Straight Neck Syndrome, Hypolordosis, Military Neck, Cervical Reversal - Kyphosis
Your neck is supposed to have a curve to it when viewed from the side. This is called a cervical (neck) lordosis (inward curve). Basically, it's a backwards "C" shape with the hollow part in the back of your neck and the outward curve facing towards your chin. Your neck may straighten or lose curvature causing "straight neck syndrome."
Causes of Straight Neck
Research indicates that of all the cases of people with a significantly straightened (hypolordotic) neck, only about 11% are NOT due to trauma. So the majority of cases of straight neck comes from trauma, chief among them arecar accidents. Other trauma like a blow to the body from behind (football, soccer, etc), slips and falls, diving into shallow water and hitting ground, etc. may be the culprit. In the 11% not due to known trauma, the lack of neck curve may be related to birthing trauma, extreme poor posture, subluxation (misalignment) left untreated, poor sleep hygiene (stomach sleeping).
Straight Neck Syndrome Symptoms
The most common symptoms associated with a straight neck are:
If your neck remains straightened, the improper positioning causes stress on the bones of the neck (vertebrae) which changes their electrical properties and attracts bone growth (spurs) at sites of stress where ligaments attach. You will see this as bone spurs usually in front of the neck. As this continues the increased stress will cause the intervertebral disc to wear out and lose height. This in turn causes more stress and more bone spurring. This is a relentless process that continues over many years until the spine is fused.
The end result is a painful and stiff neck that is easily irritated by activity and may begin to alter nerve flow from your neck.
Luckily, there are treatments available to repair and correct a straightened neck and prevent the deterioration. The problem is that your medical doctor, physiotherapist and even many chiropractors have no idea how to change a neck curve. Only about 10% of chiropractors actively work at correcting spinal curvatures.
The first step is to loosen the neck joints up. The neck cannot be made to curve if you have muscle spasm or tightness or if the individual spinal joints are all locked up. During this step chiropractic adjustments and stretches are given to generally loosen up the spine. Therapy modalities like heat and electrical stimulation may also be used to reduce muscle tension.
The next step is the actual "molding" of the neck. Did you ever have braces to straighten your teeth? The concept is the same: pressure over time causes the tissues to change and maintain a different shape. unfortunately we cannot put your neck in a brace and hold it there to re-model it. Instead, we apply pressure to the neck with specific exercises, traction and adjustments to slowly direct the spine to the proper position. Most of the work is done by you at home doing your exercises with periodic visits to the office for adjustments.
It can anywhere from 3-12 months to achieve significant curvature gains, but it does happen and will happen as long as you follow the program established for you.
Is There a Straight Neck Pillow That Can Fix My Neck?
Sorry, no. There is no pillow available that can correct your neck, BUT there are several pillows that can aggravate and promote a straight neck! If your pillow is too big and you lie on it on your back it will stretch your neck up and reduce your curve. Also sleeping on your stomach can put stress on the neck and promote misalignment. It's natural for you to move all around while you sleep. It's the body's way of making sure you don't stay in one position too long and get stiff and sore. Since you will spend most of your time lying on one side or the other, I recommend a pillow that is properly fitted for side sleeping. When you do roll to your back, it will not be very comfortable and you will naturally roll over to your side.
By properly sizing your pillow for side sleeping, you will not improve your neck curve, but you will not be aggravating it either. Watch the video where I explain "the pillow trick."
A straight neck orstraight neck syndrome symptoms are associated with a neck that has lost it's proper curve. This can happen due to trauma or other postural stresses. Left untreated, it can lead to degeneration of your spine. Straight neck treatment is available than can effectively correct and repair your neck and prevent permanent damage.
If you've been told you have a straight neck, but not what to do about it, give us a call and set up an evaluation. Your neck will be assessed and if you are a candidate for rehabilitation, a personalized plan will be presented to you. Call (714) 938-0575 and mention this blog post.
Baking Soda for Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases?
Study Finds Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Baking Soda
The Journal of Immunology published a study by scientists at the Medical College of Georgia reporting common baking soda may relieve the effects of inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and others.
Researchers found that daily consumption of small amounts of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) causes a shift in body pH towards alkalinity and reduces the number of inflammatory cells being released into the blood and an increase in anti-inflammatory immune cells.
The experiments first focused on the cells of the spleen because that is where blood cells are formed and stored. With exposure to baking soda the spleen produced less M1 inflammatory macrophages. These are scavenger cells sent out by your immune system to attack foreign bodies and cellular debris and clear it away. In autoimmune disorders these cells are overly expressed and attack the persons normal tissues causing destruction. The baking soda water caused the spleen to produce more M2 cells which are anti-inflammatory in nature.
Later the researchers found similar findings in the kidneys and then the blood itself concluding that baking soda water could cause a shift in whole body chemistry that would be anti-inflammatory. These findings have caused some doctors to recommend baking soda for patients with kidney disease.
WARNING: EXCESSIVE CONSUMPTION OF SODIUM BICARBONATE CAN BE A HEALTH RISK
How Much Baking Soda to Drink?
Across the internet there seems to be a consensus that 1/2 a tsp (teaspoon) dissolved in a 6-8 glass of water taken 3 times per day is sufficient and not excessive. The study indicated that it took approximately 2 weeks to see the shift in immune cells, so this is something you may consider over the long-term and not expect to see immediate changes. Baking soda is inexpensive and if taken as instructed, very safe and natural.
With every chiropractic adjustment of your spine, you grow nearer to health.
An adjustment is like hitting the reset button on your computer.
A surge of information is sent to the brain, the brain analyzes the input then sends messages back to the body. This process relieves pain and lessens muscle spasm and it happens in a fraction of a second. Each successive adjustment does the same and over time, your brain relearns what a normal spine, free from mechanical blockages is supposed to be like. With improved nerve flow from the spine to the brain and back to the body, your overall health is optimized.
Why multiple adjustments?
The spine malfunctions due to everyday stresses, posture, trauma, etc. Once it mechanically malfunctions, the brain locks that malfunction is as the "new normal." If you've been misaligned for a long time or suffered an injury such as whiplash from an auto accident, the mechanical dis-relationship will be impossible to correct with just one adjustment. Your spine will function better for a short period of time after an adjustment, but eventually your body will revert to the memorized malfunction. The time between adjustment and return to malfunction is short at first; hours or days, but eventually after additional adjustments, the brain will relearn and the time between grows.
Just like eating good, drinking water, getting plenty of sleep and exercising, periodic adjustments of the spine will ensure the best possible function of your spine and optimum health.
Headaches, Neck or Back pain? Time to have your spine checked.