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Chronic Neck Pain

The S4 and D4 Ways

Majid Ali, M.D.

Chronic neck pain is first a muscle problem, then an inflammation problem. It is a common mistake to focus on tendons, nerves, trigger points, disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, and bone damage. The focus on muscle and inflammation is a path of learning, knowing, liberating, and independence. The focus on tendons, discs, and vertebrae is a path of diagnosis, drugs, devices, and dependence—"the D4 Way," seems a good term for it. Nature evolved your neck to serve you with suppleness, stretching, swings, and strength ("the S4 Way")—to serve you for a hundred years or so. In this context, please consider: Evolution did not design the wholly integrated neck architecture and structures for the benefit of orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, or pain specialists. The "muscle-inflammation thinking" will help you to live with Nature’s S4 Way, the the D4 Way will not. It is really that simple!

Basis of My Guidelines

I begin by offering my qualifications for writing about chronic neck pain and my guidelines for nondrug remedies:

1. For 29 years, I worked in a hospital as a pathologist and spent long hours peering through a microscope. I do not recall if anyone warned me against developing chronic neck stress from leaning over a microscope before I myself developed stiffness of neck muscles, which sometimes turned into neck pain.

2. I have a prolapsed disc in my lumbar spine and suffered for years. Twice the pain was severe and restricted me to bed for days, forcing me to consider surgery. Fortunately I avoided surgery and have not used any pain killers for more than ten years. I do back exercises every morning and Feather Breathing as often as needed.

3. Orthopedics was a large part of my surgical training. I received certification (FRCS) in England in 1968. With passing decades I realized the limits of physiotherapy and manipulation done by professionals and the far superior long-term benefits of self-administered neck stretches and non-drug anti-inflammatory therapies.

My S4 Priorities

Based on personal experiences and clinical work with a large number of patients with chronic neck pain, here are my seven top priorities for addressing issues of muscle spasm and inflammation, and for relieving pain:

1. Gentle, high-frequency, low-intensity neck stretches and massage (described below)

2. Topical oil rubs

3. Anti-inflammatory Spices

 http://www.majidali.com/spice_medicine_and_oxygen_part_2.htm

4. Limbic breathing

 (http://www.majidali.com/limbic_breathing.htm)

5. Four week trial of gluten-free and sugar-free diet.

6. Readings of my poem "Sadness" (from my book entitled Drone Democracy) for spiritual equilibrium as often as needed.

7. Use of contour-molding pillows (such as temperpedic)

Once the neck pain is completely or near-completely relieved, please do not forget to do neck stretches and massage.

The links provide detailed information about the clinical uses of my protocols listed above. The integrated use of all seven recommendationwill give the best clinical results, however, if all of them cannot be implemented, it helps to do as many as possible.

For chronic neck pain, one needs to become one’s own primary physician. If you can do all of the above for just four weeks, you will be well on your way to becoming your own primary physician. It is that simple.

Happy and Unhappy Muscles

Unstretched neck muscles are uneasy muscles. They brood and bruise easily. Withdrawn and sullen, unstretched muscles shun participation, much like a child who shuns other children on a playground even though he yearns to be there. Supple and stretched muscles are happy muscles—live, breathing, and eager to respond and vibrate. Stretched muscles are kind muscles

Dr. Ali’s Limbic Neck Exercises

Below is a description of stretches I recommend to my patients stretching and strengthening neck muscles and for relieving chronic neck pain. If you cannot do all six steps, please, do as many as you can, and do them often.

First Step

First, rub the neck and shoulder muscles between your two palms to loosen them and warm them up for one or two minutes. Next do a temple message with a gentle, rolling motion of your palms placed on your temples.

Second Step

Second, turn your neck to the right as far as it will go without causing any discomfort. Put your left hand firmly on your left temple. Push your neck firmly against the left hand. There should be no actual movement in the neck, the push of the neck should be balanced by the push of the hand. Count to ten and let go.

Third Step

Turn your neck to the left as far as it will go. Put your right hand on your right temple, and follow the same instructions for the left as for the right.

Fourth Step

Bend your neck forward, as far as it will go without causing discomfort. Put your two hands on the back of the head as shown above. Push your head up against the two hands as much as you can without causing any discomfort. There should be no actual movement of the neck. Count to ten and let go.

Fifth Step

Extend (bend backward) your neck. Put your two hands on your forehead as shown in the preceding diagram, and follow the same instructions for bending your neck backward as for bending your neck forward.

Sixth Step

Move your neck in gentle circles see how much freer your neck now is compared with the same movements before doing the preceding five steps.

 

Related Tutorials

* What Is Pain?

* Chronic Pain—Diagnosis Is Not Important, Detection of Causes Is

* The Oxygen Model of Pain

* The Oxygen Model of Pain

* Fibromyalgia - Simplified

* Fibromyalgia and Polymyagia

* Fibromyalgia of the Seniors

* Chronic Backache

* Chronic Neck Pain

* Swivel Chair Physiotherapy

*  Migraine Migraine - Please Say Yes to Detection and No to Diagnosis

Migraine Labels That Reveal Nothing and Hide Much

Neurochemistry and Clinical Aspects of Pain

*  A Pathologist’s Migraine

A President’s Migraine

A Politician’s Migraine

*  Short-term Use of Migraine Attacks With Drugs Concurrent With Nondrug Natural Remedies

 

 

 

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