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My Neck Hurts---Why---My Guess

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Old 11-17-2004, 04:29 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chester Springs, PA, USA
Posts: 1,674
Subs30 HB UserSubs30 HB User
Cool My Neck Hurts---Why---The Guess

A while back---there were a series of post from---people with vestibular problems---who---wondered if an inner ear prob--- could mess up their neck---My Guess---was yes---because of the impact of the vestibular injury on your:

"Proprioception System"

May be worth repeating since it has come up again---in a number of recent post---but---it is still just a guess:

The guess:

Your ability to maintain your balance depends on information that your
brain receives from three different sources -- your eyes, the muscles
and joints of your body, and your inner ears. All three of these
sources send information in the form of nerve impulses from sensory
receptors, special nerve endings, to your brain. This is the sensory
input that has to do with balance. The input that your brain receives
from your muscles and joints comes from sensory receptors that are
sensitive to stretch or pressure in the tissue that surrounds them. As
your legs, arms, or other parts of your body move, the receptors
respond to the stretch of the muscles surrounding them and send
impulses through many sensory nerve fibers to your brain. The output
to the muscles, joints are the motor impulses that are sent from your
brain to the other muscles of your body control their movement so you
can maintain your balance whether you are sitting, standing, or
turning cartwheels.

So in your case---it seems probable that what's happening could be
happening via that system of muscles and joints of your body engaged
with your balance---and----

If you go to the various web sites on vestibular problems---at most of
the "Balance Centers" of excellence located at the Universities or
Government(U.S.& Overseas)---you run across---a discussions on a somatic
sense called:


(somatic senses are nervous system functions that collect sensory
information from the body but are not one of the special senses of
sight, hearing, taste, touch, or smell)

Typically, three somatic senses are described; pain,
thermoreceptivity, and mechanoreceptivity.

The latter of which includes "tactile" and "position" sense.

Most of these agree that there are THREE inputs to the "Brain's"
balance center----and under normal circumstances they provide that
information as follows:

--Vision 40%

--Vestibular 30%

--Proprioception 30%

The discussions center on what happens when the vestibular signal goes
"Nutso" because of an inner ear problem, BPPV, Lab, VN, etc.....

While most people have a fairly good grasp on the first two(vision &
vestibular) that last one(Proprioception)---is kind of elusive.

As you can see from the short(:-} description below---and if you think
about it----when the vestibular system gets "hosed up" ---among other
things---it screws up---the brain's ability to keep aware of
equilibrium and any changes to it---and that throws a "heavy load" on
the Proprioception System---actually throws it off-stride---which in
turn----causes a lot of the problems(we post about) with the bodies
"posture and movement and control" of the coordinated action of more
than 650 muscles

---This is also the system that develops the "Stored Movement
Templates" I talked about in another post---it is immanently involved
in developing them---through repetitive movements(i.e, practice makes

Since the slightest movement or even the intention to move initiates
widespread activity in muscles throughout the body(through the
Proprioception System) and since every movement has to be correct for
force, speed and position---any problems can cause a lot of problems
through out the body, neck, eye, stiff/strained muscles---so it is
worth(I think) knowing how this "Proprioception System" which provides
30% works/influences our problem(s).

From the Northwester Univ/NIH web sites....."BASIC PRINCIPLES

Proprioception is now generally classified as one of the somatic
senses - nervous system functions that collect sensory information
from the body but are not one of the special senses of sight, hearing,
taste, touch, or smell. Typically, three somatic senses are described:
pain, thermoreceptivity, and mechanoreceptivity, the latter of which
includes tactile and position sense.

Proprioception relates primarily to the position sense and encompasses
two aspects of it: static and dynamic. Static sense provides the brain
with feedback about the orientation of one body part to another. It is
this static sense that allows us, for instance, to reach behind our
backs and clasp our hands together or to touch our index finger to our
nose while keeping our eyes closed. The dynamic sense gives the brain
feedback about the rate and direction of the body's movement. We see
this sense in action when we slip but the brain automatically rights
us without our falling.

Thus, proprioception is actually a system of neuromuscular processes.
The proprioceptive system involves (1) incoming (afferent) signals,
(2) outgoing (efferent) signals, and (3) interactions between many
parts of the brain. Proprioceptive receptors in the skeletal muscles
(spindle cells) and on the surfaces of tendons (Golgi tendon
apparatus) provide constant feedback on the positions of body segments
and on the actions of muscles. Awareness of limb position and movement
is also gained through the stimulation of receptors in the joints.

The brain keeps aware of equilibrium changes through the inner ear
mechanisms (vestibular system), which enable the perception of
gravity. The information furnished by the vestibular system is also
essential for coordinating the position of the head and the movement
of the eyes. There are two sets of end organs in the inner ear, or
labyrinth: the semicircular canals, which respond to rotational
movements (angular acceleration); and the utricle and saccule within
the vestibule, which respond to changes in the position of the head
with respect to gravity (linear acceleration). Functionally these
organs are closely related to the cerebellum and to the reflex centers
of the spinal cord and brain stem that govern the movements of the
eyes, neck, and limbs.

Posture and movement are made possible by the coordinated action of
more than 650 muscles. The slightest movement or even the intention to
move initiates widespread activity in muscles throughout the body, and
every movement has to be correct for force, speed, and position. These
aspects of movement are governed by the proprioceptive system.".......

Just a guess---but think it has more to do with the input and output
of the brain's equlibrum center to and from the "Proprioception"
then any thing else.

But still a guess & with this junk who knows---certainly not many
medical types(but there are some).

Last edited by Subs30; 11-17-2004 at 11:42 PM.

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Old 11-18-2004, 08:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 155
BennyGibb HB User
Re: My Neck Hurts---Why---My Guess

Fascinating Subs, thanks...

With regards to the neck it's also worth mentioning, Sue Herdman talks in her books about guarded neck motions; as most people with vestibular dysfunction have a problem with head motion, then the neck muscles are often subconciously locked to try and keep the head as still as possible, which unsurpisingly leads to all kinds of neck problems and headaches. Which is why her vestibular exercise regimes often include neck stretches.

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