The neck is an extremely important part of our
body, as if its functions are
interrupted for even a few seconds we would lose consciousness
and begin to die. Blood vessels, nerves, the thyroid, the parathyroid,
the larynx, esophagus, trachea, brainstem, spinal cord, spinal column,
and the meninges are all housed in the neck. With all of
these components in the neck it is still capable of balancing the
heavy skull, 7 to 10 pounds, and enabling it to tilt, twist and
turn in several directions.
The Cervical Spine (Neck)
Neck bones are called cervical
atlas, or first cervical vertebra is directly below your skull. The
axis is the second cervical vertebrae and it permits the head to
turn and tilt. The Cervical vertebrae are numbered, the atlas
is C1, the axis is C2, and the following are C3, C4, C5, C6 and C7.
The spinal cord needs protection
from damage; hence it is covered by bone called vertebrae. It
is through these vertebrae that the spinal cord travels, and the
to protect them are called the spinal column.
The vertebrae are separated
by discs and connected by ligaments and tendons. Between
the vertebrae are openings, intervertebral foramina, which are
filled with nerves, blood vessels,
lymphatic vessels, fat and connective tissue.
Neck damage is very common
because of all the specific functions of the neck. Neck trouble
may come from trauma, whiplash,
a fall, an accident, spinal nerves stress, spinal imbalance, vertebral
subluxation, stress that
is emotional in nature, or even a bad day at work or home. This
damage to the nerves of the neck may cause dizziness, vision problems,
ringing in the ears, headaches, nasal
problems, facial pain, tongue pain, ringing in the ears, reduced
movement and pain of the head, neck, shoulder, arm,
fingers, and severe tissue damage.
When a spine degenerates
the bones begin to deform, the discs swell, then shrink; the ligaments,
tendons and muscles
begin to harden and weaken; and the entire spinal column loses its
balance, flexibility, stability and strength. Spinal
degeneration is caused by long-standing vertebral subluxations,
and it can also affect body chemistry and internal organs. Disc
degeneration is common.
Disc herniation or rupture
occurs when the disc between the two vertebrae breaks off and irritates
the nearby tissue
or its soft center oozes out and makes its way into places that it
does not belong. Disc herniation is relatively rare.
If your head is not properly balanced your body
will react the same was as if you were carrying a heavy object around
out in front of you for a long period of time, you will start to
suffer from fatigue, stress on your neck and pain.
When the normal curve of
the neck straightens or becomes curved in the wrong direction the
body may experience
arthritic changes over a period of time. These changes may
include lipping or spurring, bony growths, disc thinning, disc degeneration,
deterioration of ligaments and muscles, and deterioration of other
structures. These irregularities area part of the bodys
defense mechanism to stabilize an off-balance spine. Recent
studies show that some of the effects of osteoarthritis may
be reversed through chiropractic care.
The Medical Approach
In the medical field, neck
pain is commonly controlled by drug therapy, rather than locating
the cause of the pain.
Spinal Nerve Stress
You may suffer from spinal
nerve stress for years before a symptom appears, but while symptoms
are absent the damage
to the body is being done over time. This is why a chiropractic
check-up and maintenance is very important. A vertebral subluxation,
diagnosed in its early stage is easier to correct than a subluxation
that has progressed to the point of actual symptoms. Just as
we should see our dentist regularly, we should see our chiropractor
regularly. Like dental care, if a cavity is located when it
is small it may be filled, but if one waits until pain is noticed
that cavity may have already damaged the tooth beyond repair, the
same holds true for vertebral subluxation.
The Chiropractic Approach
Your Chiropractors goal is to relieve your body
of vertebral subluxations so that your body may function properly. Uncorrected
vertebral subluxations can cause a weakening of the spinal muscles,
stretch and deform the spinal column, cartilage, discs and vertebrae. This
causes a lack of energy,
early aging and fatigue. But
the most prevalent result of spinal nerve stress is the irritation
of the nervous system and brain stem. This irritation
is an interference that interrupts the information and energy flow
to the various parts of the body and lowers our natural resistance
to sickness and disease. Chiropractors are trained to locate
and correct vertebral subluxation through examination and spinal
adjustment. The adjustments relieve the nerve stress and assist
in restoration of body function. Proper functioning of the
nervous system through chiropractic treatment is one of the best
defenses against conditions and diseases that one would normally
not be susceptible to.