Why your neck should NOT be straight?
The cervical spine is made up of 7 vertebrae known as the neck, we begin to develop the natural ‘C’ curve as infants during tummy time. The importance of tummy time is for the ability to lift our head, strengthen the back, shoulders and neck muscles in addition to visual and sensory development.
As we learn to walk – the spine creates an ‘S’ curve to enable the body to hold greater amounts of stress by providing an even distribution of body weight.
The cervical spine has the greatest range of motion compared with the thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx regions. This is due to the first two vertebrae – atlas (C1) and axis (C2), which allow our heads to make a ‘yes’ motion and ‘no’ motion respectively.
An ideal cervical curve is 33° – which is measured by ruling up your neck x-rays.A reduced cervical curve is considered less than 33°, it is commonly seen and occurs due to a variety of reasons.
A reduction in the cervical curve progresses through major traumas such as car accidents, trips, falls and sporting injuries as well as micro traumas which include sitting with poor posture, sleeping on your stomach or misalignments that are sustained over a long period of time.
When the neck becomes straight also known as ‘flat neck’ or ‘military neck’ then serious issues can evolve such as spinal compression and degeneration.
It would also influence your load-carrying capacity and the increased stress may cause abnormal curves to develop. It may even move into the opposite direction causing a reverse curve.
The surrounding joints and musculature recruit extra forces in an effort to stabilise and support the spine. This can increase stiffness within those muscles, decrease range of motion, trigger headaches and cause pain into the neck and extremities.
What can you do at home during this time if you suspect you have a straight neck?
- Rest by rolling a towel and placing it behind your neck whilst laying on your back.
- Apply heat to relax the surrounding muscles.
- Be aware of the position of your neck – this means rearranging your desk set up or purchasing an ergonomic pillow to encourage good posture.
- Chin tuck exercise – instructions below!
Do you have cervical neck pain and are located in Melbourne?
If you are tired of having to put up with neck discomfort & pain, and want to identify the cause, rather than mask the symptoms, then we may be able to help.
At Sims & Finn our Chiropractors utilise Neuro-Structural Correction, the purpose of which is to correct the underlying shifts in the spine that are typically responsible for many symptoms- such as back pain and discomfort.
Our chiropractors are more than happy to answer any questions you have regarding the health of your spine and the relationship it has with your nervous system.
To make an appointment, please either book online via our website, or call our friendly staff.
Sims & Finn Chiropractic
52 Stud Road, Dandenong 3175