My Back Always Hurt?We’ve all heard of the “wear and tear” factor as it applies to clothing, automobiles, shoes...
12/12/2023

Why Does My Back Always Hurt?

We’ve all heard of the “wear and tear” factor as it applies to clothing, automobiles, shoes, and tires, but it affects our bones and joints too!

A condition that none of us can fully avoid is called osteoarthritis (OA). OA is the “wear and tear” factor on our joints, particularly the smooth covering called hyaline cartilage located on the surfaces of all moving joints. It’s the shiny, silky smooth surface that we’ve all seen at the end of a chicken leg when we separate it from the thigh.

Osteoarthritis is the wearing away of that shiny, smooth surface and it can eventually progress to “bone-on-bone” contact where little to no movement is left in the affected joint. Bone spurs can also occur and be another potential generator of back pain. OA is NOT diagnosed by a blood or lab test but rather by an accurate history, physical examination, and ultimately, an x-ray. However, when the low back is affected by OA, it may not even hurt!

Schedule a free consultation today - www.SpringBackandSpine.com

What Causes Low Back Pain?Low back pain is a very common problem affecting 80-90% of all of us at some point during our ...
12/11/2023

What Causes Low Back Pain?

Low back pain is a very common problem affecting 80-90% of all of us at some point during our lives.

But why? There are many reasons.
One of the biggest reasons is that we are two-legged animals carrying two-thirds of our weight above our waist. Studies have shown deterioration or arthritis occurs much sooner in us vs. our four-legged animal counterparts.
The disk can become injured during bend/lift/twist movements. These movements can tear the outer tough fibers of the disk, allowing the central more liquid-like material to leak out. If this happens, the leaking or “herniated” disk can put pressure on the nerve that exits the spine and travels down our leg. If the pain pattern includes the back of the leg, it’s commonly referred to as “sciatica.”

Schedule a Free consultation today: www.SpringBackandSpine.com

The Various Causes of Neck PainNeck pain is a very common complaint for which patients seek chiropractic care, though th...
12/08/2023

The Various Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain is a very common complaint for which patients seek chiropractic care, though there are several possible causes…
Two common causes of neck pain are poor posture (such as a forward head carriage) and repetitive strain (such as long static holding of awkward positions). These two causes are very similar as the head weighs approximately 15 pounds (~7 kg) and when held in a forward translated position for a lengthy time frame, the muscles at the back of the neck fatigue and begin to ache.
Another cause of neck pain is trauma from a car accident, a slip-and-fall injury, sports injury, etc.
Neck pain can also be caused by a “slipped” or herniated disk. A herniated disk is like a jelly donut where the jelly leaks out and presses against a nerve that goes on to other parts of the body.
Another cause can be related to the natural aging process involving the “wearing out” process of the disk, joints, and muscle/ligament attachments. The term “osteoarthritis” is commonly associated with these findings and is often blamed for neck pain, but this is controversial.
So, how do chiropractors manage all of these causes of neck pain? A thorough history, examination, and locating the positions of pain production versus pain relief are “key” to the successful management of patients with neck pain.
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression works best for most patients - learn more today - Visit www.SpringBackandSpine.com

Low Back Pain – Seasonal InjuriesEvery season brings unique activities that require us to perform some physical activity...
12/07/2023

Low Back Pain – Seasonal Injuries

Every season brings unique activities that require us to perform some physical activity we may not want to do but have no choice. In the winter, shoveling snow comes to mind (at least in some parts of the country) while spring, summer, and fall may include yard clean up, mowing, and raking. All of these seasonal activities are, “…I have to..” activities of daily living (ADLs), rather than ADLs we want to do. Let’s talk about shoveling snow. Of course, if snow is not an issue based on where you live, this information can also be applied to gardening, digging a hole, or some other yard-related shoveling activity.

Some wise considerations for shoveling include warming up before starting, staying “in shape” by exercising throughout the year, maintaining a good nutritious diet, and getting enough sleep.

But, if there is an injury during snow removal, spinal decompression to the rescue. Learn more and schedule a free consultation today www.SpringBackandSpine.com

Would Spinal Decompression Help My Back Pain?Spinal Decompression is a common form of treatment for patients with low ba...
12/06/2023

Would Spinal Decompression Help My Back Pain?

Spinal Decompression is a common form of treatment for patients with low back pain. Decompression “works'' by applying a force that separates and increases the space between joints. It also stretches the surrounding soft tissues, including ligaments, joint capsules, muscles, and tendons.
Common conditions of the spine for which spinal decompression is often utilized include low back sprains and strains, disk herniations (“slipped discs”), and spinal stenosis.
Spinal Decompression has been shown to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and by movement of the joints, it may also reduce the nerve’s excitability, resulting in pain reduction.
The Cochrane Report found spinal decompression is most effective for cases of sciatica or nerve root pressure creating leg pain.
Learn More and Schedule a Free Consultation Today by visiting www.SpringBackandSpine.com

I Slipped a Disc – What Is That Exactly?“I was digging a hole in my garden and hit a rock with the shovel. After clearin...
12/05/2023

I Slipped a Disc – What Is That Exactly?

“I was digging a hole in my garden and hit a rock with the shovel. After clearing the dirt from around the rock, I bent over and reached into the hole. I couldn’t get a good grip on the rock and had to twist my body to get my arm under it. As I started to move the rock, I felt something ‘give out’ in my lower back and felt immediate low back pain, but it wasn’t terrible. Like a fool, I gave it another try but this time, the pain in my back was really sharp when I twisted to reach under it. Then, it felt like a knife stabbing me when I tried to stand up. Since then, I can’t stand up straight and pain is shooting down my left leg.”

The intervertebral disk is like a shock-absorber located between each vertebra in our spine extending from the tail bone to the upper neck. When healthy, your disks truly do function as shock absorbers. There are two parts to the disc—the inner part (called the nucleus) which is the liquid-like center and the tough, laminated, and rubber-like outer part (the annulus) that hold the nucleus in the center of the disk. The annulus has concentric rings which look similar to the rings of an oak tree trunk and the strength of these laminated rings is due to the fibers crisscrossing, creating a self-sealing, secure border for the nucleus center. In spite of this great anatomical structure, our disks degenerate and can crack or tear allowing the more liquid-like nucleus to leak out of the annulus creating the classic “slipped disk” (technically referred to as a herniated or ruptured disk). When the herniated disk presses into the nerve that goes down the leg, pain is felt along its course and can radiate all the way to the foot.

So, now for the important question, “…what can I do for it?”

Schedule a consultation today - Visit www.SpringBackandSpine.com

What’s This Tingling in My Leg?Experience aching pain in the back/buttock area that radiates down the leg? It is most li...
12/04/2023

What’s This Tingling in My Leg?

Experience aching pain in the back/buttock area that radiates down the leg? It is most likely caused by Sciatica.

Sciatica is an entrapment and irritation to the sciatic nerve, which passes from the lower spine, down through the buttock and supplies the back of the leg down to the foot.Typically, sciatica is caused by poor mechanical movement of the hips, pelvis or lower back. This causes abnormal strain and stress to the gluteus and hip rotator muscles. Certain people are more predisposed to sciatica because their sciatica nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle in the buttock, which makes it more susceptible to irritation.

The good news is that over 90% of those suffering from sciatica will get better with Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Treatment.

Spinal Decompression creates negative pressure on the spine and provides targeted decompression. Spinal decompression further aids in natural healing by encouraging the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the herniated disc. Treating the herniated disc responsible for triggering your sciatica helps provide effective and long-term pain relief.

Visit www.SpringBackandSpine.com to learn more and schedule a free consultation today!

Low Back Pain and The Danger of Spinal FusionsYou may think it’s odd to discuss low back pain (LBP) from the perspective...
11/17/2023

Low Back Pain and The Danger of Spinal Fusions

You may think it’s odd to discuss low back pain (LBP) from the perspective of spinal fusion because as chiropractors, we do not perform surgery and so, why discuss it? It is important that we discuss research such as this so we can make the informed treatment decisions with our patients after we’ve considered all the facts in each specific case. Now, there are certainly times when a surgical procedure for back and leg pain is necessary and appropriate for some patients; however, there are also some patients who have been told they need spinal surgery when, in fact, they may be better off NOT proceeding with surgery. Thus, the question is, what happens to those patients who elect not to proceed with surgery vs. those who do?

That question was addressed in a study where a total of 1,450 patients injured at work were followed over a two-year time frame. There were a total of 725 patients who proceeded with the fusion surgery and the other 750 elected NOT to have the surgery. A fusion surgery can be described as when two or more vertebra are fused together, usually because there are neurological problems such as shooting leg pain, weakness, and/or numbness in one or both legs. The conditions treated in this study included herniated disks, degeneration of the disk, and radiating leg pain. There were primarily three factors that were compared between the two groups: 1) ability to return to work; 2) disability (the inability to work), and 3) op**te (narcotic) drug use. Other factors compared included the need for re-operations, complications, and death.
The results showed, in general, those who proceeded with surgery had significantly more problems compared with those who did not have surgery. For example, only 26% of those who underwent surgery returned to work, compared with 67% in the non-surgery group. The total number of days off work were 1140 vs. 316 days, respectively. There were 17 vs. 11 deaths, respectively, and 27% of the surgical group required re-operations with a 36% complication rate. Also, there was a 41% increase in the use of narcotic medication with 76% continuing the use after surgery.

Again, there are times when surgery is absolutely the right choice. Those times include when there is a loss of bladder or bowel control, progressively worsening neurological symptoms in spite of non-surgical care, and of course, unstable fractures, cancer/tumor, and infections, but that’s about it! In other words, if you don’t have one of the before mentioned conditions which do require surgery, don’t be too quick to jump at the chance of “getting it fixed” with surgery. As the study suggests, the post-surgical results favor those who elected NOT to have surgery. Also, when in doubt, don’t trust the opinion of only one surgeon – always get a 2nd or even 3rd opinion. It is also very important to consider your current level of function or your ability to do your desired tasks and unless there is a significant loss in that ability, consider additional time with non-surgical treatment. The non-surgical treatment you can expect to receive from chiropractic includes (but may not be limited to) spinal manipulation, exercise training, physical therapy modalities (ice, heat, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, traction, etc.), dietary counseling, and job modification information.

Schedule a free consultation today by visiting www.SpringBackandSpine.com

Where Does Low Back Pain Come From?“Where does the pain come from?” is probably the most commonly asked question we hear...
11/16/2023

Where Does Low Back Pain Come From?

“Where does the pain come from?” is probably the most commonly asked question we hear as chiropractors and frequently, the patient is not told the answer to this simple question. The problem is, the question is not so simple. This is because there are many structures in the low back that share a common nerve supply and hence, the pain arising from those structures is located in the same area of the back. For example, the back portion of the disk, the facet capsule, and some of the deep muscles in the spine are all innervated by the same nerve and therefore hurt in a similar location. In all honesty, the only way to try to isolate the pain generator is to inject a local anesthetic to block the pain for a short while. This is like when you go to the dentist and they “numb” your tooth so you don’t feel the pain while they work on it. After a few hours, you start to feel some “life” coming back to your mouth and soon it regains its full feeling. Of course, no one would consider “numbing” the back just to figure out exactly where the pain is arising as really, it’s not that important. This is because the chiropractic treatment approach is similar regardless of the exact tissue that is involved. However, it DOES matter in cases where a pain radiates down the leg caused by a herniated disk vs. a localized pain in the back that doesn’t radiate. Hence, we doctors of chiropractic will work hard to differentiate these two distinct types of conditions as the treatment is definitely different.

In 1995, the Quebec Task Force recognized the importance of this distinction and recommended all healthcare providers concentrate on differentiating the nerve root / herniated disk case from what is called “mechanical low back pain.” As noted in the model below, the arrow and pen point to the two most common structures that cause nerve root pain (the herniated disk) and mechanical low back pain (the facet joint).

The facet joint, when sprained / injured, hurts worse when bending backwards and feels good bending forwards. This is exactly the opposite for the herniated disk where bending backwards helps reduce pain and often reduces the shooting leg pain as well, while bending over even a little can create a sharp stabling pain in the back that may shoot down the leg. Of course, there are variations of this and to make matters more complicated, BOTH the disk and the facet can generate pain at the same time, so it’s not always this cut and dry.

Low Back Pain & Spinal Manipulation: How Does It Work?For many years, Chiropractic has been at the forefront of treating...
11/15/2023

Low Back Pain & Spinal Manipulation: How Does It Work?

For many years, Chiropractic has been at the forefront of treating low back pain (LBP) with both greater patient satisfaction and less lost time at work when compared with other non-surgical treatment approaches. There have been many explanations as to why chiropractic manipulation therapy (CMT) works but many of these studies include other treatment modalities or methods and the benefits are, therefore, not clearly derived only from CMT. A 2011 study attempted to clear this up and the results were very interesting!

This study included two chiropractors and two a physical therapists (PT) from Canada and the United States. What is unique about this study is that the researchers measured clinical or symptomatic improvement by tracking improvement in activity tolerance using a standard questionnaire commonly used by chiropractors and PTs all over the world, as well as changes in the spinal stiffness using a valid/reliable instrument both before and after CMT was utilized. The importance of these findings is that only CMT was utilized and hence, other forms of treatment commonly utilized by chiropractors did not cloud the findings. There were 48 patients included in the study and the initial two treatments were administered 3-4 days apart, followed by an assessment 3-4 days after the 2nd treatment. Assessments were also performed before and after each treatment. The assessments included use of the questionnaire and a stiffness measurement using the special instrument. Also, “recruitment of the lumbar multifidus muscle” (a muscle in the low back that helps stabilize the trunk or core) was measured by ultrasound. After each treatment, significant improvement was found in the overall pain level and in reduced spinal stiffness (which remained improved 3-4 days after the last/second treatment).

The study found that patients who received thrust manipulation (CMT) had immediate improvements with reduced pain, stiffness, and improved muscle recruitment measurements. However, this same effect was NOT obtained when non-thrust mobilization techniques were used. This means many non-thrust manual techniques such as mobilization, massage, and other soft tissue release methods do not create the immediate benefits that were produced by thrust manipulation. The authors of the study noted the greatest clinical improvement was found in those who had the most dramatic reduction in stiffness after each treatment.

With this new information, we are now able to explain with confidence to patients the reasons why they typically feel better after the spinal adjustment. The patient can then appreciate receiving an answer that makes clear sense and has been “proven.” It’s important to realize that the “bonus” of receiving chiropractic care for low back pain includes not only just pain reduction, but more importantly, improvement in tolerating activities such as vacuuming, washing dishes, golfing, walking, and of course, working.

Neck Pain: Manipulation vs. Other Treatments?Mechanical neck pain affects an estimated 70% of people at some point in li...
11/14/2023

Neck Pain: Manipulation vs. Other Treatments?

Mechanical neck pain affects an estimated 70% of people at some point in life. Because many different treatment approaches are available for neck pain, it can be very difficult for those suffering from neck pain to know which treatment approach(es) to choose. Research on this topic has revealed some very interesting information that places chiropractic and spinal manipulation in a VERY STRONG POSITION—in fact, at the TOP OF THE HEAP!

One such study looked at benefits of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) in patients with acute and subacute neck pain. This study compared three study groups: 1. SMT only; 2. medication only; and 3. home exercise and advice (HEA). This study randomized 272 neck pain patients suffering from neck pain for 2 to 12 weeks into a twelve-week treatment period using 1 of the 3 treatment approaches tracking the results with the participant-rated pain as the primary treatment outcome measure. Secondary outcome data was obtained from other approaches. The results showed that the group treated with SMT, “…had a statistically significant advantage over medication after 8, 12, 26 and 52 weeks. HEA also had a statistical advantage over medication. Lastly, similar benefits were calculated between the SMT and exercise group. The conclusions support SMT and exercise/advise to be the choice over medication for acute and subacute neck pain patients. Regarding exercise, a similar study showed that “high-dosed supervised strengthening exercise” with and without SMT, was superior to a “low dose home mobilization exercise and advice group at 4, 12, 26, and 52 weeks.”
Regarding chronic neck pain patients (that means pain that has been present for greater than 3 months), another study evaluated the changes that occurred in 191 patients. These patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups for eleven weeks and evaluated 3, 6, 12, & 24 months after treatment. The 3 treatment options included: 1. Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) only; 2. SMT with low-tech neck exercises; or 3. a form of exercise using a MedX rehab machine. The results show the highest level of patient satisfaction was found in the 2nd group (SMT with low-tech exercise), suggesting that when individuals present for treatment, spinal manipulation with low-tech exercises results in the most satisfied patient. These findings are important as this study evaluated the LONG-TERM benefits among patients who have had neck pain for a long time (i.e., “chronic”), where as most studies only look at the short-term benefits.
Similar conclusions were reported from perhaps the largest scale study on neck pain based on research from 1980 to 2006 on the use, effectiveness, and safety of non-invasive treatment approaches for neck pain and associated disorders. This review that looked at over 350 published articles found manual therapy (manipulation and mobilization) and supervised exercise to again, SHINE when compared with other treatment options.

What is important is that ALL these studies support what chiropractors do: manipulate the neck and give supervised exercises!

Schedule a free consultation today by visiting www.SpringBackandSpine.com

Neck Pain: Manipulation vs. Mobilization – What’s Better?Does mobilization (MOB) get less, the same, or better results w...
11/14/2023

Neck Pain: Manipulation vs. Mobilization – What’s Better?

Does mobilization (MOB) get less, the same, or better results when compared to spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) when it comes to treating neck pain? To answer this question, let’s first discuss the difference between the two treatment approaches.

Mobilization (MOB) of the spine can be “technically” defined as a “low velocity, low amplitude” force applied to the tissues of the cervical spine (or any joint of the body, but we’ll focus on the cervical region). This means a slow, rhythmic movement is applied to a joint using various methods such as figure 8, side-to-side, front-to-back, and /or combinations of any of these movements. In the neck, gentle to firm manual traction or pulling, when applied to the cervical spine, stretches the joint and disk spaces and can be included during MOB.

Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT) can be defined as a “high velocity, low amplitude” type of force applied to joint which is often accompanied by a audible release or “crack,” which is the release of gas (nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide). Some joints “cavitate” or “crack” while others are less likely to release the gas. Studies that date back to the 1940s report that an immediate improvement in a joint’s range of motion occurs when the joint cavitates. Many people instinctively stretch their own neck to the point of gas release, which typically, “…feels good.” This can become a habit and usually is not a big problem. However, in some cases, it can lead to joint hypermobility and ligament laxity. As a rule, if only a gentle stretch is required to produce the cavitation/crack, it’s typically “safe” verses the person who uses higher levels of force by grabbing their own head and twisting it beyond the normal tissue stretch boundaries. The latter is more likely to result in damage to the ligaments (tissue that strongly holds bone to bone) and therefore, should be avoided. Since SMT is usually applied in a very specific location (where the joint is fixated or “stuck” or partially displaced), it’s obviously BEST to utilize chiropractic, as chiropractors do this many times a day (for years or even decades) and know where to apply it and can judge the amount of force to utilize, especially the neck where there are many delicate structures.

Back to the question: Which is better, MOB or SMT? Or are they equals in the quest of rid of neck pain? A 2012 study that included over 100 patients with “mechanical neck pain” (strain/sprain) found that those who received SMT had a significantly better response than the MOB group as measured by a pain scale, a disability scale, and two tests that measure function!

Learn more by visiting www.SpringBackandSpine.com

Low Back Pain or Hip Osteoarthritis: Which One is it?When patients say, “…I have low back pain,” they may point to anywh...
11/03/2023

Low Back Pain or Hip Osteoarthritis: Which One is it?

When patients say, “…I have low back pain,” they may point to anywhere between the lower rib cage and their hip area. In other words, everyone interprets where their low back is located differently. So, when differentiating between low back pain and hip pain, one would think that the patient would either point to their low back or their hip, right? Well, where does hip osteoarthritis usually hurt? That’s what makes it so hard! The pain location can vary and move around in the same patient anywhere in the pelvic region including the groin (which is common), to the side of the pelvis, to the buttocks, the sacrum, and in the low back. To make it even more challenging, degenerative or injured disks in the lower lumbar spine can refer pain directly into the hip area and also create localized low back pain. In fact, patients often have BOTH conditions simultaneously! Usually, during examination, we move the hip joint feel for reduced motion and watch for pain patterns in certain positions. An osteoarthritic (OA) hip is comparably more tight and painful with rotation movements. For example, the patient is seated with their leg crossed, trying to touch their knee to their opposite shoulder. In the OA-hip patient, they may only be able to get it half way there compared to the other side and often complain of groin pain. The “ultimate test” is the x-ray that reveals the loss of the joint space—the “cartilage interval”—which narrows on the side with OA.
Learn More By visiting www.SpringBackandSpine.com

The Neck & Shoulder Pain RelationshipGiven the close anatomical proximity between the neck and shoulder, it’s no wonder ...
11/02/2023

The Neck & Shoulder Pain Relationship

Given the close anatomical proximity between the neck and shoulder, it’s no wonder the two are intimately related. With our hectic lifestyles that include driving, hunching over computers and electronic devices, and talking on the phone (not to mention stress arising from multiple sources), sometimes it seems like the muscles in the neck, upper back, and shoulders tighten up and hurt at the same time. The question is, when it comes to pain in the neck and the shoulder, which one is the “chicken” and which is the “egg?”

The neck gives rise to the nerves that innervate the head (C1-3 nerve roots), the shoulders (C4-5), and the arms (C5-T2). Hence, there are 8 sets of nerves in the neck, 12 sets in the thoracic (middle back region), 6 sets in the lumbar or low back region, and 5 sets in the sacrum, all of which travel to a specific destination allowing us to move our muscles and to feel hot, cold, sharp, vibration, and position sense. When these nerves get pinched or irritated, they lose their function and the ability to feel, making it challenging to button a shirt, thread a needle, or pick up small objects. It can also make it difficult to unscrew jars, squeeze a spray bottle, or lift a milk container from the refrigerator. Hence, the nerves arising from the neck, when pinched, can have a dramatic effect on our ability to carry out our desired activities in which shoulder, arm, and hand use is required.
On the other hand, when the shoulder is injured (such as a rotator cuff tear), this can also result in neck problems. There are several ways pain from the neck affects the shoulder and vice versa. When the shoulder is injured, pain “information” is relayed to the brain starting at the nerve endings located in the area of the shoulder injury, transmitting impulses between the shoulder and the neck, and finally from the neck to the sensory cortex of the brain. That information is processed and communication to the motor cortex prompts nerve signals to be sent back to the shoulder through the neck and to the injured area (in this case, the shoulder). A reflex muscle spasm often occurs as a result, serving as kind of an “internal cast” as the spasm tries to protect the injured shoulder. This can become a “vicious cycle” or never-ending “loop” until the reflex is interrupted (perhaps by a chiropractic adjustment). Another means by which both areas become injured has to do with modifications in function. We tend to change the way we go about our daily chores when an injury occurs to the shoulder, such as putting on a coat differently by leaning over to the opposite side. These functional changes can also give rise to neck pain. Because of this reflex cycle, as well as the close anatomic relationship between the neck and shoulder—not to mention the “domino effect” of soft-tissue injuries which seem to change the function at the next joint level—it’s not surprising that both the neck AND the shoulder require simultaneous treatment for optimal treatment benefit. However, the good news is, regardless which one is the “chicken or the egg,” chiropractic treatments of shoulder injuries will almost always include the neck and vice versa.

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