Straight Neck Syndrome and Body Pain

Straight Neck Syndrome and Body Pain

One of the most common conditions today is straight neck syndrome or loss of neck curve.  A normal neck posture is a backwards c-shaped curve of the neck which allows for the proper balancing of the head over the shoulders.  The normal cervical lordosis develops around the 2ndand 3rdmonth when the child learns to keep his head upright against gravity.  In our Los Angeles Blair upper Cervical Chiropractic office, we find that well over 50 percent of our patient population comes into our office with straight neck syndrome.  This postural distortion leads to a cascade of musculo-skeletal effects throughout the body that can lead to a host of common musculo-skeletal conditions. Straight neck syndrome is caused by neck injury at the base of the skull. The bodies postural centers are located in the brain-stem which is housed by the atlas and axis vertebrae. Injuries to the neck can cause spinal misalignment that leads to postural imbalance due to brain stem irritation.

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How Straight Neck Syndrome Can Cause Many Common Musculoskeletal Conditions

The average human head weighs 10-13 pounds and sits on a two-ounce bone which manes the cranial cervical junction susceptible to injury.  When humans are subject to a sharp jarring trauma, the top vertebra called the atlas at the floor of the skull can dislodge and become locked. When this happens, it puts mechanical traction on the spinal cord and brain stem and that affects the bodies postural centers.

Brain-stem irritation causes the scalene muscles (muscles on lower sides of neck) to contract. These are three pairs of muscles that flank the lower side of the neck. When they become tight they pull the head forward and flatten the normal cervical curve. In response to the heads weight shifting forward, the mid back muscles (between the shoulder blades) become tight as the body attempts to keep the head upright against gravity. The musculoskeletal adaptation sets the stage for several common symptoms and syndromes. Numbness and tingling in the arms is often related to straight neck syndrome. The brachial plexus (arm nerve plexus) can become entrapped by the lower neck muscles and produce numbness and tingling in the arms. Thoracic outlet syndrome is another condition that can result from straight neck also related to the thoracic outlet becoming smaller due to muscle tightness and structural encroachment from loss of cervical curve. Other obvious conditions resulting from upper neck injury and straight neck syndrome are, neck pain, mid back pain, upper arm pain and other chronic muscle pain syndromes.

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Loss of cervical curve and spinal cord tension

One thing that we have not discussed about straight neck syndrome is how it can affect the brainstem and spinal cord. The brain-stem and spinal cord embryologically was meant to fit in a normal neck curve. When neck injury occurs, and the cervical spine loses its normal curve this puts tensile stress on the spinal cord, often referred to as tethering of the spinal cord. When the neck loses its normal curve, it is similar to two people pull on the end of a rope.  The straightening of the curve pulls on the cord through the base of the skull because the brain is anchored inside of the cranial vault. Tethering of the spinal cord causes irritation to the cord and decreases the efficiency of the central nervous system which can lead to a host of chronic health conditions.

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How Can Blair Upper Cervical Health Care address straight neck syndrome

We have discussed that straight neck syndrome results from upper neck injury that causes irritation to the postural centers in the brain stem. In our Los Angeles offices we practice a technique called Blair upper cervical chiropractic care we focus on the junction between the head and the neck. We want to know have you sustained a prior neck injury and if you have how has the injury caused the upper neck to misalign from normal. We determine the direction of spinal misalignment through very precise digital x-ray imaging or cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT). Imaging allows us to visualize exactly how the joints of the neck have misaligned, so we can then make precise gentle corrections to restore normal joint motion and normal neurology. Once the UNDERLYING reason for straight neck syndrome is corrected the body will then make every attempt possible to structurally move back to normal posture.

In our Los Angeles offices see people with neck pain, headaches, migraines, Meniere’s disease, post-concussion syndrome, insomnia and people with emotional problems. All these conditions can have their root cause be resulting from a neck injury.  Anyone who is suffering with chronic health problems should be evaluated by an upper cervical doctor to see if the cervical spine is playing a role in your health condition. At the consultation the doctor will run you through an explanation of the premise upon which upper cervical care functions. Then the doctor will run you through a battery of tests determine if you had an upper neck injury in the past. If you’re outside of the Los Angeles area you can give either one of her officers or call in we can find you someone outside the Los Angeles area that can help you.  We hope that this article is informational, and you learned something of value relating to your health.  In health the Upper Cervical Health Care Team!

 

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David - October 14, 2020 Reply

I have never had a neck injury,and have severe headaches and pain from bottom of my neck and the muscles around it,feels like I can’t hold my head up right.went to chiropractor yesterday and he was very concerned about how straight my neck was from xrays.he tried to adjust it by cracking my neck,but now it feels worse.I have a lot of arthritis in my lower back and all over my body.I’m 48 and feel 100 will surgery be good for me to rid this pain.I’m done hurting.

Patricia Misko - October 20, 2020 Reply

I’m 66. I had a neck injury when I was 4. I’ve never heard an explanation like the one you’ve given, for my problems. I have left side headaches from my neck. I have left hearing loss, tinnitus, and meneires disease. I started looking up info on stiff neck, and found your video. I had no idea that there could be help. I’m in PA.

Samar - January 5, 2021 Reply

Thripest traction my neck coursed me horibal straight head and neck I can’t swallow now I have TMJ issues which it’s make it worse I can’t ear or swallow my jaw twisted any neck too my head not sitting any more in the right poisition I’m im Michigan can you help please

Maggie - January 11, 2021 Reply

Thank you for your video. It gave me more helpful information than U recently recieved from a neurosurgeon. I have recently been in a very serious car accident where a truck ran into the driver’s side of my vehicle. That was in 6/19. I have had increasing cervical pain and hear what sounds like bone on bone rubbing. I have had a full body MRI, cervical x-rays, a brain scan with and without dye, and a recent CT scan. I’m 61. All that was suggested was medication and PT even though the ability to move my head to the left or right (as in driving) is increasingly limited and painful. Reading or looking down for any length of time is excruciating so I attempt to give my neck additional support with my hands. Turning my head to the left feels as if it locks and the bone on bone rubbing sound makes a sound like it is sticking. There is crunching and grinding sounds with all head movement. I am going to go for a second opinion but no one mentioned chiropractic care at all. Do you know of any centers similar to yours in the Memphis, TN or MS area?
Again, thank you for your video.

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