How Really Small Muscles Can Be A Real Pain In The Neck – A NYC Chiropractor/Applied Kinesiologist/NKT Practitioner Explains

When a patient complains of neck pain or headaches, I first muscle test both the cervical flexor and extension muscles and muscles which when they test bilaterally weak such as the psoas or gluteus maximus suggest a fixation of the cervical vertebrae.

I ask questions: are the muscles weak and therefore affecting the alignment, movement of the cervical vertebrae?

Are one set of muscles weak or inhibited because of compensating (facilitating) muscle.

Or is the opposite true? Is it the hypertonic or facilitated muscle the problem?

Sometimes it’s not the bigger cervical flexor/extensor muscles that are causing pain either directly or by pulling vertebrae out of alignment and putting pressure on the nerves supplying the cervical area.

Sometimes it’s the half inch to inch muscles just below the occipital (base of your skull) that attach it to either the atlas (C1) or the axis (C2) or attach atlas to axis.

These muscles are called the Rectus Capitis Posterior Major, Rectus Capitis Minor, Obliquus Capitis Superior and Obliquus Capitis Inferior.


The Rectus Capitis Posterior Major extends, laterally flexs and rotates the head.  The Rectus Capitis Minor extends and laterally flexes the head. The Obliquus Capitis Superior extends and laterally rotates the head. The Obliquus Capitis Inferior  rotates C1 and cranium.

Problems with these muscles can pull vertebrae out of alignment and put pressure on the cervical spinal roots and cause neck stiffness, pain and headaches. See dermatome map below for areas of innervation.

head dermatome

Note there is no C1 dermatome. The C1 root innervates the meninges of the posterior fossa of the skull and has no cutaneous branch; the posterior fossa also contains the meningeal branches of vagus and hypoglossal nerve. Neck stiffness may be a test of the C1 root that innervates the meninges.

For more information, please see the following blogs:

For discussion about meninges:

© 2016-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 455 W 23rd St., NYC 10011; please go to

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

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Medical Articles of Interest For July 2016

 The following are from a site summarizing medical research:

Association of Vitamin D Level With Clinical Status in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Mediterranean Diet Cuts Risk for CV Events, Cancer, Diabetes

Exercise as Effective as Surgery for Meniscal Tears

Avoiding Meds That Worsen, Cause HF: AHA Presents Action Plan

Getting providers and patients with heart failure (HF) to consider a medication’s sodium load is just one of the steps highlighted in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) first-ever scientific statement on medications that may worsen or cause HF. The 35-page document features a comprehensive list of medications that can promote HF through direct myocardial toxicity, increases in blood pressure, high sodium loads, or drug–drug interactions.

Cardiac MRI Shows Post-MI Remodeling Gains From High-Dose Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The trial randomized 358 patients who had had a recent heart attack to receive placebo or 4 mg/day of Lovaza plus standard care for 6 months. Patients who received the study drug had a lower adverse left ventricular end systolic volume index (LVESVI; an indication of the heart’s pumping ability), less myocardial scarring (fibrosis) in the undamaged areas of the heart, and better levels of some serum biomarkers.

The following are from

Bridges Between Whole-Body Dysfunctions and the Feet: A Close Examination

Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve Entrapments

Medical Articles of Interest for June 2016

The following are from a site summarizing medical research:

Click here: Hypovitaminosis D in Elderly Women and Mortality

Click here: Nutritional Strategies for Skeletal and Cardiovascular Health – Mg, Vitamin K, right amt of  protein, Potassium/Sodium, and right type of Calcium supplement and Ca from cheese, fermented dairy , leafy green veggies, almonds rather than drinking cow’s milk.
 The sugar in milk, lactose, is broken down in the gastrointestinal tract to d-galactose and d-glucose. d-Galactose has been found to increase inflammation and oxidation in adult humans, and in adult animals this sugar triggers accelerated ageing, neurodegeneration, and a shortened life span.Thus, cow’s milk, though rich in many nutrients, including calcium, has issues that render it less than ideal as a dietary staple for many adults. On the contrary, fermented dairy foods, such as yogurt and cheese, appear to be safer than milk, possibly because the most or all of d-galactose has been metabolized by bacteria.
Are you aware of these 10 important drug-drug interactions?
And from Integrative Practitioner:
Inflammation and Brain Health

Research has shown links between our modern high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet, and increasing rates of certain diseases, particularly those relating to neurological dysfunction and overall brain health. As neurodegenerative disorders rise, so too has sugar consumption in the Western world. Yet, new research has shown that healthy, fat-rich diets have a myriad of benefits to the brain on the macro-scale in brain function, and benefits on the micro-scale in terms of inflammation. Recent studies have documented blood sugar’s effect on a wide collection of troubles from the size of the hippocampus, to diabetes, stroke and dementia risk.

How a Combination of Applied Kinesiology, NeuroKinetic Therapy and Chiropractic Works

A patient comes in with a problem, maybe low back pain. Most chiropractors would figure out what vertebrae /spinal nerve is involved and then adjust the segments involved.

However what is missed is why did the problem happen and how can it be fixed so that it does not happen again.

First we need to look at the muscles innervated by the spinal segment

As a Applied Kinesiologist, I test for the function of individual muscles. For example, we may find the latissimus dorsi muscle weak; that is a muscle that internally rotates, extends and adducts the arm/ shoulder. It also attracts into the lumbar and sacral vertebra and part of the pelvic crest. The weakness may seen either as a higher shoulder on the weak side or a rotation of the lumbar vertebrae. The questions to be asked are: why is the muscle weak? Is the muscle on the other side hypertonic or “too stronger.”

Is there a problem with the vascular or lymphatic drainage of that muscle? Is there a problem with the cranial-sacral system?

Is there a Lovett Brother association where a twisting of the spinal meninges affects an upper vertebrae as well as a low back spinal segment.

As a NKT practitioner, I ask “Is there a dysfunction in the coordination of muscles working in patterns?”

Is the above mentioned latissimus dorsi inhibited by the muscles that attach to the shoulder like the upper or middle trapezius or the levator scapulae or is it compensating (facilitating) for weak or inhibited muscles like the gluteus maximus or the quadratus lumborum or core muscles, for example.

back muscles

Is the patient using their neck muscles in the movement of their low back?

NeuroKinetic Therapy works with that concept that movement is performed in systems or patterns. The human brain has an affinity toward habits.

NKT identifies muscle imbalances by using muscle testing to determine what muscles are inhibited and what muscles are compensating (facilitating)for them.

I would test the muscles involved in the problematic movement. After an inhibited/weak muscle is found, I would muscle test a synergistic (a helper muscle) or an antagonist muscle (an opposing muscle} which is strong/facilitated that may be affecting the inhibited muscle.

That facilitated muscle would be therapy localized (the muscle is either touched or put in motion) and the inhibited muscle retested. If the TL strengthens the inhibited muscle, then I know that the TLed muscle is affecting the inhibited muscle.

And I can use AK techniques to release the TLed muscle. The inhibited muscle is then retested which should test strong now, the retesting causes a “neural lock” which reprograms the motor control center in the brain.

After balance is restored to the muscles, the vertebrae  ( or extremity joint) are adjusted.

Stretches are given to the previously facilitated muscles and exercises given to the previously inhibited muscles in order to break the pattern that caused the problem.

For more detailed information, please click on the following blogs:


© 2016-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 455 W 23rd St., NYC 10011; please go to

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

 Want to be in the know on holistic information and postings?

Or join me at Twitter:

Medical Articles of Interest For May 2016

As you may know, food labels will soon be showing “added sugars” and The NYTimes published an article on the different names used for “added sugar.”
And now that summer is here, it’s good to know which sunscreens are safe. Click here: Home | EWG’s 2016 Guide to Sunscreens I’d advise that you delay putting on yr sunscreen for the first 15 minutes…just to get some vitamin D naturally before adding sunscreen.
The following are from a site summarizing medical research ; there has been a number of research on the dangers of PPI’s for heartburn/GERD/acid reflex

Why Is My Neck Problem Causing Low Back or Leg Pain? A NYC Chiropractor / Applied Kinesiologist / NKT Practitioner Explains the Lovett Brother Effect on the Spine.

It is not unusual to have a patient come in my office with neck pain also complaining of low back or leg pain that starts with or soon after the onset of the neck pain. Or vice versa: neck pain or headaches or jaw problems after the onset of low back pain.

A lot of doctors don’t think that there is a relationship. But since they came on around the same time they probably are related. The major thing that could connect them is the meninges; three membranes covering the brain, spinal cord and housing the cerebrospinal fluid. If injured it could affect nerves throughout the spine.


A good illustration of how an injury can affect different levels is to hold the upper part of an elastic band with your hand and then hold the bottom of the band with your other hand. Then twist your upper part of the band; note how the bottom of the elastic band also twists. Now imagine how the meninges surrounding a spinal nerve as it comes off the spinal cord can affect the structures innervated by that spinal nerve.

This explains why if there is a rotation in Cervical 1 there will always be a rotation in Lumbar 5, its ‘Lovett Partner’. With all the listings they can work both ways. For example, a dysfunction at L5 can cause a C1 dysfunction and a C1 dysfunction can cause an L5.

Here’s a helpful illustration: lovatt-brother-relationship

These relationships are looked at by Applied Kinesiologists and NKT Practitioner.

Another possible relationship is one of spinal fixations; please check out this blog for more information:

So if you are having unexplained pain in different areas, please consider being examined by someone familiar with the above principles.



© 2016-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 455 W 23rd St., NYC 10011; please go to

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

 Want to be in the know on holistic information and postings?

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Seminar I’m Taking: How to Thrive in a Toxic World through Nutrition & Lifestyle

This coming June 5th I’ll be attending a seminar on Whole Detox: How to Thrive in a Toxic World through Nutrition & Lifestyle.

The term “ detoxification ” is widely debated and discussed within the clinical community. In this presentation, the scope of detoxification practices and the spectrum of offerings and their validity will be highlighted. A deeper dive into the recent scientific developments in this pivotal area of medicine will be featured from the angles of both biochemistry and genetic expression, with particular focus on (1) modulation of metabolic biotransformation through phase I and phase II enzyme induction or inhibition; (2) alkalinization; and (3) heavy metal metabolism . Special emphasis will be given to nutrition, nutrient actives, and botanicals for their influence in these pathways. Furthermore, the incorporation of lifestyle changes will be included as part of the detoxification discussion for a more well-rounded, whole picture, whole-self approach.



• To understand the context of detoxification practices as they relate to health and disease, and their general view and acceptance in the medical arena

• To identify biochemical and genetic pathways involved in detoxification processes: ARE gene upregulation biotransformative enzyme induction or inhibition, alkalinization, and heavy metal metabolism

• To understand the role of nutrition, nutrient actives, and botanicals in modulating detoxification processes

• To learn the importance of addressing lifestyle modalities as part of the detoxification process.

For an article on why fasting on juices do not make an effective liver detox:

Presenters are: Tricia Paulson, ND & Deanna Minich, PhD

Tricia Paulson, ND, is the founder of and primary physician at True Health Naturopathic Medicine. As an educator and speaker for the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association and Nutrition Dynamics, she has developed and implemented curricula in clinical nutrition, detoxification and gut restoration. FirstLine Therapy is the cornerstone of her functional medicine practice which specializes in the treatment of chronic lifestyle diseases through a patient-centered approach

Dr. Minich received her doctorate in Medical Sciences (Human Nutrition and Metabolism ) from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and her Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and a member of both the American College of Nutrition and the American Society for Nutrition Science. Dr. Minich has published over 15 articles in peer-reviewed, scientific journals, and has published three books on nutrition. At Metagenics, Dr. Minich has numerous responsibilities, including counseling patients using functional medicine protocols at the Functional Medicine Research Center®—the clinical research arm of Metagenics.

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic practice at 455 W 23rd St., NYC 10011; please go to

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

 Want to be in the know on holistic information and postings?

Or join me at Twitter: