At the start of my sophomore year in college, I had a serious football injury to my neck that made the doctors and trainers around me, not only question if I was going to be able to play again…
But question if I would be able to MOVE again…
I remember what happened quite vividly-
- I dove to catch a ball up the field, at the same time a defender was diving for the ball toward the sideline.
- As I caught the ball and hit the ground, the defender diving from my right, hit the side of my head with his shoulders.
- As he landed his momentum continued with him sliding (over my head) to the sideline, effectively causing my head to crank to the right and over-rotating my neck over my shoulders…
The next moment brought EXTREME PAIN!
It felt like lava pouring down my neck and spine, and instantly caused both my arms to go completely numb.
My team’s medical staff rushed to me, stabilized my neck, immediately called the paramedics, and proceeded to discuss whether they thought it was my C4, C5, C6 or some combo that had just been injured in some way…
As I was laying on the field waiting for the ambulance, I remember having a very lucid and detached thought, as if I wasn’t connected to the pain I was experiencing-
“I know that I might be paralyzed now… But this frantic conversation these freaked-out medical personnel are having around me, isn’t helping the situation…”
So I then proceeded to do what I do best… I found some humor in the situtation and started making jokes (through clenched teeth of course lol) that they better not ruin my shoulder pads as they cut them off me, and if the paramedics enjoyed the show Scrubs, and what their favorite episodes were.
I was then put on a stretcher, taken to the hospital, and laid on that stretcher for what felt like days (which was actually just a few hours), as they took every image of my neck they could do.
Ultimately what came to be, was that they were all wrong! I had my neck torqued in such a way that I had pinched/crushed some nerve pathways so aggressively that I had damaged the nerves, causing the extreme pain and numbness.
Fortunately for me, it wasn’t paralysis, and there was hope that I would be able to recover and continue to play down the road.
Unfortunately though, outside of the standard physical therapy treatments of stim, ice, heat, gentle manipulations, and basic exercises, I didn’t do much else to rehab.
Plus with missed imbalances that I had around my hips and ankles, that I didn’t know were impacting how well my glutes and core were engaging to support my neck from the foundation up…
I would continue for years to have neck pains, tensions, and the SUPER FUN “stingers” that would occur whenever I looked over my right shoulder (my favorite was when those happened while driving on the freeway… NOT!).
That was until I corrected my body’s imbalances, and moved myself back to full ranges of stable motion!
The neck has so much to do with the foundation that it sits on, so we need to consider the entire body when figuring out how to properly stabilize it:
- What’s happening at the thoracic spine and shoulder girdle?
- How is the core stabilizing?
- What’s going on at the pelvis and how does it use the glute complex?
- Then finally, how are the feet & ankles impacting us from the ground up?
Answering these questions, is what allowed me to use specific mobility and exercise techniques to bring my WHOLE body back to a place where my neck could be “happy” again :).
I’m no exception- In the hundreds of clients we’ve worked with that have neck issues, we tend to find they have dysfunctional glute & core engagement.
When we have these dysfunctions to the base of support that the neck sits on, well then it’s somewhat commonsense to figure the neck isn’t going to function very well either…
So in this video I go over some techniques you can do NOW, to help calm down tensions in the neck, and stabilize it correctly right after, as well as expand on the concepts of full body stability. Check it out below:
Also, if this topic resonated with you, and you’d love to connect with my team and me for FREE to analyze and determine where your imbalances are that are impacting your body…
Then CLICK HERE to see our calendar to schedule your free consultation calls with us, with a day and time that works best for you.