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To Your Health

More hidden problems "Tech Necks"

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10/01/2016 - Howdy! Hope you all had a good summer. This month's article is somewhat expanded from a previous written article I wrote regarding the problems associated with neck posture with cell phones. As you recall there is adverse biomechanical loading on the neck with the neck flexed forward when one is reading or texting on their cell phone. Over a period of time this results in changes in the cervical curve of the neck or as we call it deviation from normal lordosis. When this occurs it causes adverse biomechanical stresses not only to muscles but joint capsules, ligament and tendon structures, disc tissue, and very important neural tensioning.

Recently I read an article from the Journal- Medical science Monitor entitled "Decreased Vertebral Artery Hemodynamics in Patients with Loss of Cervical Lordosis", February 2016. The researchers compared vertebral artery hemodynamics including lumen diameter (diameter of the artery, flow volume, peak Systolic velocity). This was done in 30 patients in a control group and 30 patients with loss of cervical lordosis.

Now before going any further loss of cervical lordosis is a big thing in my practice and I lecture the patients on getting the curvature re-established and this involves work, unfortunately patient equate normal lordosis with absence of neck discomfort-Wrong! I can spend another article or two on this subject alone.

Back to the article -- key points: "Loss of cervical lordotic leads to disruptive biomechanics" "This natural lordotic curvature of the cervical spine is considered to be an ideal posture in terms of biomechanical principles." "Loss of cervical lordosis causes disruptive biomechanics, triggering a degenerative process in the cervical spine.". Abnormalities of this natural curvature, such as loss of cervical lordosis or cervical kyphosis, are associated with pain, disability, and poor health related quality of life." [Important] When the "natural cervical curvature is disturbed, the normal distribution of neck muscle loads is also disruptive and a larger work load is placed on the supportive soft tissues across cervical segments to maintain biomechanical integrity," [Important].

The vertebral arteries proceed in the transverse foramen of each cervical vertebrae . "The vertebral arteries are the major source of blood supply to the cervical spinal cord and brainstem." [Important]

Age of the individuals in this study were 18-45 years of age . Amazing peak group for the "tech necks".

Results: The results of the study revealed that vertebral artery parameters were "significantly different between groups, with patients with loss of cervical lordosis showing lower values comparison to controls." When the cervical curve flattens, the vertebral arteries " are also in danger of being stretched and compressed." There is a "strong association of cervical spondylosis (a form of osteoarthritis) with decreased vertebral artery flow." Again remember the ages of the subjects was 18-45 and none had spondylosis. [Important]

So for you individuals who live by their phone understand that there is a good chance you may be causing adverse biomechanical stresses to the neck ( This also goes to people who do a lot of reading) which will result in stresses to the connective tissues of the neck and don't forget neural tensioning of the spinal cord and of course effects to the vertebral arteries. And if you come into my office be prepared to be asked if you want this changed (why wouldn't you) because it will involve more than just adjusting your neck. This situation takes years to develop and as mentioned in this article the effects to one health can be devastating.

Well gotta go until next time see ya!

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