Have you heard of spinal curves? There are four curves that develop naturally in your spine as we go through different stages in our growth and development. These four natural curves in your spine help to balance your body, provide shock absorption for your body, and prevent injury.
In your neck, the cervical portion of your spine, you should have a lordotic curve. This curve when viewed from the side looks like a forward curve. Many people no longer have this normal curve in their neck, and have a straightening of the neck, or a reversal in the curve, meaning their neck is now curving the opposite direction. This occurs due to muscle tightness in the neck, degeneration of the cervical vertebrae, injury due to a fall or accident, for example, whiplash caused by a car accident. And over time, if this curve is not corrected, the body attempts to stabilize the neck in this altered position, creating less movement and increased degeneration in the neck. This leads to increased problems and symptoms including, but not limited to, headaches, neck pain, decreased range of motion, arm and shoulder pain, hand numbness, increased sinus infections, etc. The most severe cases can even lead to paralysis.
The loss of this curve in the neck is known as cervical kyphosis. Even a slight decrease in the cervical or lordotic curve, can cause health problems as described above, and can ultimately affect your quality of life, and the ability for you to enjoy life. Neck pain may be common, but it is not normal. Chiropractors are able to locate these abnormalities in the spine and are quite successful in improving the proper curves in your spine. The sooner you find the cause of your neck pain or headaches, the sooner you will find relief, and start living the life the way you want.