The Women's Journal

Chiropractic & Neck Pain

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By D
r. Cynthia Crosser  

Who doesn’t have some neck pain from time to time? Much of the population spends one third of their day sitting and looking at a computer screen. Add to that postural dilemma looking down for several hours on an electronic device. We all know this as text neck. When the cervical spine is in a straight, neutral position, the head is exerting 10-12 lbs. of force on the joints of the neck. When looking down (sometimes for hours) the weight becomes as much as 60 lbs. This much excessive force over time causes disruption of the interspinous ligaments and changes in the joints between the vertebrae called the facet joints.  

Prior to any treatment, a proper medical history, examination, and testing is necessary. At times, the complaints can include headache, discomfort in the shoulder, arm, and upper back. Onset can be gradual due to postural defects, poorly designed workstations, or repetitive strain injury. It can be acute following an injury such as a fall, a car accident or an athletic injury. Whiplash falls into this category. Related to these injuries there may be difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, vertigo, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ and the list goes on.  

Workstation cumulative strain of the cervical spine is very common. If the monitor is slightly to one side or the other, muscles on the one side become tight; the other side loses tone. If monitors are too high, the neck is in unnatural extension for too long. These effects are cumulative and gradual. In addition to neck pain and stiffness, this can cause fatigue, headache, eye strain, and myofascial pain disorder and even pain into the arms and across the shoulders.

With examination we may see a “high” shoulder. The examination always includes range-of-motion testing and orthopedic and neurological testing. Many times, X-rays are recommended and, at times, an MRI as well. Reduced ranges of motion will most likely show muscle spasm in the cervical spine. There may be soft tissue swelling, inflammation, and/or joint crepitus (popping sounds) when the patient moves their neck. Reflexes, muscle strength and sensation of the upper extremities, is always assessed due to the connection to the nerves coming from specific levels of the cervical spine. The goal is to evaluate muscular tone and ligamentous tissues as well as any nerve root involvement.

Many patients are reluctant to have their neck manually adjusted and, over the years, I’ve adopted instrument adjusting for the cervical spine which is highly effective and makes the patient more at ease. Following the adjustment there is always a period of assessing lifestyle habits such as sleeping positions and use of a properly fitting pillow. The last phase of treatment is for them to do appropriate rehabilitative exercises for their condition in order to have them hold their adjustments and to prevent cervical disc degeneration. If cervical disc degeneration has already developed, addressing this is part of the treatment plan. There isn’t any reason to continue to suffer.

With a detailed assessment, an appropriate treatment plan, and lifestyle changes, pain can be kept at bay and surgery avoided. Get adjusted and become pain free again! For more information call 302-994-1010 or go to


“Dr. Crosser is the standard for all healthcare professionals — kind, caring, attentive, brilliant, insightful, forward thinking, and non-judgmental with an unwavering focus to find and eliminate the cause of your issue as opposed to treating only the symptoms to ensure your appointments, and your claims, continue indefinitely.” ~ Sean M. 

“I have suffered from migraines since I was a teenager. I would have one all day long, go to sleep and still wake up the next day with the same migraine. I was tired of relying on pills. I just wanted a more natural alternative. I felt like this would never end. Dr. Crosser is literally a saving grace. I can officially say I’ve not suffered from a migraine since seeing her!!! I am so happy. I highly recommend her. I can’t express enough how my life is changed for the better!” ~ Krystal S.


Wellness within reach!

Pike Creek   302-994-1010

5700 Kirkwood Hwy., Suite 101, Wilmington, DE 19808

Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Weight loss, Neurofeedback, Nutritional Counseling