One of the most common concerns about the neck that is not especially worrisome: signs of “wear and tear” on the cervical spine, arthritis, and degenerative disc disease, as revealed by x-ray, CT scans, and MRI. Many people who have clear signs of arthritic degeneration in their spines will never have any symptoms, or only minor, and/or not for a long time.10 For instance, about 50% of fortysomethings have clinically silent disk bulges, and even at age 20 there’s a surprising amount of spinal arthritis. The seriousness of these signs is routinely overestimated by patients and healthcare professionals alike.11
I am a science writer, former massage therapist, and I was the assistant editor at ScienceBasedMedicine.org for several years. I have had my share of injuries and pain challenges as a runner and ultimate player. My wife and I live in downtown Vancouver, Canada. See my full bio and qualifications, or my blog, Writerly. You might run into me on Facebook or Twitter.
Dr. Daniel Lee Grotzinger was born in St. Marys, PA on July 7, 1948. He grew up with a deep interest in music and aviation. In his senior year he applied to both the Air Force Academy and for a Pitt university music scholarship. Neither came through. A semester was spent at St. Vincent college in Latrobe, PA studying for the Catholic priesthood before deciding to enlist in the USAF during the Viet-Nam war. He specialized in the radar systems for the B-58 and B-52. After four years of service he was discharged with spinal injuries. Several years of severe back pain with sciatica, with no relief from the usual medical methods lead to Dan trying chiropractic upon the advise of a church friend. In three visits the severe bilateral sciatic pain was resolved. Again, he applied to music school but found there was a long waiting list. Because of the tremendous help chiropractic had given him he began to think there must be a lot of others who have gone through what he did and could use the same kind of help. After several prayer sessions he received a very clear witness that this should be his life calling.
Among people seeking back pain relief alternatives, most choose chiropractic treatment. About 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. Of these, 7.7 million, or 35%, are seeking relief from back pain from various causes, including accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Other complaints include pain in the neck, arms, and legs, and headaches.
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