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Relief from Neck Pain When Looking Up!

Let’s discuss how to relieve neck pain when looking up, and provide you with three strategies that you can use immediately that’s going to start to bring relief. It’s one of the most powerful areas of the body.

So first, let’s do a little bit of anatomy so you understand more about the upper cervical spine, in other words, the neck. So ideally, you should have a reverse c-shape curve. So, the ears should be over the shoulder & over the hips. That gives biomechanically the best structure. Now, the spinal bones are called vertebrae. And on the back of the vertebrae are spines, which funnily enough are called spinouses, they have muscles attached to them, and you can see there’s tiny joints called facet joints at the back. As the person leans back, these facet joints compress. As they lean forward, they open.

Stylized woman with neck painNow on this model, as you lean forward, these holes where the nerves come out, they get larger. As you lean back, they get smaller. The other thing to note is this top bone is much different than all the other bones. In fact, the top three bones– the occiput which just means the back of the skull, that’s this part here.

The occiput, the first bone called C1 or atlas, and then the second bone called C2 or axis are very different than the rest of the bones in the spine. So, the difference between this bone and all the other bones in the vertebrae is it moves in a lot more planes. The other bones are all attached by discs. This one has no discs, it’s C1, it’s almost a master control switch because all the signals from life go from the brain down through that vertebral bone. And the thing is it can rotate, it can move forward, it can move backwards, it can move side to side like the other vertebrae, but what it also does is it tips forward and tips back. So, what that means to you is if you’ve had physical, chemical, or emotional stress. Examples would be whiplash, car crashes, constant use on our mobile phones, being hit by a ball playing sports when you’re a kid or a hockey stick or a cricket ball. This moves forwards and backwards and if it’s been impacted, it can be out of its optimum position. And what does that mean? That means when you’re looking up now, one, you can’t look as far up.

So, if you’re only looking up to about 25 degrees, and that’s not good enough, you need to be able to go a whole 45 degrees. So, if you’re testing and you’re not being able to get this kind of 45-degree angle, then there’s something blocking the back of the neck. So that’s the first thing that means there’s going to be reduced motion. And the other thing it means, as you come back here, the pain that you’re feeling is actually going to be right at the top under the base of the scalp. That’s a little bit of anatomy that’s important to understand for this next piece. So if you’re looking up and you’re feeling pain right at the top or at the back, then the chances are this is that.

Obviously if there’s been pressure, and it’s been put out of balance, what we’re looking to do is just to try and get on the high side, just do a little massage, and just see if the body can take that force, we’re putting in, use it, and make a little correction.

Spinal hygiene is one of the three strategies.

The second strategy is what you do as far as your body goes. We call it adopting loving habits.

We have four pillars that we talk about:

  • Loving movement
  • Loving food
  • Loving motion
  • Loving rest.

So, to reduce the pain in the neck, what we need to do is reduce inflammation. One way to reduce inflammation is to ice the area. You can use ice too often. Obviously, there is an intelligence within your body that’s creating inflammation. If it’s acute, we leave that to do its thing because there’s a reason it’s inflamed. But if it’s chronic, it’s been there for years and years, and it’s possibly part of a disease process, then it would be a good idea to try and reduce that inflammation. So, you can use ice. There are things you can do in your diet, to change your diet. Eat things like less dairy, less wheat and gluten, reducing the amounts of red meat you eat, that can all serve to raise levels of inflammation in the body. And then the things you can do to help are eating things like ginger, getting a turmeric in your diet, fish oil is personally one of my favourites, and I’ll put a link down below for a great supply of fish oil, the anti-inflammatory supplements, natural and organic, right down below.

The third strategy is chiropractic adjustments in rhythm. There is an adjustment done by a chiropractor, and again, they need to be qualified because there are counter indications to this.
And there is an adjustment which is basically a distraction but allows the body to make a correction, whereby the pisiform comes in, tucks under that mastoid process, that thing I was calling the mastoid process is just there.

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