Dr. Tirtha Mendake offers a wide range of conventional and alternative therapies for neck and shoulder pain including chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga, herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine for patients at her practice, Avaya Wellness Center, located in the SoMa area of San Francisco, California.
Many of the muscles in the neck and shoulder interact with one another. Some of the muscles that run up the back of the neck, for example, are actually attached to the shoulder blade. The nerve pathways for the neck and shoulder are also intermingled, and sometimes the brain can't distinguish the actual location of the pain. You might have an alignment problem in your neck, but it “hurts” across the top of your shoulder.
If the vertebrae (bones of the spine) in your neck are not properly aligned, it can cause neck pain as well as headaches. As people age, the cartilage between the vertebrae can wear thin, which can put pressure on the nerves. Spending long hours sitting in front of a computer monitor tends to stress the muscles in the neck. Other postural habits, such as holding a phone between your shoulder and ear, can have similar effects. If the muscles in the neck become tense, they may go into spasm.
The shoulder is a very complex joint that involves the clavicle (collarbone), shoulder blade, and the humerus (long bone of the arm). The bones are held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments, any of which can be injured. One of the more common causes of shoulder pain is a rotator cuff problem, an injury to a group of muscles that stabilizes the shoulder. Other causes of shoulder pain are muscle strains, problems related to poor posture, and overuse of the shoulder (common in baseball pitchers).
Treatment depends on the cause of the problem. A rotator cuff injury, for example, may need to be surgically repaired. Muscle strains and sprains often respond to rest, cold, or heat and gentle stretching exercises. Acupuncture can help with muscle spasm and pain, while a chiropractic adjustment can resolve alignment problems in the neck or loosen chronically tight muscles. A chiropractic tool called the Activator is particularly useful for correcting alignment problems.
At Avaya Wellness Center, we accept most insurance plans. We accept United health care, Aetna and Blue Shield PPO plans. We are in network for Cigna and Blue Shield. If you don’t see your insurance on the list, we are happy to check your benefits for you. Please enter your insurance information in the online request for appointment to get details on your benefits.
"I highly recommend her. If it weren't for her, I would still be suffering - now my shoulder is almost pain free!"
"She is more then a skillful chiropractor, but a good teacher that taught me exercises for my body and a great listener."
"Can't say enough about Dr. Tirtha as she is an acupuncturist and a chiropractor. She has helped me with a lot of neck and low back pain. Check her out!"