If you are experiencing neck and/or shoulder pain please try to understand what these ‘whispers’ from your body are telling you. In all likelihood, they are telling you that you are losing your structural balance.
Looking at the above diagram we see two very different necks. ‘A’ is a near perfect neck with a great curve and natural balance. In ‘B’ the individual has unfortunately lost the good curve and has developed a reversed (known as a ‘kyphotic’) neck curve. ‘B’ is structurally very unstable and inevitably this person will suffer neck and shoulder pain with worsening stiffness. There are significant degenerative changes which left uncorrected will result in a myriad of possible health concerns.
It is widely accepted in medical circles that a clinically normal neck will have a smooth curvature of between 31-40 degrees. In a study where the X-Rays of 277 individuals were compared, researchers saw that the individuals with neck curves of less than 20 degrees were far more likely to suffer from neck pain. They saw that as the curve became less the pain became worse. In fact, those who had completely lost their cervical curve were 18 times more likely to have neck and shoulder problems than those with a decent curve.
(Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy, March 2005)
Remember that pain IS the body telling you that something is wrong and it shouldn’t be ignored. It is vitally important for your future health that you maintain the natural balance of your spine. If you are experiencing neck or shoulder pain or associated headaches (most headaches are neck related) then please don’t leave it too long.
In choosing a chiropractor to help you regain your balance and relieve the pain you should certainly ensure that their long term goal is to restore and maintain the correct curvature of your spine.