16541 Pointe Village Dr #207 • Lutz, FL 33558


Chiropractic Clinic
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain

Neck pain is an umbrella term for stiffness, aches, or inflammation in the neck’s muscles, bones, or ligaments.

Your neck is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Cervical discs absorb shock between the bones.

The bones, ligaments, and neck muscles support your head and allow motion. Therefore, any abnormalities, inflammation, or injury can cause neck pain or stiffness.

Unfortunately, the number of people requiring medical attention for neck pain is rising. In the United States, approximately 50 percent of the general population will experience chronic neck pain at some point in their lifetime. The sharp uptick in the prevalence of chronic neck pain isn’t surprising when you consider how much time the average person spends hunched over their computer screen and mobile phone.

Most of the time, neck pain isn’t severe and can be relieved within a few days. But in some cases, neck pain can indicate serious injury or illness and require a doctor’s care.

If you have neck pain that continues for more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Symptoms of neck pain

Neck pain symptoms can range in severity and duration. Often, neck pain is acute and lasts for only a few days or weeks. Other times, it may become chronic. Your neck pain may be mild and not interfere much with your activities or daily living, or it may be severe and cause disability.

Symptoms of neck pain may include:

  • Stiff neck
  • Sharp pain
  • Pain when moving
  • Pain when palpated
  • Headache
  • Radiating pain or numbness

The relationship between upper cervical spine and neck pain

Upper cervical chiropractic care focuses on correcting misalignments in the seven cervical vertebrae of the neck. In most cases, misalignment in the cervical vertebrae is caused by either direct trauma or long-term imbalances in gait, posture, or working conditions. If the cervical vertebrae settle into a misalignment, it can build pressure on the spinal cord and neck muscles. Unfortunately, this pressure will often manifest as chronic neck pain and stiffness without treatment.

How upper cervical care treats neck pain

A chiropractor can diagnose your neck pain using several tools: X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. These scans produce images of your neck and verify the cause of neck pain, whether it’s arthritis or something else. A chiropractor will also examine your cervical mobility and test your strength and reflexes. In some cases, mechanical scans are not necessary for a diagnosis.

To pinpoint the exact location of the abnormalities causing neck pain, we will conduct several objective tests to determine the root of the problem. First, if a misalignment is detected, we take a Cone Beam Cat Scan (CBCT), less invasive than an X-Ray, to determine the precise angle and direction of the misaligned vertebra.

Once the affected region is located, we will perform a series of gentle adjustments to the misaligned vertebrae. These adjustments will alleviate pressure on the brainstem and spinal cord and reset the mending pathways for strained muscle groups in the neck and upper back. This will allow the body to heal and ease the neck’s pain and stiffness.

When to see your healthcare provider

If symptoms persist for more than a week, consult a doctor. Also, see a doctor if you have:

  • severe neck pain without apparent cause
  • a lump in your neck
  • fever
  • headache
  • swollen glands
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • trouble swallowing or breathing
  • weakness
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • pain that radiates down your arms or legs
  • inability to move your arms or hands
  • failure to touch your chin to your chest
  • bladder or bowel dysfunction

If you’ve been in an accident or fall and your neck hurts, seek medical care immediately.


Many people experience neck pain because of poor posture and muscle strain. In these cases, your neck pain should go away if you practice good posture and rest your neck muscles when sore.

Make an appointment with a doctor if your neck pain isn’t improving with home treatments.

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 Corrections 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.


Rochester RP. Neck pain and disability outcomes following chiropractic upper cervical care: a retrospective case series. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2009;53(3):173–185.

Bergmann TF, Peterson DH, Lawrence DJ. Chiropractic Technique: Principles and Practice. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1993

Vernon H, Humphreys K, Hagino C. Chronic mechanical neck pain in adults treated by manual therapy: a systematic review of change scores in randomized clinical trials. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2007;30(3):215–27

Wiedemann RL. Measurement: The supine leg check; Thermal instrumentation. In: Thomas MD, editor. Nucca protocols and perspectives: A textbook for the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association Monroe, MI. National upper cervical chiropractic association; 2002. pp. 3–1–4–12

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