Did you know that your spine has five important curves, namely the cervical, the thoracic, the lumbar, the sacral, and the coccyx curve? While these all play a vital role in your spinal health, arguably, one of the most important curves is the cervical or neck curve. Here’s what it is, the role that it plays, the reasons why it can be negatively altered, and how to best to counteract the damage done.
What is the cervical curve?
The cervical curve is the curve of the neck and comprises the first seven spinal vertebrae. It starts at the base of the skull and extends downward to just above the thoracic portion of the spine. At best, it should look like a large, backward ‘C’ shape.
Unfortunately, there are certain instances when this curve can begin reducing and flattening out, which can place a huge amount of strain on the neck and back. The function of your spinal curves is to keep the spine strong, yet flexible. When they diminish, your back and neck will slowly weaken, and you are likely to notice stiffness developing, which can have a noticeable effect on your comfort and range of movement.
Unsurprisingly, when the cervical curve reduces, it is the neck that takes the biggest knock. Some experts claim that it can leave the neck up to nine times weaker and will almost always lead the person to adopt the ‘forward head posture’ in a subconscious effort to better stabilize the neck. Unfortunately, this posture often has the opposite effect, especially considering that the weight of the head ‘increases’ when the head is thrust forward, even when just by an inch or two. This change in posture not only results in even more strain on the neck and the already reduced cervical curve, but it has a ripple effect on the rest of the spine, too.
What can cause a reduction in the cervical curve?
In some instances, the cervical curve can be reduced as a result of major trauma, such as a fall, an automobile accident, a sporting injury, etc. However, it can also be negatively impacted by ‘minor’ trauma. This could be something as simple as sitting at a desk or spending too much time gaming with a bad posture. Incorrect sleeping positions can also damage the natural curve of the neck, particularly if you tend to sleep on your stomach and do not have pillows that provide adequate support.
How to solve the problem
First and foremost, you need to put an end to the ‘forward head posture,’ being mindful about holding your head directly above your shoulders instead. It is also always recommended to visit a doctor of chiropractic who will be able to accurately assess the severity of your cervical curve reduction and create a bespoke plan for correcting and preventing continued degeneration.
Here at SnapCrack, a walk-in chiropractor in Brickell, we can assist clients who are suffering from cervical curve reduction when it comes to effectively managing pain and restoring their posture to its natural state. We charge just $29 per adjustment and operate on a walk-in basis – no appointments necessary. Contact us today for more information or find a SnapCrack chiropractor in Brickell near you.