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.

suboccipitaltriangle

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:

https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/the-use-of-applied-kinesiology-in-a-chiropractic-examination/.

https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/spinal-pain-not-being-helped-see-an-applied-kinesiologist-it-may-be-a-fixation/

https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/how-a-combination-of-applied-kinesiology-neurokinetic-therapy-and-chiropractic-works/

For discussion about meninges:  https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/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/

https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/cranial-sacral-therapy-in-applied-kinesiology/

© 2016-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/wvillagechiropracticappliedkinesiologynkt/

Or join me at Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrVRepetto

 

The Importance of a Proper Chiropractic Examination – A NYC Chiropractor’s/Applied Kinesiologist’s Take

Doing a proper examination with a new patient is of the upmost importance. It not only shows where the patient’s pain/problem is but it shows the location of the origin of the pain/problem and contributing factors.

For example, the patient may be complaining of posterior leg pain but orthopedic and neurological testing will show at what spinal nerve level does that leg pain originates from.

What muscles are weak or in spasm? For example, is the nerve being compressed by a spastic piriformis as the nerve travels down the buttock or is a weak piriformis or gluteus maximus allowing for instability in the lumbo-sacral or sacro-illiac joints.

testing rectus femoris

What is the history of this patient? A proper examination includes the filling out of an intake form which includes history of past injuries and current health problems.

Has this patient had a history of ankle injuries which may have affected their gait and caused compensation in the pelvis, hips or torso of the patient? Did that compensation set the patient up for problems down the road.

Does this patient have problems like acid reflux or breathing problems where the diaphragm is not working properly and therefore causing over-compensation in the abdominal muscles which support the low back or over-compensation in the neck muscles contributing to neck pain.

Does this patient have a history of hypertension; then a taking of the patient’s blood pressure is part of their examination. Are there white spots on their nails or do they bruise easily; patient may need certain supplements to improve oxygen flow/wound healing and cut down on chronic inflammation.

Does the patient have problems with urination or gout; these problems may show up as an energy blockage in the kidney meridian and the psoas muscles which is linked in applied kinesiology to the kidney meridian. Stimulation of acu-points on the kidney meridian may affect the psoas; part of which is located in the front of the lumbar spine and an imbalance can contribute to low back pain.

For more on use of applied kinesiology in a chiropractic examination; please see https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/the-use-of-applied-kinesiology-in-a-chiropractic-examination/

Range of motion testing shows not only what movements are painful but it is also important as it gives a clue of what muscles may be involved. Range of motion after treatment is a quick test of how the patient is doing.

A proper examination (and following treatments) also requires that the patient is either wearing an examination gown (women) or down to their underwear (men). This enables me as the doctor to rule out anatomical problems such as a swollen ankle or knee as contributing to the patient’s complaint.

The doctor can also rule out health problems that cause pain that need to be referred out. For example an established patient came in complaining of posterior pelvic pain and since she was in an examination gown, I noted a rash. The rash was herpes zoster and she needed to be referred out as well as needing nutritional advice and an adjustment. If she was still wearing street clothes as in many chiropractic practices, I would have not known the “real” cause of her pain.

The above examination takes time and is geared for a chiropractic and applied kinesiology practice not for a quickie fifteen minute /3x a week practice. . Unfortunately a lot of chiropractors do not do a complete examination which I deduce when new patients who have previously seen another chiropractor ask me when I enter the examination room if they should lay face down. No I say, I need to do an examination first.

If you are interested in a comprehensive examination and treatment, please free to contact me at drvittoriarepett@aol.com or call me at 212-431-3724. 

 

© 2015-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/wvillagechiropracticappliedkinesiologynkt/

Or join me at Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrVRepetto