Your neck has a natural curve to it. This curve allows normal joint motion which then allows for normal spinal cord function. Why? Because joints can only move correctly when a normal structure is present and the spinal cord will only function correctly when the joints are mobile.
You’ll see in this image a progression of how a normal neck curve looks like to how abnormal deterioration and misalignment looks over time.
The Connection Between Neck Pain, Arthritis, And Loss Of Cervical Curve
Neck pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek medical help these days. In fact, you’d be surprised to hear someone say he/she had never experienced neck pain because the modern lifestyle has made neck pain the new norm. It also comes with a myriad of other abnormalities, which is usually only discovered upon physical examination, digital posture analysis, and functional movement and of course X-Ray.
A normal neck presents with a C shaped curve of approximately 43 degrees measured from the second bone in your neck (C2) to the seventh bone (C7). Without this normal curve, most often the balance of the weight of the head is tilted forward and creates increased wear and tear on the discs and the bones themselves. This eventually leads to bony spurs that we then call spine arthritis.
The problem is, even though a lot of research supports the connection between loss of the proper lateral curvature of the neck and arthritis, it’s not being talked about or brought to light. This is often because some people don’t like to “make a big deal” out of it since it doesn’t really hurt. What many people don’t realize is that, a lot of times, those who have degeneration of the cervical spine don’t experience pain just like not everyone who has pain don’t necessarily mean they’ll have degeneration.
This makes it tricky and at times confusing to handle for both the patient and the professional. But this is also why you should take those “just a stiff neck/back pain” or “just a headache” seriously because it can lead to bigger or more complicated conditions when not addressed accordingly and right away. Leaving them untreated because they are ‘not that bad’ can overtime, harm both your overall health and your quality of life, so taking a positive step towards solving these issues, like making an appointment to see a good chiropractor, will probably have a bigger positive impact on your day to day life than you’d ever imagined. This is why it’s important to look for the chiropractor or health professional that you feel you can communicate well with and create a working relationship. This way you can discuss your symptoms without hesitation or feeling like you’re being ignored or taken seriously. Otherwise, it would be best to look for a different doctor or chiropractor.
Where The Problem Starts
Did you know that for every inch the head moves forward in posture, its weight on your neck and upper back muscles increases by 10 pounds? Now imagine leaning forward for extended period of time every day. That’s bound to affect your body’s natural posture and invite chronic neck and back pain! Poor posture has been linked numerously to developing abnormal curvature of the neck and this has become even more commonplace nowadays due to the following:
- A recent study shows that 79% of the population between the ages 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time—which is why this ailment has become a commonplace.
- People rely on their phone for everything not just social media. Reading news, reading e-book, checking email, online shopping, playing games, and so much more.
- Not observing proper posture whether when sitting or standing. Often times, when people get bored being in one position for a long time they tend to slouch and tilt their heads forward.
- Activities like driving or working on a desk also make a person tilt his head in an unnatural position for a long time.
The Effects Of Abnormal Neck Curvature To Your Body
You may not notice it now, but letting neck pain and abnormal neck curve go unaddressed properly could eventually lead to negative effects to your body in general. Loss of range of motion and flexibility is often the first thing people experiences when they have abnormal neck curve. But that’s not all; the negative effects include acute and chronic neck pain including headaches, muscle spasms, “cricks” in the neck, fatigue and irritability. The disturbing part is that’s not even the worse cases because the symptoms can progress to neurological Issues including numbness, tingling, weakness, radiating pain or shooting pain as well as degeneration or accelerated aging of the bones of the spine and disc disease.
Chiropractic Adjustment Is A Great Complementary Treatment
While chiropractic adjustment can’t make fix abnormal neck curve per se, it can help treat the reason why you developed that bad positioning of your cervical spine. This posture usually starts from always leaning forward to something, whether it’s a computer or a mobile gadget which overtime leads to your vertebra going out of alignment. This is where chiropractic adjustment can help with. Chiropractic adjustments can:
Loosen Up The Joints Of The Cervical Vertebrae In The Neck
Sometimes, you are experiencing neck pain because the joints in your neck are stiff. This often happens due to tissue damage or scarring from trauma like whiplash or repetitive stress such as having poor posture. Both of these causes pain in your neck, but with the help of chiropractic adjustments your neck’s natural movement can be restored which can relieve the pain.
Reduce Pain Caused By Pinched Nerves And Muscle Spasms
When a nerve or set of nerves in the body are stretched, constricted, or compressed you can experienced symptoms like ‘pins and needles’ feeling or burning sensation around the area. Though rest does the trick sometimes, chiropractic care provides more in-depth solution for pain that keeps coming back. For pinched nerves and muscle spasms, chiropractors may use variety of treatment like manual manipulation, physiotherapy, and flexion distraction to reduce inflammation and take pressure off the spine.
Can Correct Misalignment
When you have neck subluxation, it becomes difficult to move your neck, your neck don’t receive adequate amount of blood supply, and don’t transmit appropriate nerve information. No wonder you are in pain! Whether it’s due to a recent trauma, poor posture, or health condition like arthritis, spinal adjustments can help correct misalignments in order to eliminate pain.