Straight Spine Safe Spine Newsletter — Neck Pain? We’ve Got Your Back!


The World Health Organization continues to report that low back pain affects more people than major diseases like diabetes and malaria (WHO Chronic rheumatic conditions) and judging by our waiting room, we still have a lot of work to do. But that work doesn’t begin when you walk in our door. We hope the information in this newsletter will reinforce the principles we’ve been describing to our patients in our exam rooms and will lead to better overall back health. Having spent year after year bending over our patients, with the passing time we more acutely “feel your pain” and are reminded to take our own advice.

So, let’s start with the neck. In future issues, we’ll work our way down the spine and if there’s something you have questions about or would like to know more information, we welcome your questions and comments.

Neck Pain Facts

  • The majority of neck pain isn’t caused by serious conditions, such as fracture, cancer, or inflammatory arthritis.
  • Fifty percent of all people over the age of fifty have disc herniations, arthritis, and narrowed areas, and have absolutely no pain!
  • The only time you will hurt is if a structure in the spine becomes inflamed.
  • You can achieve long term relief if you eliminate the inflammation around the disc, nerve or joint in the neck, and THEN learn how not to re-aggravate the structure.
  • Most pain in the back of the shoulder and shoulder blade area is due to an inflamed structure in the neck.
  • Eighty percent of all painful conditions of the neck are self-limited and will resolve in four to six weeks.
  • Nearly all pain going down the arm is due to a disc herniation or a narrowing of the hole where the nerve exists.
  • One of the most common side effects of neck pain is headaches.
  • If you eliminate the inflammation in the neck, the headaches will resolve.
  • An injection of steroids around the disc and nerve takes two weeks to totally work. Do not get a series of injections until you receive the full effect of the first one.