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Neck Pain Checklist

If I had to choose one area of the spine that I love working with, that would be the neck. Few people know that it is very important to make sure that the side view alignment of the neck, or cervical spine, has a “C” shape to it. Back when I was in Chiropractic College, we saw many straight necks on x-ray or what we call a hypolordosis … not good. The problem was that there were few techniques that could restore and rebuild a healthy cervical spine. It was about 5 years after graduating that I ran into a friend who was learning more about Corrective Chiropractic Care. I got on the Chiropractic Biophysics band wagon and suddenly helping people restore their neck curve was part of the norm.

I was super excited and was the first one at my old clinic getting adjusted, in addition to some specific therapies, to reconstruct a cervical curve … my own! It helped me get rid of the headaches that I used to get as well as jaw problems and tight shoulder and neck muscles.

It is said that once the cervical curve is gone, there’s no possibility that someone can have 100% health. The head should be supported by a 43 degree arc formed by the vertebral bones in the neck. Often, because of traumas like car accidents, falls, poor postural habits in the use of computers, phones or how we sleep, we can not only straighten the curve but position it forward. Balanced up over your shoulders properly, the head weighs up to 15 pounds. For every inch of forward head posture, the head effectively weighs 10 more pounds. Two inches of forward head posture translate into 35 pounds of pull pressure on the spinal cord! That spells trouble! Research shows that loss of the cervical curve alters the mechanical properties of the spinal cord and nerve roots, which may change the firing patterns of the neurons that comprise these structures. Since the neck contains every neuron that connects your brain with the rest of your body, the spinal cord in the neck is especially important to the function of every organ, cell and tissue in your body. We need to defy forward head posture and the loss of the cervical lordosis for our best health.

In my signature system, I help you get back the curve in your neck, or what we call the “Arc Of Life”. Not only will this change your posture and the way your body looks, it will help you get rid of the symptoms that often come along with a subluxated cervical spine. How does that sound to say goodbye to headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, carpal tunnel issues? Many times these issues can just dissolve! All through allowing your nerve system to function at its best.

This exciting news means that years of bad posture, slouching, heavy backpacks, sitting at a desk all day or rounded shoulders can be reversed to almost fully what was there many years earlier. Sometimes better than before … like in my personal situation. But this does take time. Most of my patients have been a patient of mine for over 9 months and those are the patients that are seeing results that stick! Think about how long problems took to manifest. We want lasting results, not just a quick fix that leaves you in the same predicament later.

Do you wonder if you have a forward head posture? Maybe you feel like you have a straight back and you do not slouch but are constantly having headaches and neck pain. Grab your pen and paper and check off the questions that apply below, answering more than 5 with a “Yes” probably means your head is tilting forward.

  • I text on my cell phone more than 30 minutes a day.
  • I commute to work for more than 60 minutes a day.
  • I wake up in the morning with a stiff neck.
  • I have pain when I turn my head from side to side.
  • My handbag or messenger bag weighs at least 10 pounds.
  • I have more than 5 headaches a month.
  • I sit at a computer 2-8 hours a day.
  • I get dizzy every once and a while for no reason.
  • I actually can hear my neck grinding when I move it.
  • I’m losing some of my height due to poor posture.

So how did you do? Were you surprised by how many yes’s there were. Forward head posture is often times a sign that degenerative disc disease is happening. This often occurs silently! When a new patient comes in to see me they are typically already at a stage 2 out of 4 on x-ray and sometimes only 30 years old! There is hope! It is not too late.

I am very passionate about teaching posture awareness and Corrective Chiropractic Care. It’s all about building a long, healthy life for yourself. Together we will begin to reverse the effects of bad posture. The best part about being a patient at Broadway Family Chiropractic is that you become more posture aware and health conscious every visit. You will start to notice improvements in your daily habits and with my help I will teach you how to make small corrections along the way. Let’s work together to reverse your forward head posture, decrease your neck pain and build a better spine.

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