What is a Normal Neck Curve? Can Chiropractic Restore Loss of Neck Curvature?
From the scientific journal, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, comes a study published on May 12, 2016, showing that chiropractic helped a patient improve their neck curvature even after having spinal fusion surgery. A normal neck, when viewed on x-ray from the side, has a normal forward curvature.
The study begins by noting that a loss of the normal neck curve is a common finding in a chiropractic office. The study points out that once a neck curvature starts to decrease or reverse, the condition, if left untreated, makes itself worse over time. Many health issues seem to follow the progression of a loss of neck curvature. These problems include low back pain, disc degeneration, spondylosis, ossification of spinal ligaments, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, improper rib cage expansion, early osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, vertebral compression fractures and spondylolisthesis.
Problems from a loss of curve basically fall into two categories. These problems are either musculoskeletal in nature or neurological in nature. The musculoskeletal problems stem from an altered structure that affects posture and the mechanic of the spine. The neurological problems can affect the spinal cord itself as it gets stretched over a neck that is curving the wrong way.
In this study, a 43-year-old woman went to the chiropractor with a long history of severe neck pains. This problem was so severe that she had even had spinal fusion surgery on the lower parts of her neck. This surgery, however, did not yield the desired result, which caused the woman to seek chiropractic care. She was also suffering from mid-back pain as well as pain in the lower back.
A chiropractic examination was performed that included palpation, thermographic heat studies, and both static and motion x-rays. Her neck curve was almost totally reversed compared to a normal neck curvature. In addition, several areas of the neck did not have normal motion when examined with motion x-rays.
From the examination, a determination was made that subluxations were present. Specific chiropractic adjustments were given to address the subluxations and reversal of the neck curve.
After 9 visits, the study reports that follow up x-rays showed close to a 50% improvement in the woman’s neck. Additionally, the woman reported that most of her symptoms were significantly reduced.
In their conclusion, the authors sum up the importance of restoring a more normal cervical curve with chiropractic care. “Loss of spinal sagittal curves, specifically the cervical curve is a significant health risk, not only directly to the spinal cord via anoxia, leading to atrophy, but also the entire body since the nervous system is the control center for all bodily functions.”
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.