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Is There Neck Pain In Your Future?

Posted on: August 18, 2015

How to prevent neck pain and feel better.

It is my job to tell you how to feel better and prevent pain, as well as to help you get out of pain once you’re in it. Did you know that you can see some neck pain coming before you feel it? And just by looking in the mirror? You don’t need to be psychic or use special glasses, but you do need to be honest with yourself.

Most neck pain cases that I see in the office start with a series of bad habits and functional changes in the neck that creep into everyday life. A lot of the pain and disability that results from this can usually be prevented. The muscles, bones and ligaments don’t complain until they are really fed up with how they are being used, and that’s when you get pain. That’s also why there are some mornings when you wake up and know something is wrong.

Your neck actually does provide you with warning signs. For example, do you find it difficult to turn your head to back up your car, but otherwise you are fine? Do you find yourself rubbing your neck after a long phone call? Or do you wake up during the night trying to find a more comfortable way to adjust your pillow? These are early warning signs that you need professional help with your neck.

Three Little Tests

Walk over to a mirror. If your neck is not working right, you will most likely be able to see and feel some important things.

  1. Step up to the mirror and look yourself straight in the eyes. Then close your eyes. Face straight ahead with eyes closed, open your eyes — then observe the position of your head. Is it straight or slightly turned? Does your head tilt left or right? If so, your neck has forgotten its normal reference points and may need professional help.
  1. Turn to the left side and look into the mirror over your shoulder. If your neck is moving correctly, your nose should nearly line up with your shoulder.  Do the same on the right side. If there is pain or a restriction in the motion of turning your head, you’ve got potential trouble brewing.
  1. Position two mirrors to see yourself from the side. Close your eyes. Stand up comfortably straight and then look at yourself again from the side. If the ear canal is more than ¼ inch forward from the center of the base of your neck, it’s time to call me to come in for treatment.

Here is what you have learned:

  • If your head is not straight in test #1, you are using your neck in an out-of-alignment way, stressing the joints, and are prone to neck pain.
  • Pain or limited motion in test #2 means a more serious problem of vertebrae that are not moving freely.
  • And if your head is forward in test #3, your muscles are getting tired of holding your head up, and you may be promoting arthritis in your neck.

If you would like some help with these tests, give me a call or mention it at your next visit.

Most of the neck pain I see in the office can be prevented by paying attention to the warning signs. Don’t wait to handle what could become a serious issue. Your health is a great asset, and I am here to help you preserve it.


At Westlake Village Chiropractic Arts, we are committed to supporting you in your journey of greater health & well-being. Contact us for your next visit.

Posted in: Headaches, Health & Well Being, Neck pain, Vector Point Cranial Therapy

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Disclaimer: Dr. Stephen B. Chopyak, D.C is a chiropractor and does not offer medical or chiropractic advice from this website. This information is offered for educational purposes only. Do not act or rely upon our information without seeking an independent health care professional's advice. The information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship between you and Dr. Chopyak. As with any medical procedure, results will vary among individuals, and there could be risk involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, condition or issue, promptly contact your health care provider. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The photos used may be models and not patients.