Is neck pain related to movement centers in the brain?

Todd Lloyd
June 5, 2021

Neck pain, cerebellum, and the effects of a chiropractic adjustment.

Most people know that chiropractic adjustments are helpful with neck pain. This is both in the long term and the short term. Chiropractic care also improves neck range of motion. You get adjusted, and your neck moves better.

There's an important link between the way your neck moves, the signals from your neck to your brain, and the way your brain can cope with the pain from your neck if things aren't moving well.

The key part of the brain here is the part of the brain that is important for movement: the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the "little brain" behind the big brain, and it a phylogenically older structure than the rest of your brain. It's a more primitive brain designed to coordinate movement. It's right next to your brain stem, so you know it's an old structure.

The cerebellum is for movement. It controls your muscle tone, so the muscles in your back care there ready to support your spine when you need to move. Picture you tightening your core before lifting something heavy. Your cerebellum anticipates a heavy lift, and recruits all of the muscles in your body to perform the task. Your cerebellum also is involved with anticipating where to put your arms to lift things.

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