Suffering from neck or back pain?

Your back and neck work in tandem to balance your entire body over your center of gravity every time you move. You might take this for granted until you experience pain from moving or lifting. Pain may indicate a part of your body is restricted or putting pressure on important arteries or nerves. If pain is present even in the most relaxed position, the area is inflamed and pathology should be ruled out.

Whether your pain is due to a simple ‘crick’ in your neck or back or because of a serious whiplash or accident, our doctors can identify your restricted motion and work to restore function. With small pressures and adjustments we restore fluid motion to eliminate pain.

Severity and duration of neck or back pain has little to do with how much time it will take to feel better. Even pain caused by a bulging disc can be alleviated by a skilled doctor who can trace the source of your symptoms and reengage those areas that are not functioning correctly.

What causes neck and back problems?

Acute physical trauma – motor vehicle accidents, falls, impacts, ski accidents and sports injuries create pain with restrictions in the weight bearing systems even after the injury is healed.

Long term compensation – old injuries or accidents often cause long term physical imbalance and compensation; the resulting restrictions usually lead to pain.

Acute emotional trauma – 4-6 weeks after emotional trauma, your body may continue with a physical pattern that helped you deal with the trauma, but needs to restore the flexibility to support other things.

Chronic emotional stress – stress can create unconscious tension resulting from protection mechanisms in the body, but left unchecked these protections can create long term pain.

Repetitive Stress – playing instruments, writing, typing, mousing, working with heavy machinery, movers, surgeons, dentists – repetitive motion taxes one area of the neck and back more than other areas and creates long term restrictions and pain.

Professional treatment for Neck and Back pain

Chiropractors specialize in the integration of muscles, nerves and bones to restore fluid motion to the neck and back. They are very successful in treating neck and back pain quickly regardless of origin. These primary health doctors are trained to rule out pathology and refer to other health care specialists when appropriate.

Acupuncturists can help in the treatment of back and neck pain using a number of different tools, including the insertion of sterile acupuncture needles along energy pathways, helping to relax the muscles and release endorphins. Your acupuncturist will also investigate the reason, or root problem, causing your back or neck pain helping to lessen and sometimes eradicate the incidence of recurrence.

Massage therapists, Rolfers, and Yoga therapists are effective in relaxing tight muscles that cause pain. They are most successful with rehabbing injured tissues, relaxing the accumulation of stress in muscles and fascia, and releasing muscles overworked from repetitive motion. If pain relief only lasts a couple days after a massage, co-care with a chiropractic doctor can be effective.

Core Therapy/Biomechanical Movement Therapy/Pilates Therapy strengthen your core to stabilize your back and relax your neck. They recondition dysfunctional movement patterns created from stress to allow the body to move with ease and without pain.

Physical Therapists work to stabilize the injured area with strength training and mobilization to increase range of motion. They are generally successful with rehabilitation after injury. If the condition is only better as long as you do the exercises or the condition does not resolve, co-care with a chiropractor can be beneficial.

MDs may prescribe pain killers and muscle relaxants to ease pain. Though this does not address the cause of pain, medications can help you cope with intense pain while also getting alternative therapies. MDs may also recommend surgery in some severe cases of disc pathology, although surgery should only be tried after less invasive methods are ineffective.

Self-Care Tips

You may be able to reduce neck and back pain by trying some of these home remedies:

  • Slow down and be kind to yourself.
  • Reduce your exposure to stressful situations and people.
  • Rest is important, as is movement and self-massage. You heal best during rest. Movement helps let your body know what to heal. Self-massage helps desensitize the pain. Find a balance of these things that is right for you. Do not immobilize yourself in bed for longer than a day regardless of the pain.
  • Try stretching and different forms of exercise. If pain increases for longer than 30 minutes after exercise, discontinue. You might be surprised how exercise may reduce your pain. Especially push ups for mid to upper back, head retraction for neck, and an abdominal workout, walking or biking for low back. Sometimes even running helps. Do not push through the pain however when injured.
  • Ice for 20 minutes if feeling acute pain, or heat for 20 minutes if pain is stiff and chronic. Traumeel is a natural anti-inflammatory and pain killer that you can rub directly where it hurts whether acute or chronic.
  • 1000 mg of fish oil DHA/EPA combined daily can reduce inflammation and decrease the intensity of chronic pain.

Online resources

National Institutes of Health:

Web MD:

National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: