I think it’s time to discuss why so many of us experience daily neck pain, along with the associated headaches and shoulder pain. Firstly, we need to understand the main cause of it. Working Downtown, I tend to see a lot of patients with jobs that confine them to a desk all day, that will do it for most people. Of course things like nutrition, stress and jaw issues play a part, but there is a common theme for those who work in an office. When we are forced to be seated in the same position for hours at a time there is a lot of pressure and compression put on the back of the head and neck which end up causing a lot of stress to the muscles and compression within the spine. Since most of us can’t up and leave our jobs – or even get away from our desks every 20 minutes, what are some things we can do to help this problem? Simple things like altering the position of your chair and monitor are great ways to start but that won’t fix it all. More often than not, you need to get deeper into the painful area, and chiropractic treatments are your best option. Treatments can range from muscle stretching to deep myofascial release to gentle mobilization of the joints.
Common muscle associated with headaches and neck pain are:
Deep Anterior Scalenes
Muscles surrounding the TMJ
All of these muscles are connected from spinal segments in some way, and when these muscles are extremely tight they compress the spinal joints in the neck, increasing pressure in the joint spaces, and end up compressing nerves and arteries supplying the head neck and shoulder area. By releasing the tension and increasing the mobility within the spine, there will be more innervation to the area and more blood flow to the brain what can help alleviate a lot of headaches symptoms. Chiropractors can also help alleviate lower and mid back pain you might have associated with sitting in your chair all day, in a similar manner.
Another way to help keep the muscles and joints healthy and happy are to keep them hydrated, so always keep water at your desk. Another easy trick is to have a simple stretching routine for your neck and shoulders that can be done at your desk. A few simple stretches that I recommend to my patients are, three-way stretch, Bruggers and seated lean. These will draw little attention to you, so there is no need to feel self-conscious and really help take the edge off a long work day.
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Though Dr. Gupta has always had a passion for helping others, it was a personal experience that initially lead her down her current path in health care. While training as a long distance runner, she began to experience many painful injuries which did not improve with conventional prescription medications or general exercises. It was only through the safe and natural process of chiropractic care that she noticed an extensive improvement.
While receiving chiropractic treatment she became fascinated with the body’s ability to heal itself, especially with regard to the spine and the central nervous system. Through many therapeutic endeavors, Dr. Gupta gained first-hand experience of the profound healing power of chiropractic medicine, enabling her to bring enthusiasm and dedication to each of her patients’ treatments. Dr. Gupta practices at the Integrative Health Institute in Downtown Toronto.