Can you massage, stretch or exercise your way out of neck and back pain?
The answer is yes AND no.
Let me explain…
Upper back tension between the neck and shoulders. This is likely the most common form of discomfort in the world. We all have stress in our lives and unfortunately, it’s never going to stop. This area of our body is simply one of the most common places we carry our stress. What do people often do to try to relieve some of this tension?… exercise, stretch, or the fan favorite… monthly or even weekly massages. Does this help relax your muscles? Absolutely! That is why I answered the question above with a “yes,” but now let me explain the “no.”
What are muscles attached to? BONES! So if we have constant tightness between our neck and shoulders, is it a muscular problem or a bone/joint problem? BOTH! Again, if we get a massage, our muscles become much more relaxed- but only for a short period of time. The true cause of why someone is experiencing this muscle tension is due to a bone/joint problem called subluxation.
A subluxation is simply a shift, tilt, or twist in the spine which can cause an abnormal spinal structure. Let me give you an example that you can visualize easily. I’m sure you have seen an 80 year old person whose head is falling so far forward that when they walk around it looks like they are going to fall over. This is an extreme example of someone who has abnormal spinal structure. Do you think they have upper back and neck tension? 100% YES! Do you think a massage is going to fix their spinal structure? Of course not. As long as they are operating on abnormal structure, that stress and tension will always come back even if they are exercising, stretching or getting weekly massages. The same thing occurs in healthy young adults, children and even babies. If our body has abnormal structure, the ONLY type of relief we can expect is temporary relief… unless we ACTUALLY FIX the problem. This, is what we are experts at correcting- posture and abnormal structure of the body. Let us know how we can help!
Dr. Lance Neubauer