Do you suffer from uncomfortable and inconvenient neck pain? If so, you’re not alone. Neck pain is a common but serious problem and can negatively affect your overall health and well-being. Left untreated, it can lead to chronic headaches, mobility issues, and more.

Thankfully, help is available at Flow Chiropractic & Sports Therapy! Our experienced team of chiropractors are dedicated to providing the best neck pain relief in Brick, NJ, and surrounding areas. We use cutting-edge spinal adjustment techniques combined with manual therapy and bodywork to reduce your pain and restore mobility. With our personalized approach to treatment, we can create a customized plan that works for your unique needs.

At Flow Chiropractic & Sports Therapy, our goal is to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life— that’s why we offer everything from lifestyle advice to nutritional counseling for long-term health benefits. Don’t let neck pain slow you down – trust our experienced team with your care today!

Common Conditions

There are many different types of headaches. One of the most common types of headaches are tension-type headaches caused by myofascial trigger points. In other words, tension in the muscles and/or fascia of the head, neck, and upper back will refer pain into different regions of the head. These are considered secondary headaches because the pain is not truly in the head.

Tension-type headaches most often present as a dull, diffuse aching sensation. The pain is usually poorly localized and may feel like tightness in different areas of the head. You are unlikely to experience significant relief from a tension-type headache if you take NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen [Advil], naproxen [Aleve], or other over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications).

Common tension-type headache patterns include:

  • Suboccipital muscles: pain in the back of the head at the base of the skull or around the eyes (described as orbital headaches); this pain will only present on the same side as the trigger point(s)
  • Upper trapezius: pain tracing up the side of the head and around the ear; this pain will only present on the same side as the trigger point(s)
  • Sternocleidomastoid: pain in front of or behind the ear or along the forehead; the ear pain will only present on the same side as the trigger point(s), but the forehead pain may present on either side

Upper crossed syndrome is a postural imbalance that occurs in the muscles of the upper back, scapulae, and shoulder joints. This condition is often a result of prolonged sitting and will be exacerbated by poor posture.

While sitting, some muscles are stuck in a shortened position—a position which begins to take hold. At the same time, other muscles are stuck in a lengthened position, and these muscles become weak or inhibited.

Neck muscles commonly involved:

  • Levator scapula: muscles that attach from your shoulder blades to your neck; these are smaller muscles that are also involved in shrugging
  • Sternocleidomastoid: a two-part muscle that attaches from your skull to your collar bones and sternum; these muscles can turn your head or flex your head/neck (e.g., looking down)
  • Deep neck flexors: these muscles stabilize your cervical spine and are primarily involved in a chin-tuck action (pulling your head back over your shoulders)

Back muscles commonly involved:

  • Upper trapezius: muscles that attach from your shoulder blades to your neck and skull; these are the muscles at the top of your shoulders most commonly involved in shrugging
  • Lower trapezius: the antagonist to the upper trapezius, these muscles pull your shoulder blades downward
  • Serratus anterior: these muscles stabilize your shoulder blade; they separate (protract) your shoulder blades and hold them flush against your ribs

Shoulder muscles commonly involved:

  • Pectoralis major: your chest muscles; these muscles pull your arms in front of you and towards the middle

Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs when there is impingement on the nerves or blood vessels in an area between your clavicle (collar bone) and ribs in the space between your neck and shoulder joint.

Most often, thoracic outlet syndrome in gamers will come secondary to poor posture—slouching forward in their chairs and leaning towards the screen while gaming. Another condition which may lead to thoracic outlet syndrome is upper crossed syndrome

The important structures involved in thoracic outlet syndrome in gamers are as follows (note: all structures are on both sides of the body):

  • Brachial plexus
    • A bundle of nerves comprised of nerve roots from your neck that provide nerve sensation and motor control to your entire arm
    • The brachial plexus is a nerve bundle including nerve roots C5, C6, C7, C8, and T1 from your neck and upper back
    • This nerve bundle lies beneath your clavicle between your neck and shoulder joint
  • Subclavian artery
    • A large blood vessel that supplies blood to your arm
    • This artery lies beneath your clavicle between your neck and shoulder joint
  • Scalenes
    • Three muscles in your neck that attach from the bones of your cervical spine to your first and second ribs
    • The anterior scalene and middle scalene pass over or near the nerves that form your brachial plexus as well as your subclavian artery
  • Pectoralis minor
    • A muscle attaching from your scapula (shoulder blade) to your 3rd, 4th, and 5th ribs
    • This muscle passes over your brachial plexus and subclavian artery

Neck pain is an extremely common occurrence and one that is caused by a variety of factors including injury, poor posture and/or muscular imbalance and stress.

Common reasons for experiencing pain:

  • Fascial Restrictions
  • Muscle hypertonicity
  • Trigger Points
  • Trauma
  • Joint fixation

Best Chiropractor in Ocean County: Flow Chiropractic and Sports Therapy