The Hidden Cause of Neck Pain

Join us for a deep dive into the cervical spine and how structure could be the cause to many conditions and symptoms. Hump Day Conversation #8!!

Top 3 Reasons People See A Chiropractor00:30-00:54
The Importance of Posture Structure00:55-02:11
Normal Neck X-ray02:12-05:55
Abnormal Neck X-ray05:56-10:03
Structure Dictates Function10:04-12:50
The Hump12:51-17:24
The Goal17:25-21:56

Top 3 Reasons People See A Chiropractor

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:00:03] I think this episode is going to rock, we’re kind of switching gears. We’re going towards more for a while anyway, chiropractic-related topics, health-related topics, and today we chose to talk about the pain in the neck and by no means do we mean your spouse. We’re talking about the neck. All right. So I would say that our number one reason for people to come and see a chiropractor at our office, I mean, I think it’s pretty much nationwide. Worldwide is a little back pain, followed by a quick number two, which is neck pain, followed by headaches. Now, the last two, I think we can find a link between the two of them.

But we’re going to talk about the neck. General anatomy, what it looks like because I always find like we always want to jump to what’s abnormal, but we forget about we can’t see what’s abnormal if you don’t understand what normal is. Right, Does that make sense?

The Importance of Posture Structure

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:01:13] Yeah, exactly, so if we don’t know what normal is supposed to be like, then we’re just, you know, sitting in uncomfortable positions and we become comfortable doing that same sort of actions over and over again. So knowing what is supposed to be normal helps you put yourself into that position and encourages that type of behaviour.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:01:29] So if you stay till the end of this video, we’re going to tell you what actually causes and I’ll have to turn on the side here, the hump. Right, the hump that every woman that comes in says, can I make a hump? They always want one, right? I’m just kidding. You know, that’s a most terrifying thing. When I turn them on their side, they can when they’re standing, look at the size. There’s a little bit of a hump. And I hear, like, they can’t they’re not breathing anymore. I’m like, it’s OK. We’re going to help you with that. So if you stay till the end of the video, we’re going to tell you what causes that mighty hump.

It’s not genetic, but it’s actually there’s a reason why that happens. So you want to start again. You want to start with the first slide, various slides for you tonight. We’re going to switch it up a little bit. So I’m going to go ahead and share my screen. All right. So if you can see my screen, I want to see a thumbs up, your thumbs up heart. And by the way, to challenge here tonight is that everybody is going to share this Facebook live because this is actually going to help people. A lot of people don’t understand. What we do is chiropractors, if you see that yet. But I’ve seen this for 15 years. They think they have an idea. But we’re going to clarify a few things tonight. So let’s go ahead and start from here.

Normal Neck X-ray

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:02:44] My favourite radiology. Look at that. OK, guys. So basic human anatomy here. I don’t know if you can see my cursor, but there are seven vertebrae in the spine. And that’s the first one that Dr. Roach is turning there. The second one’s a little bit bigger underneath third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and so on. In between those vertebrae, there are little spaces. That’s where your desk actually sits. And so they’re supposed to be nice and regular. Same thing with the squares of the vertebral bodies. They’re supposed to be nice and square. If you go back, you can see the pentacles here just in the posterior aspect of the vertebral bodies.

And on that sits your joints and see how the joints in the nice, normal cervical vertebrae, have a little bit of space in between, they’re not irregularly shaped. And so they’re really nice following that as well. Is the lameness just behind and then the pointy parts in the back that we can all feel on the back of our neck? So if we just right now, if we all just kind of to get a little bit more of a picture here, feel the back of your neck, you can sort of feeling the sharpness. That’s the spinous processes just on the back there, guys.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:04:15] One thing you want to notice is I get this question all the time. People come and they fall right off their skull with their finger and they feel a bump. That bump is this big one right over here. I’m going to try to make my Qureshi go big right there. This big one right here is C2. So C2 is a little different because it’s got a little bit of a. It’s called dens, so it’s kind of this pointy thing that sits around, so see, one is like a circle, it’s like a loop and see who’s got this, like, the long thing that sits right in there. And imagine all through here since the spinal cord goes all the way down.

So that’s the big bump right there, which is a little bit different looking than the other ones are kind of more pointy. And just so you guys know, this right over here is the trachea. That’s where people are able to breathe. That’s where the action is going. Anywhere you see, the air is going to be black, where you see hard tissue like bone, you’re going to see that it’s going to be white. Now, one thing to note is that when people have osteoporosis, the bones will appear a little bit more grey because there isn’t a lot of calcium in there.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:05:24] The bone structure is kind of, you know, not as dense. So it is going to appear a little bit more gray. All right. So here you can see the sinus cavities. Here you can see what’s called the EOP, the little bump on the back of the head. We’re going to talk about that in later episodes. But very interesting, normal anatomy. One thing you want to see is the back of the line here, the back of the vertebrae where you follow my cursor. That should be a perfectly straight line. And like Ben said, very square-looking vertebrae.

Abnormal Neck X-ray

Dr. Clayton Roach: Now, Ben, what happens? If you don’t see a chiropractor, you text. Let’s say six hours a day, you sit at a desk all day long, and then when you get home, you sit on the couch with bad posture and you play with the game. Candy Candy Crush crushes your neck. And now you’re going to start to look like this. So let’s now do we know what normal anatomy looks like? Let’s talk about abnormal anatomy, of course.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:06:31] So as you can see, guys, let’s just first start with the alignment of the vertebrae. We can see here that, you know, we have a nice forty-two-degree curve. And if you guys can remember, back to your first visit with Dr. Roach, one of the questions as part of your visit is, well, what’s the natural curve of the spine with forty-two degrees is a healthy curve of the spine. Let’s look to the right. We can see that the alignment of the spine is completely straight. And now this is because the head, the head juts forward in the spine, is then in a straighter position rather than assuming more of a curved position.

Thank you for drawing that in. And so, as you can see, George’s line isn’t necessarily intact. You can see some of these vertebrae, especially the. Fourth in particular are the third, the fifth in particular is slid ahead slightly more than the rest. And now this may not look totally relevant, but I can assure you this is totally relevant with the alignment. And because we’re getting straightening the actual areas where the nerves come out is then decrease in size and, well, it leads to misalignments and pain.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:07:48] So the next thing I want to mention is here you can see the spacing between the vertebras as being fairly wide. OK, this is beautiful. And has been mentioned on a different view, you’d be able to see that the hole where the nerves come from are fairly wide now on this guy over here or a lady we don’t know. The spacing is very, very thin and the vertebra is starting to jut out. Like that. So that is not really beautiful. The problem even more severe is that the hole where the nerve has to exit is now smaller in comparison to normal anatomy. OK, so that poses a problem because anywhere from C five one, two, three, four, five down, sorry, four down.

This is number four here, all the way to Tone. Those nerves actually go down the arm. So for some of you to have numbness and tingling going down the hand, the neck is probably the cause. Now, there are reasons why you could have done this and tingling in the hands and fingers but felt the neck being the cause. But a good majority of them are going to be the reason is going to be the neck.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:09:11] Yes, and the spacing is one of the most important things to consider, especially when you’re looking at a spine that’s straight, because, again, if we look just posterior to that line that Dr. Roach drew just behind it, you can look again at those facet joints and you can see that the alignment of the facets isn’t exactly correct. There is very little spacing between those joints which produces increased rubbing. And therefore welcomes further, well, degeneration.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:09:41] This is a good example here, here’s the facet joint on the normal vertebrae, that Lucent line you can see right there. And there it is right there. You can almost not see it at all, right? So that creates inflammation, it creates pain, and you become that patient that always rubs the back of their neck and saying, Doc, I don’t know, in all my neck hurts. So, guys, if we don’t create a better curve and make it look like this with 42 degrees. Some of your symptoms are never going to go away because you’re always compromised over here. So now let’s go ahead and look at what it looks like from the outside. So go ahead, Ben.

Structure Dictates Function

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:10:25] Yes, so from the outside, we can see our friend over here to the left has a nice posture. The shoulder is aligned with the base of the eardrum and essentially the curve is forty-two degrees. Now, with our individual on the right-hand side, you can see how the earlobe is jutted forward and it’s ahead of the shoulder, creating more of a straight curve. I like to use the sort of our muscle here in the neck. That’s an alignment indicator to say, well, how is our curve actually performing and you can see how I drew a line that goes right along the back of the muscle. They’re not good on the right-hand side, whereas, on the left-hand side, the muscle is in a posteriorly oriented position in the position that it’s supposed to be indicating a proper curve.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:11:19] So without a proper curve. The ear actually does not line up with the center part of the shoulder, and we are starting to see. People without curves in their neck, without that forty-two-degree curve here, I saw this in an eight-year-old not too long ago. So, guys, what’s happening is that we’re spending more time on devices that propagate that posture. And we’re starting to see people eight, nine, 10 years old starting to complain of headaches because what happens when this is your posture in the head is forward. All these muscles back here. Get jammed, so you start to get the pressure back here that then builds and creates pain right above the eye.

Now, a lot of times you’ll have pain right in the back of the neck right here. But you can also get that referral right here. So what do you do? You take a pill. And it numbs the pain but does nothing to fix this, so you need more of this. To make the same pain go away over time, so the key is to change the structure, we talk about structure all the time. Without proper structure, you never create better functions. And without function, you don’t change your life. So now we promise this the mighty hump. OK, so we’re going to go. And talk about this. There and you want to tackle this?

The Hump

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:12:58] Yeah, there’s the hump in all of its glory there. So as you can see, the head is jutted forward. And so, as Dr. Roache said, the base of the skull pushes more into a posteriorly oriented position and the vertebras move ahead all the way down to the neck and into the thoracic spine. So the segments beneath your hump actually just posteriorly. The back begins to flatten out. Yes. And what that does is it places extra pressure. And because those joints are now misaligned, it welcomes inflammation in that area for your body to try and protect it. Now, it’s not really doing its job because we’re not doing anything to actually correct it. So what ends up happening is the inflammation continues to build, continues to build and continues to build.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:13:52] This is not genetic. OK, this is an issue with improper structure. OK, hey, Ben, I just want to mention a lot of these people will have. TMJ issues people to have jaw pain and jaw pain, guess what creates headaches? The reason is that there are muscles that attach your jaw to your neck. This is everything here that is connected. Remember, this is a closed circuit, right? You can’t have one thing being wrong, having everything be perfect. That’s why people that treat patients that treat where the pain is are missing the boat.

You cannot treat where the fire is because this is an expression of what’s not happening over here. So we need to make sure that we always look at where the cause of the issue is because once you can do that, you will have an impact on that spine, not just short term, but for a lifetime. Talking about kids, I mean, this is huge.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:14:53] Yeah. I mean, just the start of this happens in the neck, but all of that pressure has to be dissipated somewhere. So the head waves roughly 10 between 10 and 13 pounds for every forward inch of head carriage. That’s an additional ten pounds. The neck isn’t going to be able to offload all of that pressure onto itself. So it has to offload it somewhere else now where it will make sense to offload into the thoracic spine, into your mid-neck, into your mid-back, all the way down, into your low back or right into your jaw. And then it’ll start dissipating that pressure into your head and behind your eyes.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:15:30] Hey, why don’t we do this? How many of the listeners right here by a show of a hand or something have pain in between the shoulder blades or around the bra strap area, specifically women? I guarantee you we’re going to have like. Ninety percent of the people, 90 percent of the women. Put a hand up on that one or hard or whatever, because it is so common, we see it every day because the issue is not necessary to back. The issue is a neck. And what do we do now?

We’re working from home and we’re working from home and a dining room table, most of the time not properly set up. So our issues over here are taking even more of a beating. So this is totally relevant to what we’re going through right now with this different world ruin where people are working from home. This is super, super important. Anything else you want to add Ben,

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:16:26] I was just going to add a quick tidbit about so we talk oftentimes about two different laws in chiropractic and in many of the rehab and manual therapy, where we talk a lot about Loaf’s law and Davis’s law. Most law is that the bones will respond to the pressures that are placed upon them. The example that I commonly will use is we know a lot of karate people that will if you know, if you’re familiar with karate, they will kick trees over and over and over again until they can feel it. This is because the bone builds on top of itself in order to meet the pressure placed upon it.

Davis’ law is that the tissues will respond and become bigger and well, different in accordance to the pressures that are placed upon them. This hump is very, very similar to what it is that we discuss in Davis’ law. The tissues and the bones are responding to the environment in which it’s placed, and just like it was formed, it can be reversed.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:17:22] Yeah, that’s a great point. But boy, that took me back to school. Wolf’s and Davis’ law. All right, so I think. What the goal is here is to have people take action, we’re going to drop our county, which basically is an opportunity. Once you guys share this, there might be somebody out there that says, man, I have a job and I don’t really like it or I have neck pain or I have headache, headaches and never really would have connected the two together with so many times I’ll have people say, oh yeah, I get them once a week or I’m like, what you mean the once a week or like the headache, the once a week headache.

And I’m like, well what do you think is a normal amount of headaches to get? And they’re like, I don’t know, like one week I’m like, no, none. Right. So many people don’t know that headaches are related to the neck. Many people don’t know that having headaches is abnormal. It’s not normal because you hang around other people that have headaches. It doesn’t mean it’s normal. So what we’re going to do is we’re just going to post a Calendly link. And Ben is doing that right now so that when people share or they can see in the comments section a link to our county so you can book an appointment for an assessment.

Those of you are already patients, you can definitely ask us questions or if you have concerns over the things that you’re experiencing, the neck pain, the headaches, we can definitely have a conversation with you, but we want people to take action.

The Goal

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:18:46] And I often times we’ve talked about the why if you don’t understand the why. There’s really no reason why you should take action, so we were kind of going into the why tonight as to why people have what they have and explaining a little bit of what’s normal, a little bit of what’s abnormal so that you can kind of see after what we’ve done tonight where you place yourself. Had a patient I just want to say one thing here, I had a patient about three months ago, her migraines when we didn’t talk about migraines and because we’re kind of look a little different ball of wax here.

But a lady had migraines about once a week, like a debilitating migraine. And she had been everywhere. She was getting Botox injections, going to the physiotherapist, had seen other chiropractors before, but nobody had ever talked about the structure of her neck. We started addressing the structure of her neck and she now maybe gets a migraine every six or seven months. That’s a life-changer because she had to take time off work, couldn’t play with their kids. Again, the structure is everything. Structure dictates function.

I mean, we look at the body as a system and we need to create an environment within that system for it to heal. The body does its own healing, but as chiropractors, we just provide the environment for that to happen. But we also have external stressors to deal with, like your work situation, your ergonomics and all that.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:20:16] That constantly puts stress on that system, which is why chiropractic is not a transaction. It’s actually a process that we need to manage because stress never goes away on your body. So I want to thank our listeners tonight. I think this was a good introduction to what we’re going to do in the future on these episodes and talkable and talk about health, but talk about stuff that maybe you didn’t know to the degree you thought you knew it like we did tonight and explaining what an x-ray and what it looks like and going through the details. So if you like these types of episode guys, just give us a thumbs up, make sure you share this episode.

People want to know this, there’s a lot of people that are struggling and they don’t know where to turn to, and they’re going around in a circle from one specialist to the next and from one medication to the next and from one piece of advice to the next, only to find out after five years that their curve is gone from forty-two degrees to, you know, three degrees and they have degeneration and now they’re taking more medications. You may be able to help them just by sharing this video. So go ahead and do that. Do them a favour and we will be grateful as well to be able to provide some help with them and change their lives. Hopefully so. Thank you so much for doing that. Any closing remarks, Ben?

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:21:35] As you know, that there’s somebody out there who has this hump and might want to know a little bit more about it from a few professionals, so don’t waste this opportunity to use it as a way to show your friends a little bit of education here tonight. And we look forward to seeing you guys in the clinic and hopefully seeing you guys soon. So love and appreciate you guys and take care and we’ll talk to you again next week.

Dr. Clayton Roach: [00:21:56] Take care. Nice having you tonight. We’ll see you soon. What’s up? Listen, if you like this episode, you’ll probably like the other ones are pretty good. So here’s what you need to do. You need to like us and follow us on Facebook. Following means, you get notified when these two guys are alive. Next, family, friends, you need to share these episodes because you never know. You might help them because they need this information as well.

Dr. Ben Boudreau: [00:22:18] And guys, if you ever miss an episode, make sure you subscribe to us on YouTube. That way, you can watch the episode over and over and over again. Guys, love you and appreciate you. Take care.