San Francisco Chiropractor for Head, Neck and Shoulder Pain

San Francisco Chiropractor for Head, Neck and Shoulder Pain

For many, the new year marks a new beginning and often is full of new and exciting promises of change. It’s the time of year that people take action and make commitments to better themselves. These ‘new year resolutions’ come in many variations and often include various lifestyle changes that regularly include things like dietary changes, weight-loss goals or the self promise of “hitting the gym hard”. How many of our exercise related resolutions truly extend past January? How about March? Oftentimes, it’s some silly minor neck or shoulder twinge that’s responsible for an incomplete workout.  San Francisco chiropractor Dr. Ryan Lawlor has a unique approach to helping people resolve neck and shoulder pain that can prevent those from following through with reaching their new year’s goals. And believe it or not, he can do so without the often unfavorable cracking, popping or twisting, associated with regular chiropractic adjustments. This can allow a person to stretch their new year’s resolutions well beyond January, hopefully long enough to impact their healthy lifestyle change, for good.

Seeing a head, neck or shoulder chiropractor specialist can make a dramatic difference in how a person moves and feels. More importantly, it affects how well the individual’s body is able to sense and respond appropriately to whatever stresses they are placing on their bodies. And afterall, what’s more important than being able to sense and respond appropriately, right? This goes for anyone, not just the searching for a neck pain chiropractor.

The demands of your body should be able to meet its functional ability. Simply put, Dr. Lawlor focuses on restoring your functional ability.

Migraines Impacting Your Daily Life?

How Much of My Pain is Originating in My Neck?

According to the mayo clinic, neck pain can involve the neck and shoulders, or it may radiate down an arm. The pain can be dull or feel like an electric shock into your arm. Certain other signs and symptoms, such as numbness or muscle weakness in an arm, can help pinpoint the cause of your neck pain. (1)

I Do Have Neck Pain But Can My Neck Really Be Affecting My Head, Shoulders and Arm Pain? Is That Common?

Absolutely. Current research suggests that neck pain (or cervicalgia) is very common. Nearly two-thirds of the population have had some sort of neck pain or disruptive discomfort affecting their mobility. (2)

And while so many of us who do have bouts of neck pain from time to time, how many of us actually have it evaluated by a doctor?  More often than not, these discomforts can seem to resolve on their own or with the help of a massage or hot shower, but is this actually a fix. The simple answer is NOT REALLY.

People who avoid seeing a neck pain chiropractor, more often just delay the inevitable, future, more problematic issues that can display themselves in numerous ways.

Hope for Meniere’s Disease Sufferers

What Are Some Causes of Head, Neck or Shoulder Pain?

Let’s see how some of most of us got this way.

1. Injury: This is likely most common. Accidents and injurious that have spanned over the course of a lifetime tear loose connective tissues that stabilize the head and neck over the shoulders. The neck is a pretty vulnerable area that is easily susceptible to injury – especially in incidents such as car accidents, sports related collisions (major and minor concussions) and common slips and falls.

2. Muscle Strains and Pulling : These are also very common and can be caused by everyday activities that we perform, unaware that we are aggravating an existing injury…  that is until you just cannot ignore it any more.

3. Poor Posture: Unfortunately, the world we live in today, we have designed our lives to be hunched over in front of a computer or some electronic device. We are constantly checking and returning emails for work or interacting with friends and relatives via text messages. Our body’s are adapting organisms and develop in a way to meet its demands.

And as we drive further into the future, one cannot help but notice that we are growing closer and closer towards meeting the postural demands that are developing – for our ability to sit a desk or look down to check our social media. (Although we understand, this is commonly when people end up googling the common searches… local shoulder pain chiropractor or head pain chiropractor near me). Happy to report, poor posture is not usually permanent and something we see and address regularly.

4. More Serious Causes: These start to get scarier as we move down the list. Please note, these are not typical but very much a possibility. Should you think any of these are a possibility, please seek the advice of a doctor.

Back pain / Avoiding surgery

How Is Neck Pain Diagnosed?

Accompanied by a complete medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic procedures for neck pain can include X-ray, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan) (3)

What Are The Common Ways To Address My Neck Pain?

For the minor neck discomforts of life, commonly some people are able to get away with these simple remedies.

  1. Applying Ice or Heat. This is done directly to the area of discomfort. Often ice is preferred over heat, but its dependant on various factors. Although you can find research recommending both, we probably suggest ice over heat. (Remember 20 mins on/20 mins off).
  2. Maintained Motion. Keeping it moving is often helpful, but you’d want to avoid jerking activities. So avoiding Space Mountain for a few days may of some value. Up and down and side to side is good. That meanse big YES and big NO motions. However we recommend avoiding lateral flexion motions (the motion of side to side – so anything like holding your phone to your shoulder is not recommended…
  3. Over the Counter Medications. These can be burdensome on your body in one way or another and can lead to other systemic problems.
  4. Upper Cervical Care. This can eliminate the discomforts associated with the neck pains that cause cause a host of other things, in what’s typically a relatively short amount of time.

Is There A Natural Way to Manage Neck Pain?

There are! Some head pain, neck pain, shoulder pain or arm pain treatments involves physiotherapy to strengthen muscle groups. For most people this is just not enough. Believe it or not, the top of your neck plays a huge roll in the role of your recovery. Turns out, that the cranio-cervical junction, that area where the head meets the neck, which can limit the recovery – ultimately affecting the bigger picture of getting back to functioning more like you did before – moreso, more like you’re supposed to.

Do I Need Upper Cervical Care?

If you or someone you care deals with the grind and bother of head, neck or shoulder pain – it is imperative for your health and well being ‘now’ and for decades to come to be certain that you are as well as you can possibly be. Your health today is because of the choices you made 1 year ago, and in turn, your health 1 year from now will be because of the choices you make today.

We hope that this article has been helpful and helps those in need. If you are interested in having a consultation or are looking for concussion treatment in our downtown San Francisco Union Square office, you can call 415-362-3500 or click the attached link. We hope to see you soon.


  2. “Cervical spondylosis and neck pain”. BMJ. 334(7592): 527–31. doi:10.1136/bmj.39127.608299.80. PMC1819511Freely accessible. PMID17347239.
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The Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Technique is a specific system of analyzing and adjusting the upper cervical vertebrae of the spinal column. These vertebrae can misalign in such a way as to interfere with the brainstem and spinal cord as they exit through the floor of the skull into the neural canal.