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Posted on 05-03-2017

Check your source! Dr. Chase L'Heureux, DC

By now, everyone has likely heard of and understands the concept "tech neck." Tech neck is the result of holding your body in a position of extremely poor posture for minutes to hours on end. Looking down at your cell phone, tablet, laptop, is cumulatively ruining spines around the world! Reason being: we are meant to have a lordotic (banana-shaped) curve in our necks. An X-ray of a neck from the side illustrates the 7 vertebrae that comprise your neck & should be positioned in a way similar to the contour of a banana (see above "normal"). When this curve is present, the weight of our 12-17 pound head is transferred proportionally from segment to segment. BUT, sitting, texting, laptop-ing all have one thing in common: they require us to look down! Looking down reverses the banana-shape curve in our necks. If done long enough, the continuous stress will remold the ligaments of the neck in an incorrect position. Compound this process over a few years to decades, and just like everything else, a very small problem can become very large! There is always a consequence to misalignments. Skeletal misalignments always result in soft tissue deformation (i.e. degenerative disc disease). When the banana-shape curve becomes straight, or even REVERSED, the discs separating the bones have to tolerate more stress, causing them to become very thin, or degenerated. Disc health is comparable to the tread on your tires. Once the tread is off, there is no putting it back on. That's why it is important to take care of it while you can.

Your spine matters to your health outcomes. Chiropractic care is beneficial for back pain, neck pain, headaches, earaches, immune system response, muscle spasms and range of motion. At Millard Oaks Chiropractic, we take chiropractic care one step further utilizing a corrective care method called Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP) accompanied with massage therapy. We are 1 of 3 chiropractors in Omaha certified in this corrective care technique. Utilizing CBP allows us to restore the ideal curves of the spine. In addition to adjustments, we use spinal traction to remold the ligaments of the spine. Fixing the issue at its SOURCE! In other words, we reverse the effects of issues like "tech neck." Restoring curves means that your nervous system works more efficiently.

Additional health outcomes found to improve with corrective care: long-term pain reduction, flexion/extension range of motion, kinesthetic sense (joint positioning), and an increase of sensory evoked potentials by 5-10% (this is the rate at which your brain perceives stimulus).

How does corrective care influence all of this? When the banana-shaped curve of the neck is present, the brain stem and spinal cord are relaxed. When that banana-shape becomes straight or reversed, the brainstem and spinal cord are under linear stress. Linear stress increases internal pressure within the system known as "pressure of perfusion" (POP). POP impairs oxidative phosphorylation.

The patient illustrated to the right presented as a 24-year-old female with stiffness in the neck, shoulders and difficulty sleeping. She had never been to a chiropractor before. The 2 images on the left are the initial images taken on day 1. The ideal curvature of the banana-shaped neck is 42 degrees. When this patient presented, her curve measured 12 degrees with 38.5 mm of forward head carriage. This presentation is a common illustration of tech neck. Her spinal cord was under linear stress and her neck and shoulder muscles were having to work overtime to support this bad posture.

The 2 images on the right are her follow ups. This patient required 2 rounds of corrective care to return her neck to optimal position. As a result, these are the improvements she was thrilled to report:

1. She can sleep easily and comfortably.
2. She was getting headaches at least 1x per week. She has not had a single headache in 6 months.
3. She can work out longer because she doesn't have neck pain.
4. She is more aware of her posture and how to protect her spine.
5. She was getting sick on a monthly basis. She has not been sick once since starting to get adjusted.

Many of our patients present to our office because of pain -- neck pain, headaches, etc. Typically these pain patterns are very recent; therefore, the patient may believe it can be "fixed" very quickly -- in a visit or 2. SOMETIMES (major emphasis here) issues can be resolved in a visit or 2. But usually that's not the case. Have you ever visited the dentist for a standard teeth cleaning & the dentist (after a quick look at the X-ray) informs you that you need a filling? You may think, "well wait, I didn't have any pain in that tooth, why would I need a filling?" Because the X-ray shows progressed decay. This result is almost always lifestyle-induced. THE SAME CONCEPT APPLIES TO YOUR SPINE! We live in a flexion-dominant society. Our lifestyle habits create really unhealthy bone structure. Therefore, the "source" of the issue is not likely something that you did in the past couple of days (i.e. sleeping incorrectly or working in the lawn), but something that has been compounding under your radar for a longer period of time.

If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, WE CAN HELP! Give us a call at 402.905.0132. Also, visit our website: MillardOaksChiropractic.com.

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