Neck pain anatomy casefile

The famous van Gogh sketch of a woman sewing displays vividly what garment workers suffer from neck pain.

Neck pain anatomy casefile anecdotes should be treated with caution. They are not scientific proof of anything.

Sometimes x-rays can be very misleading; is the patient's pain actually coming from the very visible arthritis? Perhaps not; could it be what is known as an incidental finding?

Mrs P, a 74 year old Dutch lady consulted me four months ago with a very long history of neck and right shoulder pain. There was frequent tingling in her arm, and severe headaches. She loves to sew.

The only relief she could get would be to hold her neck tightly with her left hand. Exercises given by a physiotherapist helped her shoulder but not her spine.

It all started thirty years ago when she fell at work from the top step, and cracked her head very hard against the plinth at the bottom.

Working as a telephonist aggravated the pain as she held the receiver between her shoulder and neck.

Do you recognise the artist? On the original, which I confess I don't have, you would find a simple V for Vincent.

Pinched nerve in neck is always a factor for telephonists.

Atlanto axial joint

Atlanto axial joint anatomy, grasping the details, helps clarify the muddle that a very arthritic neck can be.

Sometimes things fall happily. Murphy isn't always at his best! He must have slept in with a good Irish hangover that day; if I'd seen Mrs P's x-rays in the beginning, I would certainly not have adjusted her neck; she has the cervical spine of a woman of 90; a terrible curve, and horrible arthritis.

But, and it's a big but - her main complaint: suboccipital pain was coming from an area where there is no arthritis - but a very severe atlanto axial anatomy subluxation. It had affected the Greater Occipital nerve for thirty years giving her blinding headaches. ATLANTO AXIAL JOINT ANATOMY ...

A thorough knowledge of the neck pain anatomy casefile, and an indepth examination are essential to get to the root of problems like these.

Neck pain anatomy casefile

Neck pain anatomy casefile asks if the bad arthritis in the cervical spine actually is the cause of the symptoms?

Lateral x-ray displaying the anatomy of neck pain.
AP x-ray reveals the source of neck pain.


The acromioclavicular joint, the second most arthritis articulation in the body after the thumb, is the source of much shoulder pain.

Her shoulder complaint was coming primarily from the AC joint. When she fell down the stairs she recalls having desperately grabbed at the rail to stop herself from falling, alas without success. And gave her AcromioClavicular joint a good thump or "Klap" as we say here in Nederland. It's really a quite separate condition in this neck pain anatomy casefile.

Foot pain

Foot pain demands a diagnosis; is it coming from the ankle, one of the many little joints, or is it plantar myofasciitis or something else?

She was also suffering from one of my favourite conditions; metatarsalgia, and we were fortunate to catch it before it caused a Morton's neuroma.

Foot pain is horrible, and actually effects your longevity. Research shows that people who can't and do not walk fast, actually live a shorter lifespan. In this condition the nerves between the bones in the forefoot, the metatarsals, are irritated.

When pain or poor health strike, if it does not pass over within a few days, it is important to apply your own mind. Just taking analgesics which cover up the cause may mean that you will have this problem for life.

Should you be doing more exercise, or are you on a highly inflammatory diet? Perhaps you are sitting too long, or need to look for a different computer station.

Could it be that your shoes don't fit properly?

Pain under the foot, often a heel spur or plantar myofascitis usually responds well to Chiropractic help, just as did her neck pain.

Foot complaints can rarely be the result of neck pain leading to cervical stenosis but far more likely is this callus of metatarsalgia.

Chiropractic help

At the heart of Chiropractic help are two important facts, especially relevant in any neck pain anatomy casefile:

  • Joints that remain fixated become arthritic. The hyaline cartilage in the joints is utterly dependent on movement within the joint for its nutrition. The alternative? Immobilisation arthritis.
  • If nothing is done, waste products of from the cartilage are not cleared away and begin to irritate the nerve. Tingling in the beginning, and eventually worse, depending on the nerve. Headache, weakness in the limb, numbness ... in the foot a Mortons neuroma.

This is vital in any neck pain anatomy casefile; prevention of degenerative joint disease by keeping the joints in motion.


It was wonderful to hear the progress from Mrs P this morning: "Mijn nek is fantastisch;" my neck is fantastic. Her foot and shoulder are also much improved.

After 8 treatments she said her neck and headaches were 80 percent better over a period of a month. Now she comes for a treatment every four to six weeks; there is alas no hope of a cure.

I won't ever cure Mrs P's neck any more than I can fix her hypertension; both need occasional but regular chiropractic help and medical care.

It really is a horrible neck and frankly neither she nor I can believe how pain from thirty years can be so quickly relieved.

Miracles we do at once, but the impossible takes a little longer; every neck pain anatomy casefile is a challenge to your chiropractor. 

Does every neck respond like this? Sadly not. There are many reasons, some of them completely uncertain; stress? Computers, cars, diet? The arm pain she had was directly related to that lower neck pain anatomy arthritis.

UPDATE: It is now 6 months and she is doing great. I've allowed SOME sewing again. Not the easiest for the neck, and she is doing the stiff neck exercises faithfully.

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