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Cervical Kyphosis or Military Neck can be the Cause of Neck Pain

Posted Jul 29 2009 10:29pm 4 Comments
Cervical kyphosis diagram If you have suffered with neck pain chronically you may have seen multiple doctors. Along the way, someone may have prescribed you to get a neck x-ray. Also known as a cervical x-ray - this often involves looking at the alignment of your neck. This usually involves a lateral x-ray (side view) and an AP (front view) of the cervical spine.

A normal neck x-ray from the side (lateral) should a “C” Curve in it. The significance of this cannot be overstated. With a normal C curve in the neck, your neck posture evenly distributes the weight of your head (the average human head weighs 5 kg or approximately 12 lbs) against gravity pushing downward.

When you have a loss of this curve, it is known as a military neck, loss of cervical lordosis or having a cervical kyphosis. A Cervical kyphosis can progress even to the curve reversing ( backwards C) .

A study by Dr. Deed Harrison, chiropractor showed that a proper c curve has a 31-40 degree curve, as published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics. The researcher showed that patients who exhibited a curve of 20 degrees or less had neck pain and other associated symptoms. In fact, patients with straight and kyphotic cervical curves were 18 times more likely to present with cervicogenic symptoms.

Is it possible to get the c curve back into your cervical spine? I get asked this question a lot. The answer is yes, but it can take a long time for this to happen. Think about it, your neck does not lose its curvature overnight. To get the curve back in your cervical spine is going to take some dedicated time on your part, sometimes years. Along with regular chiropractic adjustments, doing neck traction consistently is also important. Using a traction protocol using a device such as the posture pump 1000 or the pronex pneumatic traction device is easy and simple to do at home. You can also use a special neck traction pillow at night to ensure that your head and neck are properly aligned while sleeping.

At home you can also do neck exercises to help increase mobility in your cervical spine. This involves doing flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation exercises. Do them only to the point of feeling a stretch, not to the point of pain. To see if neck traction will help you- create a towel roll at home for neck pain. Watch the YouTube video to learn how to do this at home.

It is a good idea to stretch your neck as I have indicated above before starting this. It is a good idea to check with your Doctor before starting traction at home as there are certain contraindications for this.

For some patients the degeneration and arthritis that builds up in the cervical spine is at a stage where there is no chance of getting the cervical curve back. This often occurs with older patients. Getting chiropractic adjustments, Doing neck exercises, neck traction regularly will help these patients’ symptoms.

Source: Determining the Relationship between Cervical Lordosis and Neck Complaints - J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005 (Mar); 28 (3):

Additional Resources:
Visit for your online selection of cervical supports and cervical traction products for relief of stiff neck, and neck pain Add to Technorati FavoritesDeliciousBookmark this on DeliciousStumble It!

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Comments (4)
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Hi Yahweh Lover, Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I am glad that traction worked for you to help you regain the curvature in your neck spine. It does take time, but you have to be good with the traction protocol and do neck exercises.
I had military neck and used a traction pillow over a period of about a year and successfully regained curvature in my neck.  My chiro had me begin by lying on the traction pillow 15 seconds per day for a few days, then 30 seconds for a few days, 45 seconds, and so on until I worked myself up to 20 minutes per day.  I can tell you that my life has been totally different since he discovered this problem and found this solution.  I now use the pillow 20 minutes per day only 2 or 3 times per week and have been able to maintain and remain pain free.  On days when I wake up and my neck feels a little sore, I simply get on the pillow for 10-20 minutes and the pain subsides.  I am so grateful to my chiro for finally being the one who knew what was wrong.  I rarely go for adjustments now, perhaps once every 4 months or the past it was at least 2-3 times per month.
Thanks for your patience and sorry for the inconvenience!
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Be Forever Health

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