Severe Neck Pain, Anterior Head Positioning and Spondylolisthesis Helped with Chiropractic

What is Spondylolisthesis? Can Chiropractic Care Help Degenerative Pain?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on November 7, 2016, reporting on chiropractic helping a woman suffering with severe neck pain, neck stiffness, and pain in the upper back associated with spondylolisthesis in her neck.

severe-neck-pain-anterior-head-positioning-and-spondylolisthesis-helped-with-chiropractic-austin-tx-chiropractor-back-pain-help-fast-best-reviews-nextdoor-app-yelp-google-facebookOn the website WebMD, spondylolisthesis is defined as “…a condition in which one bone in your back (vertebra) slides forward over the bone below it. It most often occurs in the lower spine (lumbosacral area). In some cases, this may lead to your spinal cord or nerve roots being squeezed. This can cause back pain and numbness or weakness in one or both legs.”

The authors of this study further describe this condition as it relates to the neck by stating, “Spondylolisthesis of the spine refers to an anterior or posterior displacement of vertebrae relative to the vertebrae below. In the cervical spine, anterior or posterior vertebral displacement typically results from degenerative or traumatic causes.” This form of spondylolisthesis is known as degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis (DCS).

In this case, a 52-year-old woman suffering from neck pain, neck stiffness, and thoracic pain went to the chiropractor seeking relief. The woman reported that she experienced the pain frequently. She described the pain as severe, resulting in a tense and swelling sensation in her lower neck and upper back areas.

X-rays of the woman’s neck showed that the fourth vertebrae in her neck (C4) had moved significantly forward over the top of the fifth neck vertebrae (C5). Additionally, her C6 vertebrae had also move forward over her C7 neck vertebrae. The x-rays also showed that, overall, the woman’s head was significantly forward of a normal head position.

Based on the x-rays and a chiropractic examination, specific chiropractic care was started. After 30 visits, a re-evaluation was performed. This new examination with x-rays showed that the woman’s spondylolisthesis had been measurably reduced in both areas of her neck. Additionally, her overall head position had greatly improved. Due to these positive changes, the woman reported a complete resolution in her pain, stiffness, tension, and swelling.

In explaining how the mechanism for spondylolisthesis occurs, the authors of the study stated, “Abnormal posture, translational instability of vertebral segments, and abnormal facet angles have all been found to be predisposing factors for cervical degeneration and spondylolisthesis. These physiological changes can result in altered biomechanics leading to increased stress on the intervertebral discs and joints of the spine.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Loss of Normal Forward Neck Curve Associated with Multiple Health Issues

How Important is Posture on Health? How Does Chiropractic Care Effect Spinal Posture?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a literature review paper on March 28, 2016, that showed a connection between the loss of a normal neck curve and many types of adverse health issues.

Loss of Normal Forward Neck Curve Associated with Multiple Health Issues - Austin TX Chiropractor for pain from car and truck accidents injuryThe author begins by describing forward head posture as the condition whereby the head is projected forward of the middle of the neck. This situation would be similar to holding a bowling ball out in front of you instead of up against your body.  Even though the weight of the bowling ball does not change, it is harder to hold the ball further away from your body.

This forward projection means the neck has to support the head that is out in front, and not normally balanced, resulting in more stress to the spine and neck muscles. This condition has become more prevalent with the increase use of technologies such as computers and smart phones.

The author explains how common this can be: “People spend an average of 2-4 hours per day with their heads tilted reading and texting on smart phones and similar devices. Cumulatively, this is 700-1400 hours a year of excess spine stress.”

This situation can lead to acceleration of cervical spine degeneration, and degeneration of the intervertebral discs. This situation can also lead to a loss or reversal of the normal forward curve in the neck. This forward curve is essential to absorb shock of normal day-to-day activities. A loss or reversal of the neck curve has been shown to lead to a number of health issues beyond just pain conditions.

The study also points out that abnormal head posture and curvature changes in the neck can lead to changes in normal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. The brain’s pumping of CSF is essential for normal central nervous system function. The study notes that altered CSF flow has been associated with conditions  such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

In an overview discussion, the author noted, “Forward head posture and a decreased cervical curve affect the biomechanics of the spine. This can accelerate cervical spine degeneration, contribute to cervical myelopathy, affect proprioception, and contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.”

In the conclusion, the study author explains that  head posture and the curvature of the neck is often overlooked as a causative factor in many health issues and can have a profound effect on the function of the human body: “The body is more complex than merely the sum of its chemical processes. They do not occur in a vacuum. Biomechanics influence the body as well and warrant further investigation in some pathology.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.


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