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What Causes Neck Pain and What to Do?

Symptoms from a loss of curvature can include neck pain, headache, lack of energy, tight/spasm muscles, TMJ, dizziness, poor sleep, pins, and needles in fingers and so on. Other causes of neck pain include trauma, sports, falls, bad sleep position or the wrong pillow.
Neck Pain Dr Marinks

X-ray Testing by Dr. John Marinkovic, D.C.

As a Results based practitioner for over 25 years correcting necks and low backs, I have seen an upward trend of treating neck pain over the last few years. Doctors have referred to this as text neck. The alarming part of the trend is the age of the patient complaining of neck pain. It’s mostly the 14–40-year-old age group. One of the main factors is the increased time this age group spends with their heads bent down looking at phones and tablets. When you look down the curvature of your neck reverses (kyphotic). Looking down for brief moments is okay but prolonged time can have bad effects.  So, looking down is poor posture and will affect your normal neck curvature the more you do it. I am seeing on x-ray, an increased number of patients in the 14-40 age group that have lost the natural curve or have reversed neck curves because of this.  If I asked you to stand up and then look down with your head for 20 mins straight…your neck would hurt. The loss of curvature puts more pressure on the disc causing a bulge which can press on the nerve and cause numerous symptoms. 

Your pillow could be the bad guy too.  I have x-ray tested (while laying on them) various name brand pillows made from foam, polyester fill, shredded foam, feather/down fill and others.  Most pillows tested showed on x-ray to decrease or reverse the normal curvature.  That means the pillow is putting the neck in that looking down position.  Not good at all.  Imagine what 6-8 hours in that position would feel like.  The worst of all the pillows were the sack filled pillows. It didn’t matter if they were filled with shredded foam, rice, polyester, or feathers from the golden goose.  

I recommend the following to my patients:

  1. If swelling is not present, you can use moist heat 20 mins on then 20 mins off for muscle spasm.
  2. Stay away from neck movements/positions you know cause you more pain, every time you feel pain you have just aggravated it and inflamed the area.
  3. When laying down find a position that feels comfortable to you and relax.
  4. Never sleep with your neck twisted, like laying on your stomach.
  5. Chiropractic care from an office that can correct neck curvature.
  6. Easiest way to be proactive is to invest in a pillow.  Remember we lay down for 6-8 hours a night.

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

Health Dr Marinks

Sleep: A Health Imperative

Chronic sleep deficiency, defined as a state of inadequate or mistimed sleep, is a growing and underappreciated determinant of health status. Sleep deprivation contributes to a number of molecular, immune, and neural changes that play a role in disease development, independent of primary sleep disorders. These changes in biological processes in response to chronic sleep deficiency may serve as etiological factors for the development and exacerbation of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and, ultimately, a shortened lifespan. Sleep deprivation also results in significant impairments in cognitive and motor performance which increase the risk of motor vehicle crashes and work-related injuries and fatal accidents. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society have developed this statement to communicate to national health stakeholders the current knowledge which ties sufficient sleep and circadian alignment in adults to health.

fall a sleep dr marinks

Government of Health Goal

About 1 in 3 adults — and even more adolescents — don’t get enough sleep, which can affect their health and well-being. Healthy People 2030 focuses on helping people get enough sleep, treating sleep disorders, and decreasing drowsy driving.

summer sleep dr. marinks

Dr. Marink’s Summer Time Sleep Recommendation

“With long days and short nights, the summer is inevitably a season where one’s sleep could be drastically reduced,” commented Dr. Marinkovic. “Coupled with the easing of the pandemic where sleeping was sent into a tailspin, this summer could prove especially troubling in the sleep department. In addition, using the appropriate pillow, these simple steps can help ensure you’re getting an ample amount of rest each evening.”