FAQ’S


What kind of exercise program can I do with neck pain off and on?

I’ve been watching the Olympics and thinking maybe I should get back into some kind of exercise program. But I’ve had neck pain off and on (especially when I do try to exercise). What can I do about this? Neck pain is a common problem among all age groups and often for different reasons. Women seem to be affected more than men. High-level athletes, weekend warriors, stay-at-home moms can all experience neck stiffness, pain, dizziness, and loss of muscle control. There doesn’t have to be a major …Read more

Are there any exercises to help dizziness from an old neck injury?

I’ve been told that my dizziness is probably coming from an old neck injury from high school but no one seems to know how to correct the problem. Can you suggest anything? Any exercises that might help? Oculomotor control (the use of the eyes and head together) is a complex system that relies on the coordination of neck and eye muscles, cervical spine movement, neck stability, and even something called neck repositioning acuity.Any injury to the neck (even mild sprains, strains, and contusions) …Read more

Downside to balloon kyphoplasty to treat a spinal compression fracture

Tell me about balloon kyphoplasty to treat a spinal compression fracture. I read about this on-line but it sounds too good to be true. What’s the downside? Vertebral compression fracture refers to a mini-collapse of a vertebra in the spine. Tiny fracture lines in the bone (usually the front half of the vertebra) result in the bone taking on a wedge- or pie shape when viewed on X-rays from the side.This type of fracture is most common in older adults who have osteoporosis (decreased bone mass or …Read more

Is it normal to experience neck pain after a whiplash injury… something to do with trigger points

I’m seeing a Physical Therapist for neck pain from a car accident two months ago. She says I have “trigger points” that have to be released before I’ll get my neck motion back. Is this a normal problem to have after a whiplash injury or am I unusual? Up to 40 per cent of individuals who hurt their necks in a car accident end up with chronic pain and loss of neck motion. It’s likely that trigger points (TrPs) are a large part of the picture both in cause and effect. We’ll explain what that means….Read more

Tell me how to get rid of my neck pain.

I’ve had neck pain for years so I Googled ‘neck pain’ and your site came up first. Without seeing me, what can you tell me about the best way to get out of this hole I’m in? It is always a good idea to see a physician and make sure there is nothing serious going on. Infection, tumor, and fracture are the three most important things to rule out. If it turns out you have mechanical pain (caused by soft tissue structures), then you have several options.Treatment choices for chronic biomechanical ne…Read more

What can go wrong with a cervical disc replacement?

Can you run me through a list of things that could go wrong with a cervical disc replacement? I’m looking into this for myself. I have a C5-C6 degenerated disc. Don’t want a fusion but not sure how good these replacement parts are. Before artificial disc replacements (also called cervical disc arthroplasty) were developed, patients with chronic neck pain and instability were treated with neck fusion. The fusion stopped motion at the diseased level and thus reduced pain. But the strain on the adj…Read more

I’m still in pain from my whiplash injury — what do I do next?

I’ve seen my regular doctor, a Physical Therapist, and a chiropractor for a whiplash injury I got three months ago. I’m still no better and in pain every day. I don’t know what to do next. What do you advise? After all you have been through, this may sound a bit odd but studies show it may be possible to get too much medical help too soon after a whiplash injury. A recent review examining the results of early treatment for whiplash may be of interest to you. The researchers showed a surprising a…Read more

Now that I am out of a neck brace, it is very difficult to turn my head — what can I do?

About six weeks ago, I had a car crash that put me in a neck brace for a month. Now that I’m out it’s very difficult to turn my head. I certainly can’t turn quickly and that’s a major problem driving. What can I do about this? Anyone who has had an accident resulting in a whiplash injury knows the neck pain, stiffness, and loss of motion that can develop afterwards. Many people recover in a few days to a few weeks. But just as many develop chronic symptoms referred to as whiplash-associated diso…Read more

A car accident and neck pain – what I didn’t expect was to be so dizzy. How long does this last?

I had a car accident last week that has left me shaken. I expected neck pain and got it. What I didn’t expect was to be so dizzy. How long does this last? Studies show that up to 40 per cent of people involved in car accidents, with neck trauma in the form of whiplash develop persistent symptoms. Dizziness is one of three most common symptoms after whiplash trauma. Pain and postural unsteadiness are the other two common problems reported.The presence of dizziness early on after whiplash injury m…Read more

Neck pain and injuries from a car accident?

I saw a special on TV about whiplash injuries. I was especially interested because I had a car accident three years ago and still have neck pain. What I wonder is how do they get those X-rays showing what happens to the neck during the sudden stop. Is it all just photo-shopped in? Sometimes computer simulated graphics are used to depict what happens during an accident causing injuries such as whiplash. But even those simulations are based on actual biomechanics studies conducted in research labo…Read more

Neck Pain and Fear of Movement — It Hurts

Please help me out here. I’m seeing a Physical Therapist for neck pain following a terrible car accident I had three months ago. She tries to tell me some of my pain is coming from fear of movement. She says, “motion is lotion” meaning I have to move more. I tell her that the reason I can’t move more is because it hurts. We don’t seem to be getting through to each other. What do you suggest? Fear of movement (also known as fear-avoidance behavior or FAB) is fairly common after whiplash injuries….Read more

Is it possible to have a disc replacement at C45 with a fusion at C56?

I’ve had a neck fusion at C56 and now the C45 level is starting to go.Is it possible to have a disc replacement at C45 with a fusion at C56? And can I have the fusion removed and put a disc in there? These are very good questions! The use of total disc replacements versus fusion and the replacement of a fusion with disc replacement implants is one currently being studied. Likewise, the idea of a disc replacement for adjacent disc disease following a fusion is under investigation.In fact, a recen…Read more

After Neck Fusion – Does having a bad sement fused stop motion and protect re-occurrence?

I was told after my neck fusion that it’s possible the disc above or below the fused level might start to break down from the added stress and strain. Doesn’t having the bad segment fused stop motion and protect me from having this problem again? You are referring to the concept of adjacent segment disease (ASD) — a possible long-term complication of vertebral fusion. This is something that has been studied in relation to the lumber spine (low back) and well as cervical spine (neck) fusions.It’…Read more

What about adjusting my middle back for neck and back issues?

I’ve been having some neck and back issues off and on for weeks. I’ve been warned by my parents not to have anyone crack my neck because it could cause paralysis. What about having the middle of my back adjusted? Would that help? Actually, there are some studies that support the use of thrust manipulation of the upper back in the treatment of neck pain. Using manipulation to realign the mid-to-upper spine has been shown to provide immediate neck pain relief.There are also some studies that show …Read more

Why would a whiplash injury cause fibromyalgia to develop?

I was in a car wreck six months ago and diagnosed with a whiplash injury. Despite medical treatment, the pain and stiffness still hasn’t completely gone away. The nurse practitioner I saw thought I was developing fibromyalgia syndrome. Why would a whiplash injury cause fibromyalgia to develop? There has been some considerable debate over this point. Do patients with chronic neck and/or shoulder pain from whiplash really have fibromyalgia? As you probably know, fibromyalgia, a common painful diso…Read more

What does having too many stingers mean?

I’m a college football player. The doc says I’ve had one too many stingers and the problem has become “chronic”. What does that mean? As you already know, a stinger is an injury to a nerve in the neck. It’s a common injury among players involved in contact sports (football players being the most commonly affected athletes). Getting hit on the head from one side is usually enough to do it. A cervical nerve (coming from the spinal cord to the arm in the neck) gets stretched or pinched.Besides neck…Read more

Can neck pain and stiffness be new symptoms from arthritis?

Mother has been complaining about neck pain and stiffness for the last couple of months. She has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis but it’s only in her hands. Is it possible these new symptoms could be from the arthritis, too? Although rheumatoid arthritis (RA) seems to target the small joints of the hands and feet, in fact, it can affect any joint in the body, including the cervical spine (neck).Head, neck, and/or arm pain with or without numbness and tingling of the arms and/or hands c…Read more

What’s the difference between a stinger/burner and a neuropraxia?

What’s the difference between a stinger/burner and a neuropraxia? The term neuropraxia describes symptoms of bilateral (affecting both sides) burning, numbness, loss of sensation, and muscle weakness of the arms and hands. The symptoms are caused by pressure on the spinal cord in the cervical spine (neck). It is like having a concussion to the spinal cord (instead of to the brain). The symptoms can last minutes up to hours.With burners or stingers, the spinal cord nerve root coming off the spina…Read more

Can you inherit Schmorl’s nodes in the spine?

Can a person inherit Schmorl’s nodes in the spine? My adult children and I all have these on X-rays. Schmorl’s nodes represent a herniation of the disc material into the adjacent endplate. These defects often occur when there is disc degeneration (tears in the disc or thinning of the disc with narrowing of the disc space).The endplate is a thin layer of cartilage sandwiched between the disc and the vertebral bone above or below it. On imaging studies Schmorl’s nodes look like small hollowed area…Read more

Bone growing after artificial disc replacement surgery (6 months later)?

I just came back from my six-month check-up after having artificial disc replacement surgery. They put the new disc in my neck at the C5-6 level. I guess I already have some bone growing where it shouldn’t be. I’m wondering if you can tell me why this is happening? You may be experiencing a potential side effect of spine surgery called heterotopic ossification — bone that forms outside the skeletal system. Usually, streaks of calcification or bone develop in the nearby muscles and soft tissues….Read more

Will heterotopic ossification affect how long the replacement implant lasts?

If a person develops heterotopic ossification after a disc replacement in the neck, will it affect how long the implant lasts? It could though not enough research has been done to provide convincing evidence one way or the other to say for sure. Of the studies published, there was a recent one comparing three different types of implants: the Bryan disc, the Mobi-C, and the ProDisc-C.These three were chosen because they are different in how they are made (material) and how they work (motion syste…Read more

Will a soft collar help after neck surgery to fuse cervical vertebrae?

My mother just had neck surgery to fuse three of her cervical vertebrae. She’s moving very stiffly and can hardly function. We keep asking the doctor if she should be in a brace but the answer is always it’s not necessary. Could she wear a soft collar for a few days to help give her neck a rest? The debate about neck collars has been going on for decades. Some surgeons never have their patients use them — even to stabilize the neck after a fusion procedure. Others use them to provide support an…Read more

Is this a nerve problem?

I have neck pain that goes down my left arm. The doctor has ruled out heart symptoms and thinks it might be a pinched nerve. When I put a soft collar around my neck, the symptoms go away. Does that point to a nerve problem? Neck pain that travels down the arm can be caused by several problems. Angina and heart attacks can sometimes present this way — especially on the left side. But arthritis with bone spurs, disc herniations, and even postural issues (head forward and shoulders slumped) can cr…Read more

Explain brachial plexus injuries

Can you please explain a brachial plexus injury to me? My brother is a garbage man. His arm got caught in the automatic trash compactor. They say he has this type of nerve injury and may never recover fully. Brachial plexus injuries refer to stretching, avulsion, or rupture of a group of nerves that come from the spinal cord in the neck. Avulsion tells us the nerve root is torn from the spinal cord where it attaches. Rupture refers to a complete tear across the nerve dividing it into two or more…Read more

Can stenosis in the lower back cause shock sensation symptoms in your arms?

Dad is 72-years old and is having more and more trouble walking. We know he has stenosis in his low back. He’s also complaining about a shock sensation in his arms. Can these symptoms all come from his stenosis or is something else going on? Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the opening called the spinal canal where the spinal cord travels from the brain down to the lumbar spine. Although stenosis is most common in the low back region, it can occur anywhere along the spine from the neck down to …Read more

Does cervical myelopathy always get worse?

I’ve been told that the neck and arm pain I have is from a condition called cervical myelopathy. No one seems able to tell me if I’ll get better or not. What happens to most people with this problem? CSM is a degenerative condition that occurs with aging. Adults affected most often are 50 years old and older. The term myelopathy refers to any problem that affects the spinal cord. Cervical tells us the area affected is the cervical spine (neck region). Spondylotic or spondylosis describes a narro…Read more

Should I get a home traction machine to treat a pinched nerve in my neck?

I’ve had a pinched nerve off and on in my neck for several years. I’m trying to avoid having surgery, so I’ve been seeing a Physical Therapist. It seems to be helping. I really like the traction treatments. That seems to help the most. Since this is an ongoing problem, should I look into getting a traction machine for myself at home? You wouldn’t really be able to purchase a traction machine for home use like you use in the Physical Therapist’s clinic. But home traction units with a head harness…Read more

Should I ask my physical therapist to continue using neck traction even though a new study shows it doesn’t really matter?

My Physical Therapist was doing joint mobilizations and traction on me for a pinched nerve on the left side of my neck. But a new study showed that it didn’t really help, so we’ve stopped using it. I definitely feel a difference without it. Should I say something? Yes! Although the study you mentioned showed no difference in results for patients receiving manual therapy with and without traction, there were quite a few yes buts expressed by the authors.First, they used 15 minutes of intermittent…Read moreInjuries & ConditionsAnkleArthritisUpper Back and NeckThoracic Spine AnatomyCervical Spine AnatomyUpper Back IssuesFAQsResearch ArticlesMid BackLower BackCumulative TraumaElbowFibromyalgiaFootHamstringHandHeadHipKneeMuscle InjuryOsteoporosisPediatricShoulderTendonitisWristSports ActivitiesLifestyle ActivitiesWork ActivitiesInjury CareWomen’s Health IssuesNewslettersMAKE AN APPOINTMENT Yes, I would like to receive newsletters from Synergy Therapeutic Group.