A major component of the care we provide is a detailed examination of your posture and the structure of your spine. We measure the curves of your spine and compare it to normal values to help determine what influence your posture and spinal curvature has on your pain and function. There is substantial evidence that connects spine pain and human function to your posture and spinal structure. While I try to not bore anyone who actually reads my blog posts I do like to rely relevant research to show that what we do is based on the best evidence. Today I have a couple of recent papers I want to highlight that related the neck curve and neck pain.
The neck curve is called the cervical lordosis. It should look somewhat C shaped and we have normal values for it just as we have normal values for blood pressure or heart rate. When your spine does not fit the normal values it is likely that your spine will undergo degenerative changes over time and possibly experience more pain than a healthy spine. These two recent studies build upon previous studies which defend what I just said, that neck pain and degeneration (spinal arthritis) are related to a loss of the normal neck curve.
This first study; Characteristics of Modic changes in cervical kyphosis and their association with axial neck pain, was an examination of modic changes in the spine and their relationship with neck pain and a loss of the cervical lordosis. A cervical kyphosis is large decrease in the cervical lordosis or a complete reversal of the cervical lordosis. These authors found that a specific type of cervical kyphosis was associated with modic changes of the spine. They also found that modic changes of the spine are associated with neck pain in a spine with cervical kyphosis. Modic changes can be best described as changes that occur to the vertebral body of the spine which, on x-ray, appear as degenerative changes (arthritis.) This study connects a loss of the cervical lordosis (neck curve) with pain and arthritis.
This second study; Analysis of the cranio-cervical curvatures in subjects with migraine with and without neck pain. This study investigated the differences in cervical lordosis between subjects with migraine and healthy people. What they found was that a cervical kyphosis, straight neck curve as they call it, was considered clinically relevant for subjects with migraine suffering from neck pain. This means that there is a connection between a loss of the cervical lordosis and migraine headaches and neck pain.
What does this mean for you? This means that if you, or someone you know, suffers from neck pain and/or migraines what we specifically do may help them find real relief. Not the temporary relief that medication gives us but real lasting relief if we find that a loss of the neck curve is at the cause of their pain. We have ways to correct the neck curve towards the normal values thus potentially breaking the chronic neck pain cycle. Our methods have been tested and are still being tested in the literature and come out as effective with each study. I have written about it in these blog posts, search this blog by the tags neck pain or lordosis and you should find them.
What we do in terms of spinal analysis and treatment is unique in our area. Give us a call if you want to learn more. 630-232-6616 mention you read our blog post on neck pain and ask to speak with Dr. Bryce about it. I would be happy to speak to you.