Ask the Doc: Finding the correct treatment for neck trauma

Editor’s note: Dr. Philip Schalow’s featured article, “Ask the Doc,” appears monthly. This is the 12th column in the series. Send questions for Dr. Schalow to and he will answer each one individually and choose a sampling for this article.

By Dr. Philip Schalow

I had neck trauma, but the treatment my doctor prescribed is making things worse. What’s happening?”

Recent research is showing that damage to some very small ligaments in the neck will cause headaches, neck pain, face pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. If there is a little tear in one of those ligaments, it will not feel good to have common treatments for neck pain, such as traction or mobilizing exercises. In fact, one researcher (Krakenes) suggests little tears can become big tears (grade 2 or 3) if the wrong treatment is used.

The best way to identify those tears is with a certain kind of MRI study that shows ligament damage clearly. Once you know it’s there, you may wonder if it will heal.

The good news is there are ways to help this. Upper cervical chiropractic using the NUCCA procedure can very specifically restore right relations between damaged joints and maximize healing potential. This procedure does not force the joints, but instead restores balance between them.

In severe cases, there is a new medical procedure that involves injecting your own stem cells into the damaged tissues. The 1st Step, however, is to communicate your concern with your doctor and find out what is causing the problem.

Dr. Philip Schalow is a NUCCA practitioner in Rockford. He owns 1st Step Chiropractic, S.C., 4519 Highcrest Road, Rockford. Call (815) 398-4500 for details or visit

From the Dec. 4-10, 2013, issue

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