Neck Pain and Stress — Podcast Interview with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein

Listen or Read Dr. Rubinstein’s Monthly Podcast Interview!

Topic: Neck Pain and Stress

Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Gregg Rubinstein’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast.  You can click the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below.  Enjoy!

PodCast Interview:

RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™  studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the United States.

In today’s episode we are speaking with chiropractor, Dr. Gregg Rubinstein.  Dr. Rubinstein is the founder of 57th Street Chiropractic located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan where he has been practicing since 1993. He specializes in pediatric & family care and Dr. Rubinstein is a long standing member of the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association. He also serves as a board member of Friends of Fresh and Green Academy, a non-profit organization that does extensive charity work in education in Ethiopia.

Dr. Rubinstein is widely considered to be one of the top chiropractors in the U.S. and is also a contributing member of our national network of razorcast™ professionals.

Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Neck Pain and Stress

RC: Hi Dr. Rubinstein, how are you today?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: I’m doing fine Liz. Thanks for asking. How’s everything by you?

RC: Everything’s great. Thanks so much for being here and let’s jump in.

Question 1: Is stress the biggest cause of neck pain? And why does stress cause pain?

RC: So is stress the biggest cause of neck pain and why does stress cause pain?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well, stress is definitely, I think, the biggest cause of neck pain. It’s the biggest contributing factor in our health because everyone is under a major amount of stress. Now, different people will manifest stress differently. Some people might get an upset stomach. Some people might feel it in their neck, some people headaches. So it varies from person to person and it usually depends on where the weaknesses are in the spine or in the chain of events. But very often when someone is stressed out, their whole nerve system is hyper excitable and when the nerve system is more excited, there’s more tension running through it and the nerve system runs on a higher tone. That higher tone can spill over into the muscular tracks and cause the muscles in the neck to tighten up and certainly if it tightens up more on one side than it does on the other, it’s going to pull the bones out of alignment which will irritate the nerves that those bones are designed to protect. And then we get this whole cycle that gets set up and very often that will cause neck pain or back pain. So it’s very common to see stress contributing to all these factors.

Question 2: What are some other causes of neck pain? 

RC: And what are some other causes of neck pain?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Other causes of neck pain… obviously there’s trauma. Right you know so if someone slips and falls or has a car accident, that could certainly knock the bones out of alignment or subluxate them which can put pressure on the nerves and that can contribute to neck pain and dysfunction as well as irritation to the nerves that leave the neck and go to other places – can even travel down the arm into the hand or even effect some of the internal organs. So it’s really important to know that many things can cause neck pain. So we mentioned trauma.  Also one of the things I see now is people who spend hours and hours on computers.  There’s something now coming up (and you might be seeing it in the news Liz, I’m not sure if you are) but there’s something called “text neck” where people are constantly with their phones texting with their heads dropped forward and we’re seeing that their center of gravity for the head is moving forward and that’s stressing a lot of the muscles. And younger and younger populations are starting to see episodes of neck pain and they’re starting to pop up in my office younger than what they used to. I’ve been in practice twenty-five years so I’m definitely seeing a shift and an increase in neck pain in the younger population as well. So many things can cause pain – stress, tension, poor posture, accidents, falls, many different things can contribute to that.

Question 3: How do you treat neck pain with chiropractic care?

RC: Okay and how do you treat neck pain with chiropractic care?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well obviously when anyone comes to a chiropractor, what we’re checking for is called the vertebral subluxation and that’s just a fancy way of saying that the vertebra, the bones that protect the central nervous system, have slipped out of their normal position and are pinching or irritating the neural structures. When those nerves become irritated then it’s going to cause pain and dysfunction. As a chiropractor, my job is to realign the vertebra, get the pressure or the irritation off the nerves and that will usually do the job – allowing the body to heal itself naturally because the body naturally heals itself. It’s self-developing, it’s self-regulating and it’s self-healing – all controlled by the nerve system. If we remove any interference to the nerve system, ninety percent of the time those problems are going to start to resolve. If it’s caused by a bone out of place and it’s irritating a nerve and causing the muscles to tighten up and stress is filling in all the rest of it then chiropractic is a great way to get checked, illuminate the pressure or the cause of the problem and then get to enjoy health afterwards.

Question 4: What are some natural ways to reduce stress and the effects of stress?

RC: And what are some natural ways to reduce stress and the effects of stress?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well to reduce stress, it really comes from within the person. And I have to admit, you know Liz, I can’t really help people with what we call subluxations above the atlas – which is where the brain is. Everything for a chiropractor happens from the base of the skull down and we’re looking for alignment issues that develop there and by removing those issues that’s going to eliminate the physical manifestations from stress. Because, let’s face it Liz, if you’ve ever had a real stressful day, what do you feel like a couple hours later? Is your neck muscles tight? Do you have a headache? And those are the things that you really need to look at.

But natural ways to reduce stress – exercise is huge. Because when you’re under stress, it’s flight or fight, right?  So your body is cranking out adrenalin and cortisol. Now when those hormones are running through your body, if you don’t burn those out or get rid of those chemicals, they’re just going to stay there and keep driving your sympathetic nervous system and getting you more and more amped up. So exercise is a huge way to burn off those stress chemicals and reduce the amount of stress in the body. So I think exercise is huge. Yoga is phenomenal because it combines exercise with relaxation techniques and really connecting the mind and the body because we have a lot more control over our body then we think. So I think yoga is another great natural way.

There’s breathing exercises, there’s meditation, there are balancing different foods. I recommend people to go and see acupuncturist at times too because they can help balance the chi or the flow of energy through the body as well. So stress can manifest itself in many different ways and there’s a lot of different approaches to reduce it but the most common ones again are yoga, breathing exercises, meditation exercise and then really learning about yourself and figuring out what are your stress triggers. You know, what are the things that set you off? And what a person knows about themself is really what can make them kind of go crazy and stress out. So it’s really about a lot of introspective things on top of the physical things we can help do it.

Then the other thing, of course, is seeing a chiropractor because once those physical manifestations of stress have built up in the body – the knots, the tightness and the pulling – they are going to pull the bones out of alignment or subluxate them. That will irritate the nerve system more and then this viscous cycle gets set up and it can really have much more profound effects on the body.

Question 5: Can preventative chiropractic care help stave off neck pain?

RC: So that leads me right into my last question. Can preventative chiropractic care help stave off neck pain?

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely. You know, what I was saying before is that stress, tension, poor posture and all these things that cause subluxations and stress are cumulative. And the more they accumulate in the body, the bigger the stress, the bigger the irritation, the bigger the problems that you’re going to see in the body. So taking care of it periodically rather than waiting for stress to blow up and cause this horrible episode of neck pain, well what if you got checked periodically.

And really there’s no difference in caring for your spine than the way you care for your teeth. You don’t eat candy and then wait until you have a cavity and then start brushing and going to a dentist. You might eat candy and then brush and floss and see the dentist periodically so there’s not enough accumulation of plaque, bacteria and tartar to cause a problem. And it’s not different in the body. If you can do regular chiropractic care and regular exercise and take care yourself before these problems become bigger, you’re always going to be much better off. Chiropractic adjustments are a great, gentle, safe and effective way to eliminate excess pressure irritation to the spinal nerves cause by misalignments or what we call subluxations in the chiropractic community.

So chiropractic is a great option to help dealing with your manifestations of stress, neck pain, back pain and all those types of things. It’s just a way to keep your nerve system and your body healthier.

RC: Thank you so much Dr. Rubinstein!  We know you are extremely busy, so I just want to thank you for all your time and help today.

Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Got it, it’s great to be here.

RC: Thanks so much and for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein,  you can either go online at or call (917) 534-6484 to schedule an appointment.

On behalf of our entire team at razorcast™, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading experts.

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