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In this 45-minute webinar, learn ways to reduce, relive and say goodbye to your neck and shoulder pain. The information will be practical and we hope, helpful to you or a loved one. There will be an opportunity for live questions and answers with the doctors at the end of the webinar.

Neck and Shoulder Pain: What to Know, How to Get Relief

Note: South Orange Chiropractic Center recorded this webinar of which is one episode. The webinar is produced and recorded for the ear and they were designed to be either watched live on video or listened to via audio. If you are able to, we strongly recommend listening to/watching this episode which will include emotion and emphasis that isn’t obvious when reading a transcript. Our transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and humans. They may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print. This is not meant to be chiropractic advice.

Webinar Host 00:04
Welcome, everybody to Neck and Shoulder Pain, What to Know, How to Get Relief. in this 45 minute webinar, learn ways to reduce relief and say goodbye to your neck and shoulder pain, the information will be practical and we hope helpful to you or a loved one, there will be an opportunity for live questions and answers with the doctors at the end of the webinar. And with that, let’s get started over to you doctors.

SOCC Doctors 00:31
All right. So, you know, it’s a pleasure for us to be here and share the information that we’ve accumulated over the years and that we see in practice to help everyone have a better understanding of their neck, their shoulder problems, arm pain, because I’m going to think that in this office and Mark, you can attest to this, that second to lower back pain that comes into this office. I’m gonna think neck and shoulder are probably the second most common complaint. Absolutely. Very common, right. And when we get those complaints, I mean, our process to figure out, again, what makes us different is not just address the pain, but find what, where the problem is coming from ultimately. And we have a process of doing that, right. So any patient who comes to our office, everybody wants a quick adjustment of what’s causing it. And that’s what we have to do a thorough consultation 36 orthopedic tests, we’d like to do a thermal scan of your spine, your nervous system, your muscles to tell us exactly where the nerve is irritated, the muscles are tight. And then after that, we need to take digital films, most importantly, have the patient standing up. It’s critical, especially when we’re looking at neck and shoulder. We do specific views. Right? Now, people don’t understand a thermal scan what that means, right? You know, we use it as part of our everyday language, but it tells us exactly where the irritation is, or the problem is because as we’re doctors of finding the cause. So how does that help us? When you know where the cause is, you’re ultimately going to find a solution because unfortunately, sometimes patients wait for months, and even years, before they decide to go to a chiropractor to find a solution. Right. And I you know, sometimes we laugh about it. But you know, people have the most common responses. Well, I thought it would go away on itself. Or how long have you had the problem? Well, it’s kind of been on and off for years, but only the last two weeks that this really got bad. And neck problems can also create shoulder problems. Like I had a woman in the other day. And she goes my shoulders really given me trouble. I go, well show me where it hurts. And she grabs right up in here between the neck and the shoulder, right? And they said, Well, was there an injury to the shoulder? Nope. Did you fall? No, it really wasn’t the shoulder. It was the trapezius muscle, which is the result which will show you how the nerves from the neck can affect that part of the body. Absolutely. And other conditions that forward head posture can cause is stenosis on the vertebral artery, which can cause balance issues, and ultimately affect somebody’s ability to stand and ambulate. So it’s important, right? What about headaches, common common, common, and even breathing issues. If your heads forward, it disperses so much pressure on some of the nerves that are communicating to your log in your diaphragm. So it’s funny because patients are surprised, you know, when we’re working on them for neck and shoulder issues. And, and we’ll ask them after maybe a couple of weeks of care. And they go What did I say? What have you noticed since we’ve been working on you? They said You know, it’s funny, my headaches are gone. And they didn’t even complain about headaches. Sometimes we’ll ask them in the consultation. Do you get headaches? Patient will say well, just the usual headaches. I said that no, no, no, there are no usual headaches, right. And in our studies and on our education, we know that there’s 147 classifications of headaches. And the number one most common is called cervical genic, which means originating at the cervical spine. So the neck is the cervical spine. Right. Causes causes. Let’s dive into that. Yeah, yeah. So what causes shoulder neck pain is one posture. Posture is ultimately one of the 10 longevity of your health in its most commonly never looked at anywhere else. Right. And why is that? Well, how many doctors will go in and say, you know, we’re going to tell you a blood rusher, we’re going to do some blood work, I’m going to do an EKG, do they ever say we want to look at your posture, never heard it, it’s usually like when I’m working with the patient for the very first time during the consultation or the examination, they’re blown away that we’re actually looking at their posture and how it relates to their, their health, their balanced movement, their longevity. And without posture, you’re just adding fuel to the fire, which will cause that neck and shoulder discomfort,

SOCC Doctors 05:28
right, so I just put up on the screen, and maybe we’ll get a clip of it later. But it shows posture, and with forward head posture, which is what we’re seeing, especially since the pandemic, since we’re working on laptops, our dining room table would have been forward. And that forward head posture affects the nerves in the lower neck, which go into the shoulder. And I just want to reference we did a video if you go to our website, at a state fit while you sit. And if you go on to the website, under the blog, under videos, you’ll see a program we did on good ergonomics and exercises do when you’re sitting at the laptop. Yeah. And one of the things that Steven mentioned, Dr. Levine, he mentioned that forward head posture. So how heavy is the head, it’s 10 to 14 pounds normally, and studies show that any edge past normal range of motion or normal, absolute great posture, it puts another 10 pounds on. So imagine if somebody’s like this, or this you’re talking to him 4050 pounds of pressure on your your nerves which supply your organs such as your heart and your lungs, but ultimately, your arms. So classically, we hear a lot of our patients coming in to us that have carpal tunnel syndrome. Right? No, you with that? Yeah, we hear it all the time. Even Even patients that have had carpal tunnel surgery? Yeah, they say, we’ll ask him in a consultation. Are you still having symptoms? They say yes. Why? Because the carpal tunnel was not the actual cause it was a neck issue. But you know, going back to your posture, we’re the only doctors that do a posture evaluation. And at this point in the patient’s care, we’ll we’ll take our iPad, and we’ll take a picture of them in forward, looking at them from the front and from the side. And then we prescribe specific exercises to help correct the posture. So as a goal, our first step is to get a patient out of pain and feel better. That happens in the short term, I’m going to say 99% of the time, right? Then the next step was to work on stabilization and structure. And that’s where the posture analysis comes in, because we changed the exercises to help correct the posture. Because being upright. And being in extension with the spine is better than being compressed and inflection like we are in front of our computers and our cell phones all day long. And just just to show the average person is this is a model of the spine. And ultimately we should have these curbs which are called curvatures lordosis of the neck. But when you’re constantly in Ford flexion, looking at your your screen at work or driving to work eating your breakfast, focusing on a book, or more commonly, the telephone, we’re not looking at our telephones like this, we’re looking at them like this. This is abnormal. Do you know what this is causing? Tell me it’s called subluxation, which is the bone out of place putting pressure on a nerve. And that’s ultimately going to lead to excessive and early degeneration of the spine. And our job as contractors is to find where it is, how long it’s been there and make sure that we can correct it before it becomes chronic and permanent. And the last thing a patient likes hearing in our office is sorry, we can’t help you this problem is permanent. And that’s what we have to determine. And it’s sad because there are times where we do a thorough consultation, orthopedic, neurological, chiropractic, postural evaluation, we do the thermal scan, we look at the digital films. And when we do our report of findings, it’s like you know, we don’t know that we can help you with your problem. We do a trial a care for a few weeks. And if we’re not getting the results that we have expectations, we have to release the patient.

SOCC Doctors 09:44
But interesting you brought up in our evaluation, we do a digital film. And when we do our films of the neck, not only do we want to see as Dr. Mark said a standing X ray to see the neutral curve of the neck, right which we see here, okay, and but we also do what’s called the flexion extension study. So we’ll have you bend your head forward. And then we have you come into extension. So we get to see the motion of the spine. And to give you an example, what we anticipate seeing is, I want to see the neck move, where each vertebra moves independently, what we tend to see is that the neck is locked and just moves from one position. So picture your head, you looking at your cell phone, and it just goes down, just like this, all the vertebra don’t move, just one segment becomes hyper mobile, and the rest start to become degenerative. Right? So. So how do we start to fix these problems? Well, you know, when you’ve talked about causes, I just want to touch on that a lot of bits lifestyle, how we eat, how we move how we think. But computers or devices, but sleep is a big issue, is it not as far as causing it? Yeah, most people don’t realize that sleep can be detrimental to their, their spine, their nervous system, and also their body’s ability to kill. So what’s one question that we asked in the consultation? Is what? How do you sleep? Number one on your backside or stomach? And we’re surprised how many people say, stomach? And it’s one of the worst things you can actually do. Really? Why is that? Well, there’s a couple of reasons. One is it puts added stress on your nervous system, it’s putting those curves that should be naturally supported on your back or your side, in a predecessor, predecessor. predispose pressure, so it’s going to irritate the nerves, it’s going to cause essentially a curvature. And ultimately, it can lead to permanent damage. Some of the common side effects of slipping on your, your stomach is numbness and tingling in your arm, weaken abdominal core, those are just a few. So if I’m sleeping face down, I’m on my stomach, I can’t sleep my face in the pillow. Now, when I have to turn my head one way, one way or the other way, or the other way. And I might wake up

SOCC Doctors 12:13
with a stiff neck, you’re more than likely going to wake up with a stiff neck.

SOCC Doctors 12:17
What’s the preferred posture

SOCC Doctors 12:18
on your back or your side? Or your back or your side?

SOCC Doctors 12:22
So if we talk about solutions for sleeping, you know, one of the other questions we ask is, how many pillows do you sleep with? Under your head? We specify on the head, some people have five pills around them. But why do we Why is the doctor asking how many pillows and we’re the only ones that asked that how many pillows on your head comes back down to posture if your neck should be supported. If you have three, four or five pillows underneath your neck, underneath your arms, it’s going to ultimately put stress on the curvature, right? The spinal muscles that are supporting each bone and ultimately the nerves and the nerves cause. So it looks subluxation neuro inflammation and pain pain. And just to talk about talking about it, if a patient say to me, Hey, I got this pain in my shoulder and my neck and they’re pointing right here. Well, this is a muscle. What controls the muscle is the nerve, the nerve, right muscles do two things they contract and relax. So when someone says, Doc, I don’t know that you can help me I think it’s just a muscular problem. Really? Well, the muscle is controlled by the nerve. And the muscle length is controlled by the position of the vertebra. It’s really a neuro musculoskeletal problem. You can’t separate the three because we’ve got tendons, we got ligaments, we’ve got muscles, we’ve got nerve, we’ve got bone, they’re all intimately working together. It’s not one or the other. So you know when a patient tells us that, well, my and Bessie told me that I should use heat. Okay, because this is probably one of the most common questions we get. Should I use ice or heat Dr. Mark even when we’re dealing with the nervous system, it’s information you want to add ice and we’re so adamant about that and it really does work better than your town or better than your Advil because it’s over the problem and we advise the patient depending on where the problem is to put it over the neck for 20 minutes, take it off for 20 minutes and then put it back on for 20 minutes and it’s instant relief and there’s no guessing where we’re pinpoint accurate All right, and we’ve got you know, a lot of better healthy nutritional solutions to help inflammation and joint pain where Advil Tylenol Euro Lee if it’s all damaging to the gut damaging to the liver, the kidney. There are better supplements that are healthy without side effects. And that’s, that’s critical. Another cause, and I know we’re bouncing around a little bit is the people that are working on getting healthy, and going to the gym. And they say I work out four or five, six days a week. And I don’t know what I’m doing. But I can’t move my head, right, or I’m having problem lifting my shoulder, what’s going on at the gym. So a couple of things is it comes down to your posture, and you have to assess your lifestyle, your age, where you’re at, and what you really want to achieve. I don’t know if it’s appropriate if a 56 year old is there, bench pressing or shoulder pressing 200 pounds over their head, deadlifts, deadlifts, and then they’re coming into me the next day, and they’re saying, Oh, my God, my neck and shoulder is burning, and I have a numbers going down my arm. Ultimately, you might be part of the problem. So you have to do a few things to be smart, you have to lighten up the load, focus more on your posture. And if you lighten up your load, you can do more reps, controlled reps, which are ultimately safer, and just as effective as lifting heavy weights. And there’s the science and the studies are behind it. So we talked about various causes, all right, you know, lifestyle, sitting in front of the computer, on their cell phone, sleep posture over many years, which is wrong. You know, I always say you have a money back guarantee for pain for the first 25 years of your life. All of a sudden the warranty runs out, and things start breaking down. And people are doing the same things that they’ve always done. And they’re in their 40s 50s and 60s. And I’ve been doing this since my 20s. Well, maybe the body’s just breaking down from wear and tear changing, right? Yeah. So I’ve got some solutions. How do we fix this? Well, one is, like we had mentioned, sleep is a huge tribute to your health. And that’s the time your body needs to rest. So how do you support it at night? With three pillows for pillows, or just how about one pillow, right?

SOCC Doctors 17:13
We’ve I’ve run into cervical pillow. And the key for cervical pillows. And if you get our emails newsletter this week, or email newsletter, folks about having a curved pillow to support the neck, if you’re on your back, you want the head heavier than the neck. So you want to support the neck. If you’re on your side, you want to support the shoulder. So there are many different career pillows out there, you got to find the one that fits you best. But we’ve picked the one most common that you know, people are out there spending $200 for a fancy pillow. These are inexpensive and effective. So we had we did the research, right and it takes it takes time to make a positive change. So even with the neck pillow, some patients will say to us, well, you know what the first step was uncomfortable. Well, that’s that’s going to be the case because you’ve been sleeping on the wrong thing for you know, 2030 years of your life. So you have to start somewhere. And that somewhere is with a good neck. Now the solution is exercise, right? And the appropriate exercise. So how do we handle that? Exercise, as I mentioned before, it should be lighter. It should be more emphasized on posture technique. And these are things we go over with our patients ongoing. And there are very specific exercises, we do get to each one of our patients that are unique to their condition, because everyone’s spine is different. Right? So we look at an x ray. And based on the structure of your spine, we want to put it in the correct position. But we need your help to do that. And so it’s not appropriate just to go on the internet and said, What are the exercises for neck pain? There are some general ones which aren’t bad. But what don’t you want it custom for you? You know, so we’ll look at a film multiple times and come up with the right stretches or exercises. One of the most common things is because this forward head posture, we want to really lose the curve in the neck. And one of the ways to bring it back and you’ve got that cervical orthosis behind you will do this in the office with patients and if they’re comfortable with it, we’ll recommend that they do it at home at night, five to 10 minutes before bed, which is an exercise. And it’s a way to increase the curve and reduce the muscle tension. Open the disc increased circulation, take the pressure off the nerve. Perfect, right great little tool. It doesn’t look like much but when our patients get off the table and they feel relieved and there’s less tension in their neck, their shoulder and upper back. They’re wild. They’re like what do I get this and so we brought him in. We brought him Then so we can do it. Another key is I said, you know, don’t want our website to see stay fit while you sit. Because too many times any, whether it be a sitting desk or a standing desk, we tend to lean forward, you know, so we always recommend putting something under your feet, whether you’re sitting or standing, if standing your alternate your feet, I’ve told many patients, I said, get four reams of paper, put them down two by two, and alternate putting your foot on it, it changes your posture, right, you still need to be upright. But another tool that’s helped a lot of people, and I’ll let you talk about it, since I’ve got you but large one, so you don’t have to strain putting it on excellent, large AR here. So one, this is called a posture medic. So there’s so many devices out there that can be worn all day. But what’s unique about this particular equipment that we advise our patients on is it’s an actual exercise tool. So instead of you just adding a device on, that’s going to bring you from here to here, and hold you all day, what happens when you take that device off, you just go back to the old posture. So with this, it’s an actual exercising device that inside each, I guess, package is a exercise charge chart, which takes you from stretching to stabilization to strengthening the muscles because there’s ultimately muscles that are overcompensating that are tight in the front of your spine, and the muscles in the back are weakened and over lengthen. And this actually takes you to the place where you’re going to do the job that’s going to hold it for not just when you take it off, but for the rest of your life. And if patients do want to get that instant relief, it actually serves as a posture medic. So it’s gonna go over here. And what it does is it simply, instead of the shoulders being rounded forward, what the patient puts it on, they’re going to notice quickly, because it’s rubber, and it’s elastic, and it has record, they’re going to stand up taller, and they’re going to feel

SOCC Doctors 22:03
it pulls your head back and your upper back because the upper back muscles get stretched out and you’re bent forward all day long. This instrument Natalie exercises those muscles to bring your shoulders back. But it reinforces your shoulders be back when you’re working on your laptop, your computer, because we want to bring your keep your chin parallel to the floor and not down like this in the neutral position. Right, right. So just as an overview, we talked about how the nerves in the neck can affect down the arm, you know, numbness in the hand, elbow pain, shoulder pain can all be nerve related. Our evaluation will go into where the cause of the problem is, we identified solutions. And then I think it’s important is like, why don’t people come sooner to a chiropractor, it’s interesting, you said that it doesn’t make any sense to me. Somebody’s been living with the palm for weeks, we see patients, they’ll say 30 years, I have a 35 year old gentleman that can barely stand because of his neck and his upper back pain. And I said why did you wait 15 years why he sent his wife who was pregnant and had a great response. But why does he wait that long? Well, you know, I think as patients come to us, sometimes it’s a last resort. True. And you know, we review every case, the three doctors that are in the office right now. And we’re like, Well, I wish the patient was here 10 years ago, or 15 years ago. And if we dig down deeper and find out why it’s like, well, I was really afraid of the twisting or turning or popping on my neck. You know, and we hear that all the time, even though we’ve been doing this 38 years, you’re almost 20 years, and we’ve never had an incident. But the beautiful part about we have options in this office about treatment plans. And one of the ways is we use this computerized instrument and the Pro Adjuster. Actually, there’s no twisting, turning or popping, we measure the actual vertebra movement with a graph. And then if the graph is off balance, the device comes in and taps the vertebra. And the instrument shuts off automatically. And that’s nice because when the soft tissue changes, the vertebra removes the instrument stops so you don’t get too much or too little. You get just what you need. And for those people that are concerned, that concern stops because one of the questions we ask in the consultation. Have you ever been to a chiropractor and the patient says no. I said, Do you have any concerns? And they said, Well, I’m a little nervous about this. I said we don’t have to do that. We have an instrument it’s computerized. It’s systemized It’s safe, it’s comfortable, it’s consistent. So get the relief you need during Absolutely. And I don’t know, I think we can go to questions. What do you think? Sounds good to

Webinar Host 25:10
me. Okay, thank you doctors, folks keep those questions coming in. And we’ll start with the ones that we have so far. So first question here. And we’ll hand it over to both of you. So you decide who answers first, but we want to hear from both of you. Question is, if I develop neck pain, is there automatically a risk that the pain will migrate into my shoulder?

SOCC Doctors 25:35
Ultimately, if you develop neck pain, the muscles are going to start to contract. And once they’ve been overstay, compensating for months or weeks, ultimately, that pain can start to travel into the shoulder because it’s changing the biomechanics of the body. So yes, absolutely. Yeah. And I think the longer you wait to deal with a problem, that it probably the pain progresses and symptoms get worse. I think the biggest concern is that patients said I had this before, but it went away. Well, let me ask you a question. If you’re driving a car and your check engine light comes on, you have concern, but if it goes away, you’re going to be asking, well, maybe I have more concern, because why did it go on and go off and then come on again, and you’re driving, you might be more concerned about your car than your body, which is a big mistake. So

Webinar Host 26:32
that’s, that’s a good segue into the next question. So you guys talk about wishing that a patient came in, and it would have seen you 1520 years ago? How does someone know that perhaps they just slept wrong? Their neck hurts, they’re going to be okay, in a couple days, versus coming to see you at the right time. If they start to feel pain, for the first time in their life, is it good? Or should they come and see you after five days of continuous pain? Or what would be what would be your advice on the other the other side of that spectrum?

SOCC Doctors 27:03
I would think that based on the degree of pain that you’ve had, and if you’ve never had it before, and you don’t really know why this is happening, you might want to get answers. Some people choose just to take something over the counter, which is not solving a problem. It’s just taking care of the symptom. And I’m going to tell you physiologically, the nerve, which is causing the pain, only 10% of that nerve deals with the symptom that you’re feeling. You can have pressure on 90% of that nerve and feel no pain. Now that nerve could also be going to your heart and your lungs could be going to your thyroid could be going to different organs in the body. I think it’s most important if there’s a nerve pain, that’s a problem, even if the pain goes away. What caused it? Absolutely. And you know, the body’s telling you subtle clues. If you sleep, and you wake up with a pain, oh, you know what? It’s probably because there’s a problem there. And ultimately, if you don’t look deeper into it, it’s going to create more and more irritation. Like, for instance, if somebody has a toothache. All right, and that doesn’t feel right. And if they don’t get a checkup, ultimately, it’s going to become a cavity, the cavity to a root canal. So it’s the body’s subtle clues to tell you, Hey, take a better look. And a better look might be first with your chiropractic.

Webinar Host 28:29
Great. We have a question on your assessment. You guys talked in the beginning about 36 tests throughout the assessment. Can you talk a little bit about what it’s like to come into an assessment at your center? And what to expect and how long that would take?

SOCC Doctors 28:44
That could be a separate webinar? Yeah, absolutely. Go ahead. Yeah. So if a patient comes into our office, the initial visit is going to be about 45 minutes long with a consultation, examination, thermal thermal technology, digital X rays, and then a release procedures. So it takes about 45 minutes. And during our exam, you know, we are addressing your posture from the front. From the side, we’re checking your mobility branches, the motion of your neck, your low back, your hips, your thighs, your arms, your legs, we’re diving deep into your neurological sensory changes. So we’re checking all systems of the body for reflexes and sensitivity changes. And then we’re also going through multiple orthopedic tests to determine where the problem is and how long it’s been there. So when a patient comes in, they’re kind of blown away because it’s so intensive on finding the problem and ultimately, leading us to a solution and getting them back to their normal lifestyle. I think he said it all.

Webinar Host 29:47
Great. We’ve got one last question here. And it is about some of the, the like the neck pillow and that it’s the posture band that you showed kung fu Come and buy that directly from from your organization or do they need to go through the assessment first to see which of any they would need.

SOCC Doctors 30:09
Now, if someone wants one of these products, they can just come in and pick it up, we have patients coming in, or people coming in that are patients picking up nutritional supplements and neck pillows, because a friend of theirs has it and they want to try that first. And that’s fine. They trust us for the products that we pick us. We test everything personally.

Webinar Host 30:31
I agree. Great. Before we sign off, any last words are any last pieces of advice doctors,

SOCC Doctors 30:39
I’m gonna say it’s better to come from a place of knowing because knowledge is power. There we give you information about your body and how your body works, and will make recommendations but ultimately, to free country. And medical freedom is important. You get to choose how you want to take care of you. And we’ll give you all the tools and information you need to make those decisions. But you bet you make the choice about your health care, not me. Perfect.

Webinar Host 31:11
Great, thank you so much. And with that, we’re going to wrap up the webinar. Thank you everyone for joining us today. And if you’d like to book an assessment, simply call into the office at 973-761-0022. Thank you so much and have a great day.

SOCC Doctors 31:27
Thank you. Thank you