What’s Military Neck?
“Military neck” is a term used to describe the loss of the normal curvature in the neck. The development of our necks begins as soon as we begin crawling during infancy and continue to develop until adulthood. These series of changes in the neck help develop proper biomechanics for our cervical spine (the region of the spine in our neck), decreasing the likelihood of neck pain. With poor posture, the biomechanical advantage in our necks can be lost, ultimately leading to neck pain.
Our neck area is an important aspect of our posture. Typically the cervical spine develops a forward curve (lordotic curve) that allows us to do movements such as bending and rotation in different directions. When that curvature is compromised, and it becomes straight, our posture gets distorted. Those changes can be reflected with constant muscle spasm, pain, headaches, and in the worse case – early development of arthritis.
The advantage in technology has caused multiple problems in the development of poor posture. Extended computer use and cell phones are becoming common factors that are contributing to the development of poor posture in today’s society. The good news is that there are ways to correct and manage this postural distortion.
- Chiropractic adjustments: when the bones are moved into their proper position, it allows the right communication between joints, muscles, and nervous system. This re-establishes the proper biomechanics in between joints, allowing them to move more freely.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises: distortion of our posture will cause different group of muscles to become tighter and others weaker – what are known as postural syndromes. A good routine of stretches and strengthening exercises targeting the neck and upper back muscles will help improve your posture.
- Trigger point therapy: An overload of the nervous system will make the muscles constantly contract creating “nodes or trigger points.” When trigger points become “active”, they can radiate pain to different areas. Trigger point therapy allows the correction and relaxation of those overly tight muscles, preventing the alteration of our posture.
Posture depends highly on the proper communication between muscles, bones and nervous system – addressing each will provide long-term correction and relief of symptoms. If you know anyone suffering from postural problems, give us a call!
Yours in health,
Dr. Adriana Huertas