2-Minute Posture Check
July 29, 2020
By Chiro One Wellness Centers
The majority of Americans are familiar with the idiom, “Pain in the neck” and although the origins of this statement are unknown, it’s assumed that the prevalence of physical neck pain has historically played a role in why. According to the National Institute of Health Statistics national survey, neck pain is the second most common form of pain experienced in the United States. It is estimated that 75% of Americans will be affected by neck pain at some point in their lifetime, and the Medical Clinics of North America have declared it as the fourth leading cause of disability. To those of you familiar with acute and/or chronic neck pain, the saying and statistics may not come as a surprise given your personal experience.
The neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven intricately shaped small vertebrae. The first two cervical vertebrae are called the atlas (C1) and axis (C2), they allow you to nod your head and look from side-to-side. Together the seven cervical vertebrae have a subtle curvature, just as the mid-back (thoracic) and low back (lumbar) do, to ergonomically help support the weight of the body. If the curvature is misaligned and/or any one of the cervical vertebrae is compromised a series of greater problems may persist.
Due to the biomechanics, the neck is susceptible to pain and injury. Some common causes of neck pain are as follows:
Injury due to an accident such as whiplash. Whiplash includes a sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any given direction and the resulting rebound in the opposite direction. In this case the musculoskeletal system reacts by tightening in a protective manner and the patient may experience prolonged headaches, migraines, and stiffness as a result.
Poor posture whereby the head is misaligned with the body for extended periods of time. An example is sitting at a desk too long with the head positioned forward from the neck and shoulders, or activities like climbing or painting whereby the head is tilted up in a somewhat fixed position.
Age and natural degeneration that affect cervical curvature. Over the course of a lifetime spinal discs lose their elasticity, which in turn may cause the space between each vertebrae to lessen and the cervical vertebrae to become more prone to herniation. Other potential issues that affect the spine include degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease.
Doctors of chiropractic are conservative conservative care doctors that practice non-invasive, safe, and effective techniques to restore misaligned cervical vertebrae and relieve neck pain. They utilize a comprehensive report of your history, perform a physical examination and take digital images (x-rays or an MRI) to diagnose the specific type of problem you are experiencing. In addition to the medical analysis, they factor in your daily habits, physical activity levels, and health history to better understand your total-body health so that they can create an effective, personalized treatment plan.
The following treatment techniques show how a chiropractor near you can help realign cervical vertebrae to minimize pain, reduce headaches/migraines, and restore overall function.
Chiropractors have the ability to perform a biomechanical adjustment (aka cervical manipulation) to the joints of the neck. The precise procedure, usually done by hand, manipulates the spine back into optimal alignment – taking pressure off the nerves and allowing the body to function at its best. Additional benefits include less pain, improved mobility, restored range of motion, and a reduction in headaches/migraines.
In addition to cervical manipulations, a doctor of chiropractic may apply alternative modalities such as exercises, heat/cryotherapy, and traction therapy to treat neck pain.
Chiropractors pay a great deal of attention to the structure and function of the spine, as well as its effects on the neurological and musculoskeletal systems. They help you fix the root of the problem by applying specific forces to the joints and vertebrae that are out of place so that you can experience restored mobility and pain relief. Make an appointment with a chiropractor near you to learn more ways they can alleviate neck pain.