Have you ever experienced that nagging neck pain that just won’t go away? Neck pain, unlike many other types of pain, is tolerable. And what I mean by that, is even though it can drive you insane, people are often still able to push through it because they’re still able to use their limbs or barrel through work. This can be very dangerous because, if ignored, long term neck pain may become a more significant issue if nerves are pinched or cut off. This can eventually lead to the feeling of pain going down the shoulder into the arm. If it continues to get ignored from there, then tingling or just plain old numbness in the arm can set in.
In general, most physical therapy with a dedicated treatment plan will help about 80% of those cases. Good hands-on manual therapy and corrective neck and shoulder stability and mobility exercises will be just the ticket.
But what if you are that 20% that just can’t seem to shake that pain, even with treatment? You may find that it just feels different from what others tell you about how their neck pain behaves. Those chin tucking exercises that the therapist keeps giving you hurts and might even make you feel like you’re choking. You might find that it even irritates the symptoms that run down your arm. When you turn your head, you feel a pinching in your neck, a snag, or like something is catching. Sound familiar? Headaches, a choking feeling when you swallow or even a pulling in your eye are also common.
Sometimes, the symptoms have been there for so long that the pain or pressure can migrate to the cheek or face. Most of the patients that come here are often trying to find a resolution to a nagging problem that has lingered for much too long. Isn’t it frustrating?
Some people try to self manipulate or crack their neck. Read my blog HERE about the dangers of popping/cracking your joints. If you go to a chiropractor, you might find that the pain over time worsens.
But what exactly is causing all of these strange symptoms that no one can seem to fix? You, my friend, might have yourself a Lin Defect. This is a condition that I discovered on my own body with neck pain that I lived with for nearly ten years!
In graduate school, I learned and found ways to pop my neck. One day, I had a pop that I instantly regretted, and it sent a searing pain down my arm. From that moment, I felt like my neck locked up and was out of place.
But our brain does a fantastic job of blocking things out. Over time, it numbed my awareness of this pain, and I was only reminded of it when I tried to throw or reach overhead. Sometimes I noticed it when I was holding my cell phone to my ear for a long time. I would get this numbing feeling down my arm that just felt wrong.
I would teach chin tucks to my patients and experience the same symptoms. I just left like one side of my neck was off. I NEEDED someone to put it back, and with the aid of our therapists at Rehab and Revive, we dared to try the technique you see in the video below. And it worked! Instantly, I regained my arm range and could turn my neck symptom free! It was exactly what I needed.
But what exactly is a Lin Defect, and how did it happen?
In short, it is neck instability gone awry. In general, misalignments at the neck affect both sides of the joint. In this instance, it only affects one side. Capsules and ligaments are torn somehow at the facet joints of the above segment of the neck. This allows the facet to shift which then can create pinched nerves, bone grinding against bone, or just irritate surrounding tissue. See the pictures below.
5 Indicators of a Lin Defect
1. Subjective: Blocking and choking feeling with head/neck movement and swallowing
2. History: chronic self manipulating and/or chiropractic visits, trauma such as a concussion or whiplash
3. Palpation test: painful, nerve-y, sharp, boney contour in the anterolateral part of the neck
4. Nerve tension tests as well as the Upper Limb Tension Test not allowing the arm to be raised above 90 degrees
5. Range of motion test in the neck; the neck feels blocked or tight when turning toward the pain turning head toward injury
How do you fix it?
There’s only one way I know how to fix a Lin Defect, and that’s using our Lin Defect corrective technique; a manual technique to reset the facets and then re-educating the neck so that the brain can learn it’s new range.
There is a population we would be reluctant to perform this technique. Anyone with cardiovascular issues or anyone over the age of 40 due to the sensitivity of the arteries and veins in the neck might not be good candidates for this method.
If you think you have a Lin Defect and some or all of these symptoms apply to you, some and get it assessed with us. We’ve got a program that is comprehensive and yields longer-lasting benefits for this condition. We’re the only ones on this planet who know of this and know how to treat it.
Remember, we heal smarter, not harder.
Dr. Justin C. Lin