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The purpose of this article is to explain how cervical kyphosis can occur and how it can be helped or managed through upper cervical care. There are many reasons that kyphosis can occur. Some are caused by a pathological disease processes others by congenital anomalies.
There is also a percentage of kyphotic patients that are adaptive to an injury to the spine that happened early on in life. This article will address the segment of the society that developed kyphosis from a birth injury, childhood accidents and whiplash injury.
Most of the time when these injuries occur the person is unaware that it will have long term consequences to the structure of their spine and general health. Cervical Kyphosis (loss of normal neck curve) is a somewhat common postural condition that has far-reaching effects on human physiology. During Spinal development, the normal spinal curve for an infant is a c shaped curve of the entire spine.
As the child learns to lift and keep his head erect, the normal neck curve is brought about. Crawling then allows for the development of the lower back curve which is the same orientation as the neck curve.
What can keep the normal cervical curve from developing? It is this author's opinion that cervical kyphosis is a condition that starts from birth in a certain percentage of kyphotic cases. The percentage is unknown but it has been our clinical experience that 1/3 of kyphotic necks are improved following upper cervical care.
During development, something traumatic happens, or the position of the child in utero is such that the head is jammed in an abnormal position that causes the upper cervical spine to misalign. Trauma can also happen during the birth process(1,2).
It is well known that forceps deliveries, vacuum extractions, and difficult deliveries can create stress on the upper cervical spine that leads to upper cervical spinal misalignment. Once the neck is misaligned it can cause abnormal neurological input to the postural muscles. The normal development of the c-spine curve is impeded. The c-spine curve never develops and the child grows into adulthood with a kyphotic neck.
Is Cervical Kyphosis Bad For Your Health?
A reverse cervical curve causes stresses and strains on the spinal cord that affects normal neurological function. The spinal cord embryo-logically develops to fit a normal cervical curve. When the neck straightens (hyperlordosis) or reverses (kyphosis) this puts tensile stress on the spinal cord. Dr. Rosa's research on the east coast has shown that the straightening of the neck or reversal can cause Chiarri.
Chiarri is conditioned in which the cerebellar tonsils, which should be inside of the cranium, are pulled down through the foramen magnum (hole in the bottom of the skull). How do a hyperlordosis and kyphosis develop? Some of the hypo lordosis and kyphosis neck structures are caused by a whiplash injury.
Whiplash injury damages the soft tissue, ligaments, and tendons, dislodges the atlas and interferes with the postural muscle tone. In response, the body adapts as best it can to deal with the injury. In some cases, the adaptation results in a straight neck or in some cases reverse cervical curve. It is estimated that 13 percent of patients that have whiplash trauma is disabled for the rest of their life.
Can Upper Cervical Chiropractic Help Return kyphosis to a more normal neck curve?
It has been our experience in practice over the past 16 years that some patients with cervical kyphosis can return to a more normal curve following upper cervical corrective care. But please understand that the objective of upper cervical care is to restore a normal joint relationship between the skull and the atlas to improve neurological function. What happens after the correction of these spinal misalignments is COMPLETELY under the control of the body.
When the upper neck is misaligned there is an ADAPTATION that takes place throughout the spine. When the brain-stem irritation is corrected the spine will return to as normal a structure as possible. Changes that take place structurally throughout the spine are under the body's control. We do not FORCE the spine back where we "THINK" it should be.
That is the body's job. If someone has had kyphosis since birth, there have been years of muscle adaptation, shortening of muscle fibers, and other soft tissue changes that have taken place over the decades. The process of "realignment" under the body's control following upper cervical correction can take months or years.
The body will migrate back towards not only structural balance but functional balance also. While upper cervical corrective care has the goal of reduction of spinal cord irritation, in doing this, many health conditions and structural adaptations can either improve or be eliminated.
What Do Upper Cervical Chiropractors Do? | Los Angeles Chiropractor
Upper Cervical Doctors focus all of their practice attention on the top two bones in the neck. Upper Cervical Docs run objective neurological tests to determine where you have nerve irritation in the upper neck. Once located a set of precise upper cervical x-rays are taken to specifically determine which joint and what direction it has misaligned. The information is then used to make a precise upper cervical correction.
The patient is then monitored over a period of time to determine whether or not the misalignment has returned. The goal is to maintain the correction so the central nervous system can restore normal function.
Over the course of time, the body will functionally improve and structurally migrate back to as normal a posture as possible. We hope that this blog has been informative and will get into the hands of those that need it for their own healing. AS we always say " NATURE NEEDS NO HELP JUST NO INTERFERENCE."