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Why is the C-Curve so Important In Your Neck?

Posted Sep 12 2008 10:23am 3 Comments
X-rays are a very important tool for looking at your spine- When looking at a front view X-ray of your neck (cervical spine) and low back (lumbar spine), the spinal bones (vertebrae) must be straight up and down. The bones must not be rotated nor tilted and no curvatures (scoliosis) should be present.

The side view X-ray must reveal three 63-degree arcs- 3 "C" Curves. The most important arc is in the neck (cervical spine) and should range between 34 and 43 degrees between C1 and C7 (the first and last cervical vertebrae). This cervical arc is known as the “Arc of Life” because mental life impulses travel directly from the brain down this part of the spinal cord to bring life to the rest of the body. Losing your Arc of Life causes the most severe obstruction to the brain, spinal cord and nerves, also known as the Central Nervous System (CNS)

If your CNS is unhealthy, you cannot become truly healthy by exercising or eating right alone. You can be healthier, but you cannot be at “normal” or optimal. Any “abnormal” position of the spine, misalignment of the bones, or any changes in these curves indicate a serious problem. It is absolutely vital to understand this point--any changes from “normal” will interfere with and eventually damage the Central Nervous System. Interference and damage to the Central Nervous System will always result in “abnormal” function of the body, improper healing, and poor, abnormal, or less than optimal health.

“ … Posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production.”

--C. Norman Shealy, MD, Roger K. Cady, MD, et al; APJM, 1994, Vol.4p. 36
Normal Neck Curve


When bones of the spine lose their normal position or motion, sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head can be affected. When spinal nerves and related tissues are stretched or irritated they can symptoms such as headaches and neck pain. Aspirin and medication may cover up these warning signs, but do not correct the underlying structural cause. Many patients with neck pain have lost the normal forward curve in the neck. Ultimately, this can affect the brain stem and spinal cord.

Loss of Normal Neck Curve- Loss of Neck Curve: The MILITARY NECK

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Comments (3)
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Can you get the c-curve back when you have lost it?  This article doesn't end with any possible solutions.  I know I don't have a c-curve, and have been in chronic pain for at least a decade.  I need some hope here.  Thanks, Anna B
Dear anna, thank you for your question. Yes it is possible to get the c curve back into the cervical spine for some patients. Postural exercises, neck traction and chiropractic adjustments all can help.
My c-curve is going in the complete opposite direction.  Looking at the x-ray the chiropracter did, my skull looks like it is on the corner of my spine. Is there anything that can be done about that?  It seems the older I get the tighter my neck and shoulders get.  A simple glance over the shoulder can cause a bad twinge in the neck. Thanks, Amy B 
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