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Did You Know? Upper Cervical Chiropractic Improves Neck Pain

Neck pain, which affects approximately 30% of adults, is a highly prevalent condition in the United States. Due to the fast-paced nature of modern life, people often rely on medication to temporarily alleviate the symptoms of neck pain. However, although this approach can be effective in the short term, it fails to address the long-term consequences and root causes of the problem. This is where upper cervical chiropractors play a crucial role.

Photo by Antonioguillem

The neck consists of a series of vertebrae that stretch from the skull to the upper part of the torso. These vertebrae are supported by cervical discs, which act as shock absorbers between the bones.

The bones, ligaments, and muscles in the neck have the vital function of supporting the head and enabling movement. However, any abnormalities, inflammation, or injuries affecting these structures can lead to symptoms such as neck pain or stiffness.

If you are experiencing neck pain that persists for more than a week, is severe in intensity, or is accompanied by additional symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of neck pain

Symptoms of neck pain can vary in terms of their severity and duration. In many cases, neck pain is acute and lasts a few days or weeks. However, there are instances where it becomes chronic. The intensity of neck pain can also vary, ranging from mild discomfort that does not significantly affect daily activities to severe pain that can result in disability.

Symptoms of neck pain may include:

· Sharp pain. Neck pain is often described as a sharp or “stabbing” sensation localized to a specific area.

· Stiff neck. Individuals experiencing neck pain frequently describe a sensation of stiffness or feeling as though their neck is “stuck.” This condition can result in a reduced range of motion in the neck.

· Pain when moving. Neck pain is often worsened by movements that involve moving, twisting, or extending the cervical spine. This includes motions such as tilting the head from side to side or moving it up and down.

· Numbness or radiating pain. Neck pain can radiate to various body areas, including the head, trunk, shoulders, and arms. If the neck pain is associated with nerve compression, you may also experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or hands. When a pinched nerve is the cause of neck pain, it can manifest as a burning or sharp pain that originates in the neck and travels down the arm. If you encounter this symptom, it is advisable to consult with a doctor for further evaluation and guidance.

· Headache. Neck pain can sometimes trigger a specific type of headache known as a cervicogenic headache. This means that the pain originating from the neck can spread and cause a headache. Additionally, neck pain accompanied by a headache can also be a migraine headache symptom. Therefore, it is essential to consider these possibilities when assessing and managing neck pain to address any associated headaches adequately.

How does the upper cervical spine affect neck pain?

A misalignment of the vertebrae in the upper cervical spine can impact the stability of the entire vertebral column. This instability can lead to tension and knots in the musculoskeletal connection between the spine and skull. Without a means of releasing this tension, it can gradually develop into throbbing or sharp pain experienced in the neck, back, or shoulder regions.

Apart from compressing the spinal cord, the accumulation of tension can also contribute to developing poor postural habits. These habits can further strain the joints and worsen neck strain or pain. The increased tension and compromised posture create a cycle that can perpetuate and exacerbate neck-related issues.

How upper cervical care for neck pain works

The objective of upper cervical care for neck pain is to restore the natural alignment of the upper cervical spine, which refers to the portion of the vertebral column that connects the skull and the spine.

Dr. Berner consulting a patient

If a physical assessment reveals the presence of a misalignment in the upper cervical spine, an upper cervical chiropractor may use advanced scanning tools, such as infrared thermography and advanced 3D imaging, to identify the exact location, angle, and direction of the misalignment. These tools help the chiropractor develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to the patient’s specific needs.

With the information obtained from the advanced scanning tools, an upper cervical chiropractor will employ precise and non-invasive chiropractic adjustment techniques to realign the misaligned vertebra in the upper cervical spine. By doing so, these adjustments aim to correct imbalances in the musculature of the back and neck, resulting in a more stable neck position and promoting a healthier resting posture. In addition, this process helps address the issue’s root cause and can improve overall musculoskeletal function.

Indeed, it is essential to acknowledge that neck pain can have multiple causes. Therefore, while upper cervical chiropractic care can effectively reduce or eliminate neck pain symptoms, addressing the underlying factors contributing to the discomfort is crucial. This includes taking steps to improve and maintain healthy postural habits and making lifestyle adjustments as necessary. Without addressing these factors, there is a possibility that the neck pain may return. Therefore, adopting a holistic approach to managing neck pain is essential for long-term relief and prevention.

Foundation Chiropractic utilizes Upper Cervical Chiropractic care to fix the primary cause of various secondary conditions (symptoms). You can call our office at 813–578–5889 to schedule a complimentary consultation.


Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.


AAPM facts and figures on pain, the American Academy of pain medicine (2018), retrieved from: http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx#common

Sinnott P., Dally S., Trafton J., Goulet J. and Wagner T. (2017) Trends in diagnosis of painful neck and back conditions, 2002 to 2011, Medicine, 96 (20), pgs. 1–6

Corcoran K., Dunn A., Green B., Formolo L., and Beehler G. (2018) Changes in Female Veterans’ Neck Pain Following Chiropractic Care at a Hospital for Veterans, Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice 30, pgs. 91–95

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