If your childhood was like most people’s, your mom probably spent a good amount of time telling you to stop slouching. Well, it turns out your mom was very right to tell you that. When we sit up straight, we keep our entire spine in proper alignment. But when we slouch and hunch our shoulders, we mess with our posture and that can lead to pain!
How many of us sit all day, staring down at our phones and laptops? When we hunch our shoulders and let our heads hang down for any length of time, it reduces the healthy curve in our cervical spine.
What is the Cervical Curve?
Your cervical curve is found in your neck and it consists of your spine’s first 7 vertebrae. This curve starts at the atlas vertebrae (right below your skull) and ends where it meets the thoracic spine.
When it’s healthy, this cervical curve should resemble a backward “C” in shape. You have another important “C” shape lower down called the lumbar curve. So in healthy adults, their spines should follow an “S” shape.
Cervical Curve Reduction
The important curve in our neck is usually reduced by traumas – both major and minor. Major traumas include car accidents, slips/falls causing an impact, and sports injuries. Only a small percentage of the population will experience these major traumas.
But a great majority of the population will experience minor traumas, also known as micro-traumas, to the neck as a result of poor posture or poor sleeping habits such as stomach sleeping, unsupportive mattresses, or too many pillows.
How to Eliminate Your Chance of Cervical Curve Reduction
The most important thing you can do to protect your neck is by keeping your head straightly over your shoulders. For every 1 inch your head is postured in front of your shoulders, you’re adding 10 additional pounds of weight to your spine. Again, with so many people looking down all day at their laptops and mobile phones, there are more and more instances of long-term muscle strain, disc herniation, arthritis and pinched nerves as a result of this unhealthy forward head position and loss of cervical curve.
If you have a lot of pain in your neck, it’s a good idea to see a chiropractor. He or she will take imaging of your neck and spine to see how much wear and tear you may have. They will then be able to come up with a treatment plan to help improve the health of your spine and alleviate your pain.
If you would like to come in for an evaluation, please give us a call. We will do a thorough evaluation and come up with a customized treatment plan to help you get rid of that pain in your neck!