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Get Your Neck In Gear!

Headaches and neck pain image.

Your neck has a big job to do!

Anyone who has experienced cervical (neck) pain knows that it can be a real pain in the neck! Consider the fact that the cervical spine, consisting of only seven vertebrae, is responsible for supporting your head which can weigh as much as a bowling ball. No other region of the spine is more mobile or more prone to injury.

Mobility in the neck is measured through range-of-motion testing that includes three distinct tests:

  • Flexion – measured by ability to touch chin to chest
  • Extension – measured by tilting your head backwards
  • Lateral flexion – your ability to touch each ear to your shoulder

Various injuries and/or conditions are responsible for neck pain and can restrict range of motion. These include:

  • Whiplash from a car accident – the head can be violently thrust forward and backward beyond its normal range of motion, resulting in muscle pain and stiffness.
  • Degenerative conditions – occur as a result of the aging process, such as osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease.
  • Poor posture and obesity – forward head carriage can cause the muscles in the neck to contract and stiffen.
  • Spinal fractures, [tumor]s or infections – can be serious and require immediate attention from a medical specialist.

According to a research study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (2001, pp.552-555), chiropractic adjustments can significantly improve cervical range of motion. As obvious as that may appear to those who regularly receive chiropractic care, limited range of motion plays a major role in many health problems that usually improve with chiropractic adjustments.

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