Your neck supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While your neck can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury. Injuries and asymmetries can cause cervical vertebrae to move out of their natural position (Subluxation).
Tendons, ligaments and muscles become inflamed and worn out, the discs separating the cervical vertebrae can herniate or rupture, and the nerves can be damaged or irritated from the subluxation. As we age, arthritic changes in the vertebrae such as abnormal bony growth, disc degeneration, and muscle or ligament deterioration may change the normal healthy curve of the neck and result in irritation of the nerves in the spine.
Neck problems, if left untreated, can lead to pain symptoms experienced in the face, shoulder, arm, wrist and hand accompanied with stiffness and loss of mobility. Standard medical treatments for your neck pain can include muscle relaxants, painkillers and tranquilizers. Medications mask the pain, but they do not address the underlying cause of the problem.
Chiropractic treatment can treat the source of the problem with minimal or no medications and help ease pressure on the nerves and prevent the need for surgery. In most cases surgery should be considered only when conservative treatments are not successful. The chiropractic approach to treating neck pain is to find the source of the neck pain and correct it. By addressing the source of the problem, your body is able to heal itself naturally. Neck pain often responds most positively to the restoration of normal spinal function through chiropractic care.
According to a study lead by Hojun Yeom, “every 2.5 cm the head moves forward, it gains 0.45 kg in weight” this can have serious implication on bodily function as vital lung capacity can be reduced up to 30%.
Many reports of cervical and upper thoracic spinal diseases– specifically forward head posture (FHP), have been increasing within younger generations. TEXT NECK phenomenon has been traced to upper spinal column abnormalities from incorrect posture when using mobile devices and tablets. Shockingly, recent studies from The Chiropractors’ Association found that “[a] quarter of the patients in the group aged 5-10 were diagnosed with FHP… the number increased three times in the group aged 11-16″. Usually FHP is triggered by stiffness in the frontal neck muscles. As the muscles contract, a postural imbalance is triggered which, dragging the neck forward. Hojun Yeom used vector-based methods to analyze the deformities in patients posture and accurately diagnosis them with FHP. He combined each vector until he was able to obtain a 3D view of the patient’s deformity.
How to Correct Text Neck:
- Stretching Tight Muscles: This helps return the head to a neutral position.
- Back and Neck Exercises
- This cervical neck stretch is great for reducing the strain on your neck muscles. Hold for 30 seconds on each side. This stretch is best preformed right after a hot shower when the muscles are more malleable from the heat.
- Chin tucks: tuck your chin to your chest (flexion), look up to the ceiling (extension), bend your ear to your shoulder, both sides (lateral flexion), turn your chin to your shoulder, both sides (rotation). Hold for 5-10 seconds but refrain from any forced motion.
- Cervical Roll: Roll up a small hand towel length-wise, you can use a rubber band or duct tape around it to keep it rolled tight. Now on a flat surface, while lying on your back put the roll at the base of your neck so your neck naturally curves around it. Do not put it under your head. If your head is propped up move the roll lower down your spine. Relax and rest on the cervical roll for 15-30 minutes/day.
- Changing Positions: This helps re-educate the muscle to a more dynamic position.