In this modern world, neck pain is becoming more and more common. With the number of hours spent on our mobile phones, tablets and computers ever-increasing, so are neck related issues. Some of these symptoms may include headaches, migraines, dizziness, shoulder pain, muscle tension and of course neck pain itself. Not only are we seeing more of these problems in our practice, but we are also seeing it in the younger population. Children are often choosing to play on their devices over playing outside. We also hear parents complaining of how heavy school bags are these days and how bad their child’s posture is.
Let’s take a look at how the neck works. The neck or cervical spine is comprised of 7 vertebrae, each stacked on top of the other and separated by a spongy shock-absorbing disc. At every vertebral level, there are spinal nerves exiting the neck, relaying messages from the brain to the head, neck, upper body, shoulders, arms, hands and all the way to your fingertips. The converse is also true in that vital messages to travel back from the organs and tissues to the brain, telling the brain what is happening in the body. The neck also plays an incredibly vital role in carrying special nerves from the brainstem to control many of the organs and body systems. Your spine is very important in protecting this delicate nervous system.
When viewed from the side the neck should normally be a C shape for best function of the spine and nervous system. The shape or architecture of your neck is of great importance and any changes to this normal curve can lead to many of the neck related problems we see in practice.
This is not all doom and gloom and we definitely don’t want to guess. This is why we use a combination of postural examination, orthopedic testing, state of the art technology and X-rays to find out what is exactly causing your pain. In many cases, if you have lost some or all of your natural C curve in your neck, it may be correctable.
In addressing your pain and the cause we often use a combination of specific spinal adjustments, corrective postural exercises, and an Australian designed neck device called a Denneroll. We’ll also address any of your bad habits and give specific advice around sleeping posture, ergonomics, and stretching.
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on how the neck should function normally and some of the implications of bad posture in this modern and stressful world. If you are interested in how we can help you, contact our practice on 02 9904 0101 and schedule your initial assessment. We guarantee you will be glad you did!