General, good health, Vertigo

Chiropractic Shown to Help with Meniere’s Disease, Vertigo & Ringing in the Ears

Recent research reporting on a 64-year-old woman who was suffering from Meniere’s Disease reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in caring for people with this condition. The research reported in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research showed improvements in Meniere’s Disease after chiropractic adjustments to the upper part of the neck.

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between structural abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and brain” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. 

Research has shown not only that the brain relies on normal structural integrity and joint movement, but that complex neurological communication and pathways involved in helping humans balance and orient themselves in space are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways. 

“It makes perfect sense when you think about it” stated Dr. McCoy. “Meniere’s disease may be related to how the entire body communicates with the brain and the most critical area for this is the spine and the most critical area of the spine is the upper part of the neck.” 

The 64-year-old woman in this study had Meniere’s disease and anxiety.  She had arm weakness, ear irritation, giddiness, neck and jaw clicking with pain, stiffness, and sciatica.  She feels like a bad cold brought on the Meniere’s disease years ago. Each episode included symptoms of severe vertigo, dizziness, nausea, visual disturbances, hearing loss, and fullness in the ear. These episodes would last six to eight hours. She tried different therapies, journaling, and medications which only provided temporary relief. 

The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in her upper neck.  She had postural changes and tight muscles in her neck.  X-rays and other testing confirmed these findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Following upper cervical chiropractic care, her Meniere’s disease improved dramatically.  She immediately felt like her head was clear after the first adjustment.  She only journaled about one episode over the course of care.  Her Meniere’s related symptoms improved and allowed her to do more activities, traveling to visit her grandchildren and taking a walk on the beach.   

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in patients with Meniere’s Disease. Source: Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research
http://www.uppercervicalsubluxation.com

CLICK HERE to review the research

If you suffer from Meniere’s disease or any of it’s related symptoms, contact Dr. Gartzke for a consultation on how you may benefit from chiropractic treatment.

About Chiropractic, Athletes, good health, Sports, Sports Injuries

Athletes & Heart Rate Variability – Role of Chiropractic & Adaptation

Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in improving heart rate variability (HRV) in athletes.  The research includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in addressing neurological risks related to cardiovascular health, athletes and the role of the nervous system in stress, physiologic adaptation, training load and recovery. HRV is a critical measure of neurological and cardiovascular health.

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system, stress, training, recovery and cardiovascular health” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “Basic science research shows that the proper development and function of the nervous system relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.” Research has shown not only that normal structural alignment and joint movement is crucial, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to develop normally are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways.

“We are now seeing more and more basic science and clinical research showing the relationship between spinal function and its relationship to performance and recovery” McCoy added. When it comes to athletes, adaptation, recovery, training and cardiovascular health, the nervous system is often overlooked and that is where HRV comes into play. 

“In a healthy organism, higher heart rate variability represents greater adaptability to stress from its internal and external environment. When the nervous system is free of obstructions, it can better regulate anatomic, physiologic, and biochemical alterations and adapt to stress and training as needed.”

– Dr. Matthew McCoy

The study reviews the literature on heart rate variability and its role in athletes exploring specific adaptations to imposed demand and how that principle is applied during periodized training, the role of the autonomic nervous system in the general adaptation response, contemporary views of stress and adaptation in exercise physiology and the role of heart rate variability as an objective outcome measure for chiropractic care in athletes.  Despite the relatively recent interest in the central and autonomic nervous system in sports performance circles, exercise science has been investigating the relationship for several decades.

Heart rate variability (HRV) is the most accessible minimally invasive means available for evaluating an athlete’s response to training.  HRV is a strong indicator of physiological changes in response to training programs, prescribing exercise intensity on an individualized basis, and has been utilized to assess overtraining which is often times predominated by sympathetic activity.

In regards to the role of chiropractic in HRV and athletes, significant structural shifts can occur in the spine. These structural shifts, more commonly known as vertebral subluxations by doctors of chiropractic, result in nerve obstructions and doctors of chiropractic correct these obstructions. Vertebral subluxations may result in altered autonomic nervous system activity. Heart rate variability is a reliable and valid tool that may be used to assess the changes in autonomic activity associated with the reduction and correction of vertebral subluxations. Controlled studies suggest that chiropractic may improve heart rate variability and that favorable changes in heart rate variability may follow reduction or correction of vertebral subluxations. The author of the paper calls for more research on the role of chiropractic care and HRV in athletes.

Get in touch with Dr. Gartzke at River Falls Spine Chiropractic and Wellness Center today to discuss how chiropractic treatments can improve your health and well being!

Matthew Hartenburg, D.C. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ May 17, 2018 ~ Pages 89-94. https://www.vertebralsubluxationresearch.com/2018/05/17/heart-rate-variability-as-an-objective-outcome-measure-for-subluxation-based-chiropractic-care-for-athletes/

corona virus, Covid-19, General, good health, Immunity, Nutrition, supplements

Bold Action Required to Defeat Second Wave of COVID-19

River Falls Spine Chiropractic & Wellness Center shares an analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola on the use of Vitamin D for possible prevention of illnesses, including Covid-19. Good information to consider when educating ourselves in the best ways to stay healthy, any time.

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE ON MERCOLA WEBSITE

As health officials continue to expect a second wave of COVID-19 this fall, spreading information about how to prevent it is becoming crucial. One of the most important strategies in this regard is to optimize your vitamin D level.

Vitamin D not only helps regulate immune function and prevent respiratory illnesses in general, but mounting data analyses show clear parallels between vitamin D levels and the risk of infection, severity and mortality from COVID-19 as well.

While U.S. authorities are still trying to debunk (and even instill fear) of vitamin D supplementation, British and Scottish authorities appear to be embracing a more sensible approach.

The British Frontline Immune Support Team, founded “to make available some of the best quality immune supportive products … to help keep those on the NHS (UK National Health Service) frontline resilient and strong,” is already providing health care workers with free nutritional supplements known to bolster and regulate immune function.


Vitamin D could almost be thought of as a designer drug for helping the body to handle viral respiratory infections. It boosts the ability of cells to kill and resist viruses and simultaneously dampens down harmful inflammation, which is one of the big problems with Covid.

— Adrian Martineau, professor of respiratory infection and immunity.

Read the full article HERE on the Mercola website. River Falls Spine Chiropractic & Wellness Center is sharing this information for your own use, and not necessarily promoting any particular product promoted or sold via Mercola. If you have any questions about Vitamin D or any supplement, please feel free to ask Dr. Gartzke – he will be happy to talk with you!

About Chiropractic, allergies, asthma, General, good health, Immunity, Pediatrics

Chiropractic Care of a Pediatric Patient with Asthma, Allergies, Chronic Colds & Vertebral Subluxation

Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health Chiropractic, Volume 2009

Objective: To provide supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in relieving asthma and allergies and overall improvement in a pediatric patient’s immune system and health.

Clinical Features: A 7-year-old male was presented by his parents for chiropractic evaluation and possible care. The suffered from chronic colds, allergies, and asthma since the age of 5 months. At the time of initial evaluation, the patient was on a 1x/day dose of prescription Alavert for allergies and Albuterol for asthma. The patient’s illness caused him to miss approximately 1–2 days a month of school due to colds and symptoms of asthma. His parents also indicated that his health problems resulted in monthly visits to his medical doctor.

Interventions and Outcomes: The patient was cared for using specific, low-force adjustments with the Activator Instrument to address areas of vertebral subluxation in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral spine. Within two weeks of initiating chiropractic care, the patient was able to discontinue his allergy and asthma medications (as decided upon by his parents) and the use of his nebulizer. In the first 5 months after beginning chiropractic care, he has had only wellness checkups at the medical doctor. In the past school year, the patient has not missed any days of school due to illness.

Conclusion: This case report provides supporting evidence that chiropractic care can help balance immune system functioning and relieve asthma symptoms as well as colds and allergies. It is recommended that further research be done on this subject to support the findings of this case study.


Joel Alcantara, BSc, D.C.; Laura Van Roo, D.C. and Rosemary E. Oman, Msc, FASBE, DC

Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic ~ Volume 2009 ~ Issue 3 ~ Pages 1-7. August 17, 2009

Anxiety, General, good health, Immunity, Stress

New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic, Stress, Anxiety & Immunity

Article taken from Tuesday, April 21, 2020 – 11:16 Research News Staff

New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic, Stress, Anxiety & Immunity

Research Reveals Chiropractic May Alleviate Suffering & Optimize Function

Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on patients suffering with anxiety, stress, pain and immune challenges reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in helping these patients.  The literature included supports the role of chiropractic in those suffering from anxiety and its related health challenges and calls for more research in this area.

CLICK HERE to review the research

“Research indicates that minor shifts in the structure of the spine may impact brain function, suggesting that these structural shifts may be a factor in a number of health challenges including anxiety, stress and immunity. Structural shifts may lead to nerve obstruction and could possibly result in a host of health problems related to mental health” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. Other chiropractic researchers have reported on similar results and reviews of the scientific research reveal numerous other studies that have shown a similar connection. 

Research has shown not only that the brain relies on normal structural integrity and joint movement, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to “feel good” and heal are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways. 

“It makes perfect sense once you understand the neurological connections between the spine, the brain, and the nervous and immune system” stated McCoy. “The seat of human emotion is the Limbic System and we know that this system extends all the way down the spinal cord. By removing obstructions there, things like anxiety, effects from stress, immunity and well-being are affected.” 

For decades mental health specialists have strived to find an answer for patients suffering from a multitude of anxiety and stress related disorders. We now know many naturally occurring brain and spinal cord chemicals play a role in emotions, anxiety, stress, immunity and pain reduction, leading to an increased sense of wellbeing. 

This research describes five patients with anxiety including two women and three men.  In addition to anxiety, they all complained of symptoms including stress, headache, neck pain, back pain, high cholesterol, hypertension, and overall decreased immune system function.  They all had hopes of reducing their stress and anxiety levels.  

The chiropractor examined each of them and found structural shifts along the spine.  Other testing and an anxiety assessment confirmed findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Following chiropractic adjustments, the patients reported improvement in their symptoms.  Each showed a reduction in anxiety, reported better immune function, increased energy, better mood, better sleep, and decrease in stress. 

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.     

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research
https://www.vertebralsubluxationresearch.com/vertebral-subluxation-research-1/
support@vertebralsubluxationresearch.com

About Chiropractic, corona virus, flu, General, good health

How Chiropractic Helps Fight the Flu

A healthy immune system is key to combating many illnesses, including the new corona virus. This post, which is considered general knowledge among chiropractic and medical communities, covers aspects pertaining to staying healthy during a normal flu season, but can be applied at any time.

The medical community is in unanimous agreement that the secret to fighting the flu is a healthy immune system. Unfortunately you can’t buy a healthy immune system and you can’t pop a pill and get a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system comes about as a result of having a fully functioning nervous system & body. Supporting the immune system is important to wellness. The most effective method is a comprehensive approach that involves exercise, stress management, diet, nutritional supplementation, plant-based medicines, and chiropractic care.

The flu season begins in November and is at its height between December and March. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of every 5 Americans will get the flu this year. The flu is another name for influenza. Considered contagious, it is a viral infection of the respiratory passages, which often causes fever, severe aching and/or intestinal infection. The flu is often mistaken for symptoms of the common cold. Colds are usually due to bacterial infection that overwhelms the body, often resulting in fatigue, coughing, sneezing, mucous build-up and drainage, fever and sometimes body aches. Are you prepared for the flu season?

Dr. Gartzke adjusts a young patient

Chiropractic care may be your answer to a clean bill of health this season. Chiropractic has been shown in hundreds of research articles to improve the function of the body’s immune system. If your immune system is working at 100%, especially because you get the benefits of chiropractic care, versus people who don’t use chiropractic, you have greater ability to be healthy and not suffer from as many cold’s and/or flu as the general population does. Chiropractic can give your immune system a boost with a spinal adjustment. Chiropractic care can help raise your natural resistance to disease by removing a serious interference to your proper body function: Vertebral subluxations. Remember, an elevated temperature (fever) is one of your body’s defense mechanisms, helping you to destroy infection. Lowering a mild to moderate fever reduces this defense against this illness condition. Likewise, other symptoms of colds and flu are the body’s attempts to clear itself of bacterial and viral influences that attack the body. Here are some facts and a recent study about chiropractic and the flu: A study shown in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research in 1997 showed chiropractic care to be effective in treating the flu. Over 2,800 individuals received regular chiropractic care and the result was an average decrease in the incidence of colds and the flu.

According to the World Chiropractic Alliance, spinal adjustments can help your immune system function better. An adjustment by a Doctor of Chiropractic corrects what are called vertebral subluxations, which can cause interference of the nervous system. When an adjustment is performed, it releases pressure on the nerves and allows more efficient interaction between your body’s nervous system and immune system. When your immune system is healthy it is better prepared to prevent or combat the flu.

Regular chiropractic care is beneficial to the body. Preventing the flu is just one of the many positive side effects of regular chiropractic maintenance. Do you really need a flu shot? Or could great flu-fighting benefits accrue from taking a healthier and more natural approach to fighting the flu? And of course eating right, exercising, and having a healthy body are all-important issues in combating the flu as well. The mind, emotion, and stress have a huge impact on immune function. Stress depresses the activity of white blood cells, the soldiers of the immune system that directly combat infection. Stress stimulates the sympathetic nervous system that is responsible for the fight or flight response. When the sympathetic nervous system is active, the immune system is not as stimulated and deep sleep is disrupted. The immune system appears to work at its best when we are happy. If you want a happy immune system, then you need to laugh often and view life from an optimistic point of view.

If you would like to learn more about utilizing chiropractic to improve or maintain your health, please give Dr. Gartzke at River Falls Spine Chiropractic & Wellness Center a call at (715) 425-9439. We’re here to help!

About Chiropractic, corona virus, flu, General, good health

The importance of Chiropractic Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The role of chiropractors during this time is crucial in supporting the medical health care providers in allowing them to prioritize care and concentrate on the emergent situation, while not neglecting patients who have debilitating conditions that are not related to the COVID-19 or other illnesses.

Chiropractors and nutritionists teach patients to build their immune systems to protect from viruses. Panic increases cortisol and that lowers your immunity; missing out on sports and other activities, plus the uncertainty of the times, works against building immunity. Being able to visit your chiropractor during these times of “lockdowns” could prove to help keep your immune system strong.

The Veterans Health Administration, the American College of Physicians, and the White House over the last year have recommended that patients try conservative treatments commonly delivered by doctors of chiropractic instead of prescribed opioids. Published guidelines from the American College of Physicians now recommends non-pharmacologic treatment as the first-line approach to treating back pain, with consideration of opioids only as the last treatment option, or if other options present substantial harm to the patient.

Health care practitioners who provide alternative pain care to opioids and drugs have made dramatic impacts on the opioid epidemic over the last year. A recently-published study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine shows that adults receiving treatment for low back pain are 55% less likely to fill a prescription for an opioid if they are receiving chiropractic care.

“Chiropractic providers treat musculoskeletal cases which would otherwise overload physician offices, urgent care facilities and hospitals even more than they will be,” said Michael Harbison, DC, speaking to riverbender.com in Illinois. “Chiropractors are one of the few places that can treat these conditions in a non-infectious environment. Most offices have followed the CDC guidelines to ensure proper sterilization of equipment and treating the environment to ensure that patient and staff exposure is reduced as much as possible. Additionally, most offices have increased their hours or spread out the treating times and reduce the number of patients in the office at one time.

This post summarizes an article in Chiropractic Economics. Image and text credits: Rick Vach. Read full article HERE.

About Chiropractic, flu, General, good health, Nutrition, supplements

Coronavirus and Chiropractic: Nutrition for Avoiding, Recovering

Rick Vach March 9, 2020
3 minute read

Eating poorly can make you ill, and eating poorly while ill can drag an illness into extra days or longer. Read on for more about coronavirus and chiropractic care, and eating right to strengthen immunity. Article from Chiropractic Economics

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading across the U.S. and the world, and Americans are being advised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to remain vigilant and take precautions such as regular hand washing and hand sanitizing, avoiding unnecessary contact and gatherings, and for personal protection, maintaining a healthy diet and strong immune system.

Chiropractic care focuses on the central nervous system that regulates virtually every bodily function, including the immune system. The nervous system must communicate with the rest of the body, which is where coronavirus and chiropractic care cross paths as chiropractic comes in to remove nerve blockages via spinal misalignment.

Coronavirus and chiropractic

Many chiropractors also specialize in nutrition, and while you may not be able to avoid contracting the coronavirus, the flu or a cold, you can control your own immune system and strengthening it against illness.

“Sounds like the perfect opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with patients about their immune and nervous systems,” says Bill Esteb, DC. “Remember, if germs automatically caused disease, the human race wouldn’t be around to debate the issue. Many forget that Louis Pasteur, the father of the germ theory, recanted his belief. On his deathbed he observed, ‘It’s the soil, not the seed.’ In other words, without the right environment, germs can do little harm.”

Eating for immunity

Ryan Andrews, RD and principal nutritionist for Precision Nutrition, offers advice for what to eat to maximize your immune system, and what to eat and nutritional supplements if you contract the coronavirus or a flu.

Eating poorly can make you ill, and eating poorly while ill
can extend your illness.

“If your diet is lousy, you’ll get sick more often than someone who eats a healthier diet,” Andrews says. “Viruses and bacterial infections will hit you harder and keep you out for longer. Meanwhile, eating poorly while you are sick will only make you sicker. Good nutrition allows our bodies to respond to germy invaders quickly and efficiently, and in order to function well, the cells of our immune system need plenty of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids.”

A healthy gut is essential to immunity, and prebiotics and probiotics in food and supplements help prevent illness.

“The best whole food sources of prebiotics are vegetables like asparagus, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, and onions,” Andrews says. “Carbs like barley, beans, oats, quinoa, rye, wheat, potatoes, and yams; fruit such as apples, bananas, berries, citrus, kiwi; and fats such as flax seeds and chia seeds.

Probiotics — the bacteria themselves — have been shown to help us recover faster, once we get sick. The best whole-food sources of probiotics are dairy such as yogurt, cheese, and kefir with live and active cultures; fermented vegetables like pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi; fermented soy such as miso and tempeh, and soy sauce and wine.”

For supplementation of prebiotics, Andrews recommends 2-4 grams of prebiotics per day to help feed healthy gut bacteria and keep things balanced. You may actually feel worse before you feel better, he says, since bacteria release toxins.

Things to do to avoid getting sick according to Andrews include avoiding over- or under-exercising, avoiding over- or under-eating, maintaining a healthy body weight, washing your hands, getting enough sleep consistently, managing stress, eating plenty of nutrient-dense foods, and feeding your healthy bacteria.

What to eat when ill

Foods that can hasten recovery when you have a virus or infections are:

GarlicActs as an antibiotic and lessens the severity of colds and other infections.
Chicken soup — Commonly touted as a food for colds, chicken soup (made from scratch, not a can) provides fluids and electrolytes, is warm and soothing, and may also contain anti-inflammatory properties that decrease cold symptoms.
Green tea — Boosts the production of B cell antibodies, helping us rid ourselves of invading pathogens.
Honey — Has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and is an effective cough suppressant. In one study it was as effective as a cough-suppressing drug. A few teaspoons in a cup of green tea is all you need.
Elderberries These have antiviral properties and are loaded with phytonutrients. A few small studies have found the elderberry extract reduces the duration of colds and other upper respiratory tract infections.

If you’re already sick, says Andrews, drink lots of fluids (especially water and green tea), rest as much as possible to recover, focus on immune-boosting foods, supplement with pre- and probiotics, and use immune-boosting supplements.

Coronavirus and chiropractic are a pairing that remain vital, says Esteb, to maintain health and not handicap your immune system. Don’t wait until you become ill, he says, as maintenance health care is key.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus COVID-19, and the CDC recommends the basics such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; staying home when you are sick; covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash; and cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For more recommendations or updates from the CDC go to cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.

colds, flu, good health, supplements

Fight the Cold and Flu

Fight colds and the flu with chiropractic adjustments as well as quality supplements. River Falls Spine Chiropractic and Wellness Center is your local resource for Standard Process and NutriDyn products! Boost your immune system to help ward off colds or shorten the length of your illness with the proper rest, moderate exercise, fruits and veggies, and the supplements you need to help get you through the fall and winter months.

Ask Dr. Gartzke about which supplement is right for you and your family…


The following are a few of the NutriDyn supplements Dr. Gartzke recommends to his patients, especially as we enter the winter months:
Essential Multi (multivitamin)
Omega Pure EPA-DHA 500 (fish oil)
D3 5000 (vitamin D)
UltraBiotic Daily (probiotic)

Essentials Multi (multivitamin)
Omega Pure EPA-DHA 500 (fish oil)
D3 5000 (vitamin D)

UltraBiotic Daily (probiotic)

NutriDyn is a third-generation family owned business with international acclaim, respect, and trust. The passion and dedication to improve quality of life continues to inspire NutriDyn™ to seek new advancements in health and longevity through innovative clinical nutrition and educational services.


Standard Process is a Wisconsin-based family-owned company dedicated to making high-quality and nutrient-dense therapeutic supplements for three generations.

We apply a wholistic approach to how we farm, manufacture and protect the quality of our products. This comprehensive approach ensures that our clinical solutions deliver complex nutrients as nature intended. It’s how we define the whole food health advantage.


chronic pain, Events, good health

Can Chronic Pain be Relieved by Chiropractic?

Relieve Chronic Pain with Exercise and Chiropractic Care

Posted on March 9th, 2012 by Elaine Rosales  |  6 Comments »

exercise-and-chiropractic-care-for-chronic-pain-232x300At least 76.5 million Americans today suffer from chronic pain. Pharmaceutical drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and opioids (Vicodin and OxyContin) are the conventional remedy for chronic pain, but the problem is that these drugs may increase your risk of various health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, liver failure, and drug dependency or addiction.

Dr. Joseph Mercola says: “If you visit a conventional physician for pain, there’s a very good chance you’ll leave with a prescription for a medication… However, there are better options than drugs for neck pain not only in terms of pain relief, but also in helping to treat the underlying cause of the pain so that healing can truly occur.”

A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, revealed that medication is not the best choice for neck pain treatment. For 12 weeks, 272 neck pain patients were observed. According to the researchers’ findings:

  • 30 percent of those who exercised became pain-free
  • 32 percent who received chiropractic care became pain-free
  • 13 percent of those treated with medication became pain-free (link)

Can Exercise Really Relieve Neck Pain?

Chronic pain – particularly neck pain – is a common problem in the U.S. today. Seventy percent of people, at some point in their lives, will experience chronic neck pain.

A sedentary lifestyle or sedentary activities, such as working on a computer for long periods of time, may cause neck pain. The pain originates from the trapezius muscle or trapezius myalgia. Poor posture at work or during commute is also linked to many types of neck pain.

“It’s a vicious cycle as poor sitting posture leads to neck pain and once neck pain develops, it can make your posture even worse,” Dr. Mercola comments.

This proves that exercise is very important if you are suffering from chronic neck pain, since it helps improve posture, range of motion, and the functionality of your body. Exercise may help treat the underlying source of your pain, and may even prevent it from developing in the first place.

“Exercise helps prevent and relieve pain through a number of mechanisms including strengthening key supportive muscles and restoring flexibility,” Dr. Mercola adds.

Exercise Techniques to Relieve Chronic Neck Pain

The study mentioned above also noted that following a specific exercise program, which entails the use of hand weights, may help improve a person’s ability to maintain a neutral cervical posture during prolonged sitting. Thus, the poor posture-neck pain cycle is broken.

These five strength exercises, which target your shoulder and neck muscles, may help relieve neck pain:

  1. Dumbbell Shrug – Hold the hand weights at the side of your body while standing upright. In one fluid movement, lift your shoulders up towards your ears, and then slowly lower them down again. Make sure your jaw and neck are relaxed while you do this.
  2. One-Arm Row – Put one knee on a bench, and then lean on the same-side hand on the front of the bench. Using your free arm, pull the weight up until it touches your lower chest. Lower the weight down in controlled motion.
  3. Upright Row – Hold the hand weights and stretch out your arms in front of your body. Stand upright. Lift the weight in a straight line, as close to your body as possible. Let it reach the middle of your chest, with your elbows pointing up and out. Put the weights lower than the elbow during the entire exercise.
  4. Reverse Fly – Lie down on a bench at a 45 degree angle. Let the hand weights hang towards the floor. With your elbows slightly bent, lift the weights outwards and upwards, until they are horizontal. Afterwards, lower the weights in one controlled motion.
  5. Lateral Raise / Shoulder Abduction – Stand upright and put the hand weights at the side of your body. Slightly bending your elbows lift the weights outward and upward until they are horizontal. Lower them in one controlled motion.

The researchers recommend doing these exercises three times a week (every other day) and alternating between exercises. For example, you can do exercises 1, 3, and 5 on the first day and exercises 2 and 4 on the next day.

“When starting out, perform 2 sets of each exercise with eight to 12 repetitions for each set. Increase at your own pace to three sets for each. Depending on the exercise and your current muscle strength, the recommended beginner’s weight is between six to 12 pounds,” Dr. Mercola explains.

If you can comfortably execute the three sets, you can increase the weights. After at least four weeks, you can lower the number of repetitions of the last sets in order to increase the weight.

A Chiropractor May Also Help You Get Rid of Chronic Pain

Another natural and effective solution Dr. Joseph Mercola recommends is chiropractic care. A growing body of research now shows that consulting a chiropractor is safer and more effective than allopathic medical treatment, especially for chronic neck and back pain.

“I am an avid believer in the chiropractic philosophy, which places a strong emphasis on your body’s innate healing wisdom and far less reliance on Band-Aids like drugs and surgery,” he declares.

Chiropractic care may even affect basic physiological processes that also influence DNA repair and oxidative stress. This is why if you address any immediate spinal misalignment that is causing chronic pain, you may also address a deeper dysfunction in your body.

Studies have proven that therapeutic massage may offer significant improvements in body functions and help alleviate symptoms for those with neck pain. (link) Acupuncture, spinal manipulation, mobilization, and massage – which are known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments – may also be more effective than using a placebo, physical therapy, or conventional pain relief for those with neck or lower back pain. (link)

“So you have options when it comes to dealing with your pain, and there is good reason to explore them before you opt for medicated relief,” Dr. Mercola advises.

Dr. Mercola also recommends other natural tips and remedies to help alleviate chronic pain. Read the full article here.