neck pain

Neck Pain – What Does it Mean?

Neck pain – is there possibly a connection between mental and emotional stresses and the pain in our neck?  One type of common neck pain that people complain about is torticollis.

Torticollis is more commonly known as a “stiff neck” or a “frozen neck,” and is expressed when one or both sides of a person’s neck goes into spasm, making looking to the right or left painful or in severe cases, impossible.   People will often wake up with a stiff neck and rationalize it by saying that they slept wrong or that they got it because the window was open and the cold air was blowing on their neck throughout the night.  Is it mere coincidence or could the neck pain be connected to something more?

What I have discovered over the course of listening to thousands of personal histories with my practice members, is that when we experience a spasm at the base of our neck, the cause is usually due to a person having thoughts such as, “What is going to happen next?” As well, it can be due to fearful expectations, or because of dealings with an uncomfortable situation or person.

Does the Right Side or Left Side Matter?

Over my 13 years in practice, I’ve discovered that there is a meaning to having pain on the right side versus the left side.   I have seen a direct correlation with the side of the neck where the pain is, and the gender of the person that seems to be the cause.  Neck pain on the left is usually due to a female in the person’s life who is causing stress, while neck pain on the right is due to a male.

The other causes of left or right neck pain are due to issues regarding whether or not to take immediate action.  The right side of the body is associated with taking action or making a decision, while the left side of the body is associated with passive situations or perceived circumstances.

Our body is amazing in that it gives us all the signs of what is causing us stress.   A lot of times a physical event may be the cause of an injury or pain, as in when we incorrectly pick up a heavy object.  However, if we pay attention to what is going in our lives and connect it to the pain we feel in our physical bodies, we can experience a greater appreciation and awareness of how both our mental and emotional state has an integrated impact.

Cathy has a Pain in the Neck

The old saying, “That person is a pain in the neck!” has more truth to it than we realize.  Cathy comes to mind when I think of neck pain.  She found me in the phone book, and first came in to my office about eight years ago because she had been having headaches for about 12-14 years.

After being under care for three or four weeks, she came in one day, smiling, and told me that she hadn’t had a headache for the whole week.  She continued on with care consistently for about three years after which she stopped.

One day after not seeing her for years, she came back due to chronic pain at the base of her left neck, accompanied by tingling in her hands.  Both her doctor and orthopedic surgeon’s diagnosis after looking at her X-rays and MRI scans,  was a pinched nerve in her neck, bone spurs, and a bulging disc.  Although their recommendation was surgery, she wanted to see if she could address this condition without surgery.

I asked her, “Is there someone in your life that is literally a pain in your neck?”   She thought about it for a while without giving me an answer.  I continued my questioning asking her when the pain started.  She said that it started around eight months ago.”  “What happened eight months ago?” I asked.

She thought for a bit and then answered, “A new lady came into the office to work.”

I asked, “Is this person a pleasure or a pain to work with?”

She said, “Oh, this lady is never on time, and she always has an excuse for why her work isn’t complete.  She is literally a pain in my n-n-neck!”  Those were her exact words.  She laughed when she realized she had voiced it out loud.  Interestingly, once she made the connection, the intensity of her pain decreased remarkably.   Still in shock about how her perception of this lady was affecting her neck, I continued on with the examination of her spine and adjusted her.

By the second adjustment, her body remembered the strategies she developed years ago and the pain eventually cleared out within two weeks.  The doctors were dumbfounded when she went back to them and the pain was gone!

Making the connection between the woman who was a “pain in her neck” was the key to her healing.

If you can relate to neck pain or stiff neck episodes, or have a story to share about how an experience was linked to a pain, please feel free to share it in the comment box below.  There is a benefit to expressing and exchanging our stories!