Neck pain can be caused by irritation, inflammation, injury, or infection. Pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, hand, or head “most” frequently results from irritation of cervical nerve roots in the region of the intervertebral foramen, encroachment of the vascular supply as it courses through the vertebral canal, or invasion of the cord in the spinal canal.
If unhealthy, your neck’s normal forward curve may reduce, become straight or “military,” or even reverse its curve. Over time, arthritic changes in the vertebrae such as lipping or spurring (bony growths), disc-thinning or degeneration, or deterioration of muscles, ligaments and other structures may occur. However, in spite of all these changes, there may or may not be pain. In fact, studies show little or no correlation between the degree of pain felt in the neck and arthritis changes found on X-rays and MRI.
Lipping, spurring, and other irregularities (osteoarthritis) do not in themselves constitute a disease but are instead defense mechanisms that arise to stabilize an off-balance spine. Recent research has shown that manipulative care can reverse some of the effects of osteoarthritis – something that had previously been considered impossible.
I take a different approach to the treatment and prevention of neck pain. After a thorough neurological examination I determine which part of the nervous system is not functioning properly. In many neck pain patients I may find a high mesencephalic output.
There are three parts to the brain stem: top, middle, and lower. The mesencephalon is the top part of the brain stem. A high output of the mesencephalon will cause an increased pulse and heart rate, inability to sleep or waking up from fitful sleep, urinary tract infection, increase warmth or sweating, and sensitivity to light.
Along with a high mesenphalic output, the neck pain patient may have a decreased output of the cerebellum. The cerebellum is in the back part of the brain, and it controls all of the involuntary spinal musculature.
No matter what the condition, it is imperative that the doctor performs a thorough and comprehensive exam to determine the exact nature of the patient’s condition.
If you are interested in seeing if you are a candidate for our breakthrough procedures for treating neck pain give us a call at (252) 758-2222 to schedule a free consultation with Dr. McCarthy.