What causes straightening of the cervical lordosis?

Posted in Neck Pain Disorders on Oct 26, 2021

The normal forward's curve of your neck is known as a “cervical lordosis” or lordotic curve.” The normal cervical lordosis is typically 20-30 degrees as is different in every person. Some people have slightly less cervical lordosis, and other people have slightly more.

The problem for so many people is a condition known as straightening of the cervical lordosis, or “hyperlordosis.” The reason that straightening of the cervical lordosis is a problem is not because of the bones themselves, but because of the stuff that the bone protects and attaches: muscles, ligaments, and nerves.

Straightening of the cervical lordosis is like taking a guitar string to tension and then tightening it. Eventually, something will give. When that happens, people frequently experience chronic and constant sore neck and shoulders … that turn into episodes or sharp neck pain and inability to turn their head … that ultimately turns into headaches, migraines, or tingling into the hands and fingers.

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Many people think that straightening of the cervical lordosis is just a problem with weak muscles and that you can get massage or physiotherapy that will fix the problem. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. Indeed, to completely fix the straightening of the cervical lordosis, depending on the degree of curve is not always possible because we live on a planet with stress and gravity. So things like looking down at a computer or mobile device all day certainly do not help improve the cervical curve. 

Nevertheless, even if you can’t completely undo the straightening of the cervical lordosis, there are plenty of activities and forms of treatment that can help, so that even if you can improve the curve of the neck by even a few degrees - or at the very least make sure that the joints in your neck and moving the way that they are designed - it does a long way to improving your overall quality of health and life.

But in order to understand the right kind of treatment to help if you have straightening of the cervical lordosis, it is important to first look at what causes straightening of the cervical lordosis in the first place. 

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Physical injuries can cause straightening of the cervical lordosis

Simply put, physical injuries can cause straightening of the cervical lordosis. No, these are not necessarily the severe types of injuries that cause broken bones, bleeding, or bruising. Still, these are the types of injuries to your head or neck that involve a solid whack and that damage the soft tissues deep on the inside of your neck. Particularly as it related to straightening of the cervical lordosis, there are TK tissues that are most important: 

  1. The deep neck muscles along the front of the vertebrae in your neck (called the longus capitis and longus colli). These muscles support the normal arc of the cervical lordosis, and if they are injured, such as in a whiplash injury, they can not be able to function the way that they are designed.
  2. The intervertebral discs, which are the ligaments that anchor the vertebrae together. Even if the bones don’t break from a physical injury, tearing of the ligament fibers between the vertebrae can cause things to squish, which over a period of time can affect the overall shape and contour of the cervical curve.
  3. The neuromotor unit. In brief, we are talking about nerves. Nerves are ultimately what governs all body healing and what control the muscles n the first place. Therefore, anything that affects nerve function in your body has the potential to affect everything else, including straightening of the cervical lordosis.

Now, when it comes to rehabilitating your deep neck muscles and supporting the intervertebral discs, here is where physiotherapy, exercises and other neck stretching devices all come into play. For many people with straightening of the cervical lordosis, these activities work wonderfully!

For many other people with straightening of the cervical lordosis, however, these activities just don’t quite work. We would argue it is because there is that third piece of the puzzle - the nerve control - that is missing, which is why these activities just don’t work the way that they are meant.

Therefore, if you know that you experience neck or shoulder pain, if you know that you’ve had sudden sharp pains in your neck, or if you know that you experience tingling in your fingers, headaches, or migraines, it is essential that you not only work on the muscles but that you also work on the nerves to make sure that your body will be capable of healing as it is designed. And to help here is where Blair upper cervical care may be able to help you.

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Blair upper cervical care with straightening of the cervical lordosis

Blair upper cervical care is a specific form of chiropractic that does not use any twisting or spinal manipulation. Developed and researched in the USA, it is a precise approach that examines the alignment and motion through the vertebrae in your neck - particular the atlas and axis at the top of your neck - and how misalignments of these vertebrae can affect the way that your body functions through the nerve system.

Even if you have worked with other chiropractors before, the Blair method is different. The procedure beings with a detailed physical and neurological assessment to determine the health of your neck. If a problem is identified, a series of customised x-ray images may be taken to reveal the exact location, directions, and degree of any misalignment in your neck. With this information, a Blair chiropractor is able to provide a personalised adjustment, made just for you, to give your body the best possible opportunity to heal the way that it is designed. 

Although the purpose of the Blair technique is not actually to straighten the cervical lordosis, but to make sure that everything is working and moving properly in your neck, the principle of the Blair technique is to allow your body to heal itself so that in conjunction with your other activities (i.e., physiotherapy, exercises, and stretches) you have a better opportunity to make the positive changes that you are seeking. If you would like more information on Blair's upper cervical care, or to schedule a consultation to find out if we may be able to help you, please call us at 07 3188 9329 or click the Contact Us link on this page to arrange a complementary 15-minute phone call.

Atlas Health is the premier Blair upper cervical health centre in Australia. Located in North Brisbane, our practice focuses on helping people with long-standing health issues, including straightening of the cervical lordosis, so that they can get back to enjoying the things in life that matter most to them. Dr. Jeffrey Hannah is a Blair upper cervical chiropractor with over 14 years of clinical experience. He is a published author, international lecturer, and recognised leader in the field of upper cervical care. Again, to coordinate a time to find out if we may be able to help you, call us at 07 3188 9329. We look forward to helping you. Atlas Health Australia - “Hope, healing, and wellbeing from above-down, inside-out.”

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