Stability vs Instability
We need a stable spine! This means healthy joints moving freely without pain, and relaxed muscles to adapt to the stresses and strains of daily life. The crucial question is whether the spine and the shapes of the spine are stable.
Highly unstable spines may require medical treatment or surgical intervention to protect the spinal cord and nervous system in order to allow healing and the return of stability. However, there are many times when the curves in the spine are not in the extreme category of requiring medical treatment, but rather in the non-traumatic, chronic or recurring episodes of pain that may require some conservative treatment.
Spines need to be stable, responsive and adaptable
Our spines need to adapt to the curves they have developed to be stable, relaxed and balanced with pain-free movement to support us in our daily lives. Very few of us have ‘perfectly’ shaped spines and a perfectly shaped spine is not the Nirvana for treatment. If the spine is mis-shaped but pain-free the advice is simple, keep active and don’t worry!
Treatment goals – managing flat neck
The key aim of treatment is to prevent deterioration or worsening of the spinal curves. It is also to improve spinal function, within the available range of movement that we each have as individuals, that will in turn keep the spine pain-free and mobile.
More specifically, treatment aims to:
- Help the tight muscles around the spine to relax
- Reduce the compression forces on the neck
- Improve joint mobility to the locked or hypomobile joints
- Bring awareness of postural training to avoid undue pressure and stress on the spine
- Impart lifestyle training to avoid activities that can worsen or accentuate the misalignment
- Change the habit patterns that are aggravating the pain from the neck
Chiropractic treatment for flat neck or misaligned spinal curves
My view as an experienced Chiropractor is that Chiropractic treatment can help improve the mobility in the tight vertebrae, helping to maintain the movement, which in turn reduces pressure on the tight or injured areas and helps the spine to maintain its alignment. Clients often report that they feel their necks are not ‘pulling them down’ as much, and they can feel straighter and lighter. Chiropractic also helps to prevent deterioration of the spinal curves.
Prevent deterioration of flat neck, rather than cure
Above all, please don’t worry that this is a serious condition. It is one that helps us understand why your neck may give you problems and help guide the treatment.
We all have weak spines! We can all strain and injure ourselves with the stresses of modern life. The key is to understand that if our spines have altered alignment or wear and tear that these conditions are here to stay, but with care and attention we can usually keep our spines healthy, pain-free, flexible, balanced and relaxed. It’s true that for some of us, even if the shapes of our spines are not ‘perfect’, that maintaining health may require more work, care and attention than for others. This is a simple fact of life that we need to embrace and accept, just as we need to clean our teeth regularly and avoid the sugars to help prevent decay and lower our risk of cavities.