Jammed neck. Neck circles?

by Anne

Hi! Just wondering if you could help me please? I have been going to chiropractors since I was 17 and I am now 57. (Neck and back problems as a result of accidents). Last week my chiropractor got me to do an exercise which involved circling my head in circles whilst gazing at a fixed point. 10 x clockwise, 10 x anti-clockwise, twice a day and after a couple of days, my neck felt jammed up and now for the past 3 mornings I have woken up with a numb right hand and now feel nauseous, get sharp pains turning my neck and have pain in the nerves of my right bottom back teeth, and tightness and pain over right eye-brow, temple and achy jaw. My neck feels stiff. I got my husband to pull my head off my shoulders 3 times (whilst I sat on the floor) and this did bring some relief.

The chiropractor has given me this exercise with a couple of others, to stimulate a certain area of my brain that he believes might not be functioning normally. He is into the "Brain", in quite a big way. Through moving around over the years, one thing I have been told by chiropractors, is that you shouldn't do neck rolls; that the best way is to turn to one side, then the next; head down to chin, head slightly up and back and then ear to shoulder, ie the old "Yes, No, Maybe" exercises.

When I rang my chiropractor this morning saying that I believe the neck circles have caused this problem, I am in pain and feel awful, he was excited and said that this was a good sign and it was stimulating the area of the occipital area of the brain. To me, it feels like my neck has jammed purely from doing the neck rolls. I have atlas axis prob, TMJ at times and my neck has occasionally jammed up. What do you think? Thank you.

Hello Anne,
That's an exercise for the vestibular system, and is probably the reason why you've become nauseous. Any dizzyness or vertigo?

Neck rolls in my book are not a good idea if you have low cervical degeneration, which you may well do if you have any whiplashes. During the roll it closes down the foramen where the nerve roots escape.

It's awkward for my commenting on a colleague's protocol. I think you should follow your gut feeling, and discuss this with him.

I'm intrigued you're still able to type after your husband has pulled your head off!

The sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve lies in the upper neck; it supplies the teeth, face and TMJ, hence these barrage of symptoms that may not be related to the neck circles.

I guess I'm being evasive! You've got to work this out with your chiropractor.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Chiropractic help Questions (Neck pain).

Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.