Your neck has a natural curve to it. This curve allows normal joint motion which then allows for normal spinal cord function. Why? Because joints can only move correctly when the normal structure is present and the spinal cord will only function correctly when the joints are mobile.
Neck Pain, Arthritis, And Loss Of Cervical Curve
A normal neck has a C shaped curve of approximately 43 degrees measured from the second bone in your neck (C2) to the seventh bone (C7). Without this normal curve, most often the balance of the weight of the head is tilted forward and creates increased wear and tear on the discs and the bones themselves. This eventually leads to bony spurs that we then call spine arthritis which of course leads to neck pain too.
Neck pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek medical help these days. In fact, you’d be surprised to hear someone say he/she had never experienced neck pain because the modern lifestyle has made neck pain the new norm. It also comes with a myriad of other abnormalities, which is usually only discovered upon physical examination, digital posture analysis, and functional movement and of course X-Ray.
The problem is, even though a lot of research supports the connection between loss of the proper lateral curvature of the neck and arthritis, it’s not being talked about or brought to light. This is often because some people don’t like to “make a big deal” out of it since it doesn’t really hurt. What many people don’t realize is that, a lot of times, those who have degeneration of the cervical spine don’t experience pain just like not everyone who has pain doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have degeneration.
Why people develop abnormal neck curvature
Did you know that for every inch the head moves forward in posture, its weight on your neck and upper back muscles increases by 10 pounds? Now imagine leaning forward for an extended period of time every day. That’s bound to affect your body’s natural posture and invite chronic neck and back pain! Poor posture has been linked numerously to developing abnormal curvature of the neck and this has become even more commonplace nowadays due to the following:
A recent study shows that 79% of the population between the ages 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time—which is why this ailment has become a commonplace.
People rely on their phone for everything, not just social media. Reading news, reading e-book, checking email, online shopping, playing games, and so much more.
Not observing proper posture whether when sitting or standing. Often times, when people get bored being in one position for a long time they tend to slouch and tilt their heads forward.
Activities like driving or working on a desk also makes a person tilt his head in an unnatural position for a long time.
What Do Abnormal Neck Curvature Do To Your Body
You may not notice it now, but letting neck pain and abnormal neck curve go unaddressed properly could eventually lead to negative effects on your body in general.
Loss of range of motion and flexibility is often the first thing people experiences when they have an abnormal neck curve.
Upper back pain ranging from chronic, nagging pain to sharp, severe upper back muscle spasms.
Shoulder pain and tightness, possibly resulting in painful shoulder muscle spasm.
If a cervical nerve becomes pinched, pain and possibly neurological symptoms can radiate down your arm and into your hand
5 Ways To Help Ease Neck Pain
In acupuncture, pain is relieved through the production of the body’s natural painkillers, which is stimulated by the needling of corresponding meridians on the body. Acupuncture also encourages the release of Serotonin, which helps to regulate the mood, moderate sleeping cycles, and can relax tense muscles. As a result, acupuncture improves the chemical, nervous, and neurological processes in your body which is why it’s great for pain management.
2. Herbal Remedies
This is a topical cream that you apply on the neck area that can relieve muscle or joint pain. Though it works, you may have to keep re-applying because the effect is temporary. Though, compared to oral pain medication, you’re better off with a cream that offers the same temporary relieve but won’t affect your liver in the long run. Just know that this is the active ingredient in chili peppers that make them hot, so expect heat sensation when applied.
This comes from southern Africa, where it has been used for centuries to treat fever, arthritis, and gastrointestinal problems. Today, it's used for conditions that cause inflammation and pain, like cervical osteoarthritis.
White Willow Bark
Does aspirin irritate your stomach? Here’s a natural version of aspirin. It’s for a condition that causes pain and inflammation. In fact, white willow bark led to the development of aspirin in Europe so you’re guaranteed to get the same effect minus other synthetic ingredients that come with aspirins.
This helps to relax muscles, loosen up tight tissue, increase blood flow and even increase the production of painkilling, calming chemicals, such as endorphins. So getting a regular massage session can definitely help with your neck pain since this kind of pain is often due to stress, overuse, and misuse of muscles.
4. Yoga And Pilates
Yoga and Pilates help align and lengthen the spine, as well as strengthen your core. As a result, the pressure on the nerve around the neck area is likely to come off. But you should consult your doctor first because the cause and severity of your neck pain will determine if this approach will help your condition or make it worst.
5. Chiropractic Adjustment
While chiropractic adjustment can’t make fix abnormal neck curve per se, it can help treat the reason why you developed that bad positioning of your cervical spine. This posture usually starts from always leaning forward to something, whether it’s a computer or a mobile gadget which over time leads to your vertebra going out of alignment. This is where chiropractic adjustment can help with. Chiropractic adjustments can:
Loosen Up The Joints Of The Cervical Vertebrae In The Neck
Sometimes, you are experiencing neck pain because the joints in your neck are stiff. This often happens due to tissue damage or scarring from trauma like whiplash or repetitive stress such as having poor posture. Both of these causes pain in your neck, but with the help of chiropractic adjustments your neck’s natural movement can be restored which can relieve the pain.
Reduce Pain Caused By Pinched Nerves And Muscle Spasms
When a nerve or set of nerves in the body are stretched, constricted, or compressed you can experience symptoms like ‘pins and needles’ feeling or burning sensation around the area. Though rest does the trick sometimes, chiropractic care provides a more in-depth solution for pain that keeps coming back. For pinched nerves and muscle spasms, chiropractors may use a variety of treatment like manual manipulation, physiotherapy, and flexion distraction to reduce inflammation and take pressure off the spine.
Can Correct Misalignment
When you have neck subluxation, it becomes difficult to move your neck, your neck doesn’t receive an adequate amount of blood supply, and don’t transmit appropriate nerve information. No wonder you are in pain! Whether it’s due to recent trauma, poor posture, or health condition like arthritis, spinal adjustments can help correct misalignments in order to eliminate pain.