Loss of Spinal Curvature
When the spine is viewed from the side, the normal spine will have three curves. The low back or lumbar spine is curved inward, which is called a lordosis. The neck or cervical spine will also curve inward, in a lordosis. The mid-back, also called the thoracic spine will curve in the opposite direction, outward. This type of curvature is called a kyphosis. Together, these curves in the spine form an "S" shape. This proper position of the spine is very important as it provides a spring like shock absorbing function which reduces stress on the spine. Excess stress of the spine can lead to degenerative disc disease, arthritis, as well as chronic muscle spasms and pain.
In America today we are seeing an alarming amount of adults and children with reduction or complete lack of cervical lordisis and/or lumbar lordosis. Much of this loss of lordosis can be contributed to our modern life style. Students tend to sit in school most of the day with less activity and playtime. Combined with hours of sitting after school doing homework or just watching television and playing video games. More and more adults are working in jobs where they are stuck at a desk all day staring at a computer. This constant sitting puts increased pressure on the lumber spine and causes a decrease in the low back lordosis. This is why many adults who work jobs sitting most of the day have more back pain then their more active counterparts. Another increasing common phenomenon we are seeing is the loss of cervical lordosis in children and adults. This phenomenon has been nicknamed "text neck". Our constant reliance on texting, checking our phones and playing games on our tablets have caused our spine to be in a downward looking posture a majority of the day. Looking down at our phones reduces the cervical curve and the repetitive nature in which we do this creates a muscle memory that causes the neck to stay in the "straight" or kyphotic position. Text neck or loss of cervical lordosis can lead to many symptoms including: upper back pain, tightness across the shoulders, neck pain, chronic headaches, and if cervical nerves get pinched, can cause radiating pain down the arm.
Fortunately, with proper structural corrective chiropractic care, neuro-muscular re-education, and proper mindful posture these important spinal curves can be restored. At Tobin Family Chiropractic we design custom treatment plans to restore normal position of the spine and prevent further degeneration.