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Tests to Determine What is Causing Neck Pain in Mt Dora, FL

By June 21, 2023No Comments6 min read

3 Tests to Determine What is Causing Neck Pain | Chiropractor for Neck Pain in Mt Dora, FL

This is Dr. Todd from Mount Dora Family Chiropractic. And I just wanted to discuss three tests you can do at home to determine or at least get a good idea of the source of your neck pain.

The Spine is Very Complex

So first of all, maybe understand a little bit about the complexity of your spine, your spine should have three curves. Of course, the only way you’re going to know if those are proper is through X ray analysis, but to understand that there are multiple joints in your neck. Okay, there are six joints per vertebrae, you’ve got blood vessels running through the vertebrae, you’ve got nerves exiting, you’ve got a spinal cord out the back, you’ve got muscles, ligaments, there’s a whole complexity of anatomy going on all at the same time. So we’re not going to figure out everything at home, but at least you can get a good idea of, is it something that you can handle simply yourself with some home therapies? Or do you really need to seek the consultation of a good chiropractor or another health care professional, so let’s just kind of go through these very simply.

Test #1: Testing With Palpation

The first one just says palpation, which is the fancy way of saying feeling. So you’re going to feel the soft tissues around your neck, your upper shoulders and the base of your skull. And what you’re looking for is, is there tenderness or irritation in the muscle itself. So you might just start in the upper back, kind of this gray area here, your traps very commonly, if there’s a neck issue, you’ll have discomfort or tightness into the upper shoulders upper back. So you’re just gonna feel through and feel if there’s taut and tender fibers, and then you’re gonna work your way up through the back of the neck. And then you can even do the sides of the neck, that’s your SEM, when you’re just feeling through those muscles. Are they tight? Are they taught or they’re tender fibers, okay. And then you really want to get an feel underneath the base of the skull, those are called your suboccipital. Okay, and those are very commonly taught and tender, usually because of faulty postural habits, which we’ll talk about in another video. Okay.

So if you’re feeling through, and you feel a lot of muscle tension, and maybe you feel like you just carry your stress there, maybe you just need a massage, you have a lovely spouse or partner to help you with that, or better yet, go to a professional masseuse, who does some deep tissue work have been stripped that out. So if you’re doing that, or have done that, and you’re still having neck issues, chances are it’s not just a simple muscle problem might be a bit more complicated.

Test #2: Range of Motion Test

So the next test is simply range of motion. A healthy spine and healthy joints, you’re going to have full range of motion. So very simply, you’re going to flex forward. Okay, you shouldn’t be feeling a bunch of tightness or pain, you’re going to extend back, you really should be able to go fairway back, so you’re looking up at the ceiling. Again, there shouldn’t be pain or tension when you’re doing that, then you’re going to do simple ear to shoulder a lot of folks have trouble with that one. All right, you might be a little stretch, and that’s okay. But again, you shouldn’t have pain or tenderness and should get nice fluid motion. And then you’re going to go left rotation, just looking over the shoulder, right rotation and you should get a full range of motion. Again, you shouldn’t be having pain or discomfort when you do these. If you’re noticing restriction in motion, or pain with motion, chances are you’ve got joint restrictions or joint issues, you could have misalignment degeneration, usually they come hand in hand, in which case you’re gonna want to get that more professionally evaluated. Okay.

Test #3: The Valsalva Test

Now the next one we’re going to look at is called Valsalva, and decompression. So now we’re kind of looking for do you actually have a disc issue or potentially nerve irritation. So Valsalva is really simple, you’re going to take a breath in and bear down, like you’re holding your breath and just bear down just do it for a couple few seconds. If you feel pain elicited anywhere along your spine, really, that’s an indication that you have what’s known as a space occupying lesion, or a disc bulge or disc injury, okay, so if you do that, you might actually feel it in your lower back, which means you might have a lower back disc issue. Obviously, if you’re feeling it up in the neck, we’re thinking you might have a disc issue in the neck which needs to be further evaluated. If you’re getting pain or numbness or tingling down into your arms or fingers, that’s called radiculopathy, or a form of neuropathy. So again, that might mean you’ve got nerve irritation, as those nerves are exiting the joints and going down into your extremity. That’s a more significant situation. Usually things have been a bit more progressed than and they really need some professional attention.

So if you have a positive Valsalva test, the other thing you can do the opposite is really to decompress. So you’d simply cup underneath your jaw and the base of your skull, kind of wrap your fingers around and just gently lift up so you’re just kind of taking the weight of your head off your neck. If you feel relief of pain or relief of symptoms coming down into arms or hands. Again, chances are you’ve got a deeper issue in your joints or discs irritating the nerve. So that’d be a good start.

If you’ve had long standing chronic issues and they’re not going away, I would really encourage you to get a proper evaluation at a great chiropractor. If you’re not local, we’ll help you find one. I’m Dr. Todd at Mount Dora Family Chiropractic. Thanks for watching!

Learn more about Chiropractic Care and Neck Pain.

Mount Dora Family Chiropractic

Mount Dora Family Chiropractic is unique to central Florida, often attracting clients from hours away. We provide a very specialized form of Chiropractic care known as Upper Cervical Specific (Blair Technique) in combination with very gentle neurologically-based supportive care.

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