I just can’t seem to find the time to write my new book, “The Neck Owners Manual”. With practicing full time regenerative medicine, running a medical practice and an ever growing stem cell company, as well as supervising and writing research-there’s often just not enough time in the day. So, it looks like the only way this book gets done is to write it as a series of blog posts and then put it all together later.
Why write a book about the neck for patients? Because it’s still a black box to most physicians. Or maybe better said, it’s still an elephant felt by different blind men. What does that mean? The guy at the front of the pachyderm thinks it’s trunk is a fire hose, the guy at the tail a rope, the guy at the leg a tree, and so on… It’s the same with the neck. To a chiropractor it’s stuck and needs to be manipulated, to a massage therapists the muscles are tight and need to be loosened, and to the pain management doctor every pain can be explained by a painful facet joint that needs to be injected. Just like our blind men around our hulking mastodon, none of these perceptions of the neck is completely correct. In fact, this is one of the reasons why many patients with chronic neck pain have it for life, as good care and doctors who understand the many different parts of the neck as an integrated whole are really hard to find.
Writing a book on very complex neurological, medical, and biomechanical phenomena is hard. I can’t say that I’ve mastered the art yet, although I’ve given it a college try with my two past patients books, Orthopedics 2.0 and Regenexx ProActive. So this time out I’m going to try something new. Patients often identify with their symptoms, i.e. I have headaches, or my right neck feels tight, or my arm goes numb. Makes sense, since that’s what they feel. So this book will be organized in that way-around symptoms and what can cause them. In addition, I’ll also discuss what you can do to help that problem. Hopefully, this will make this book a lot more enjoyable for patients to read and understand.
I’ll write this book in installments, each one a blog post. To the extent that I can cover one problem in one post I will, but when that’s not possible I’ll continue it in a part A, B, C, etc… of that installment.
Here’s what I’ll cover:
-Head feels heavy at the end of the day or when I bring my head back
-Neck popping and cracking, getting stuck
-Numbness in the shoulder, arm, forerm, or hand
-Neck is worse with sitting or using the computer
-Looking up makes things worse/can’t extend my neck
-Can’t turn the neck
-Pain or tightness in the shoulder, arms, or hands
-Pain in the shoulder blade or upper back
-Sleeping causes stiff neck or numbness in the hands
So let’s get this book off the ground! One of my passions has always been trying to take complex things and explain them simply for patients. This book should present a wonderful challenge as well as an opportunity to hopefully help a generation of patients understand why their neck is messed up and what to do about it!