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straight neck (cervical curvature)

bolakehz's picture
Last seen:
3 years 3 months ago
07/31/2013 - 12:45pm
straight neck (cervical curvature)

Dear Esther, 

I atteneded your workshop in Atlanta a year ago and it's been very helpful for improving my posture. I went to a chiropractor this week and they did a X-ray of my spine. The results showed that my cervical spine is straight, even slightly curved in the wrong direction. The chiropractor sugguested that I should try to ''restore the curvature'' through use of a cervical pillow and traction, ect. I remember seeing the pictures in your book and people all have very straight neck. I was wondering if we X-ray them, will their cervical spine be straight like mine or do they actually have a ''healthy curve'' the chiropractor was talking about. Is it nessaray to get a curve for my neck?



Last seen:
44 sec ago
09/10/2008 - 8:36pm

Hi Leylop, 

Nice to hear from you! I remember you well. Sorry our forum posts have not been forwarding to me. We;re fixing this.

It's true that the exterior contour of the cervical spine (created by where the posterior processes of each vertebra end) is not identical to the contour made by the vertebral bodies. So the people in the pictures in the book showing very straight lines along the backs of their necks may not show straight lines on Xrays of the vertebral bodies of the neck. It is natural to have some curve in the lineup of the cervical bodies.

The easiest place to gauge how well-aligned your neck is is from the outside. There you would like to work towards more or less a straight line. Note that this description of what is normal/ideal is different from conventional wisdom. I've seen many students told they have "too straight" a neck and receive manipulations or be asked to let their head dangle backwards off their bed (!), when I thought the opposite. I believe it's healthiest to have the visible contour of the neck be straight and work slowly and steadily towards that. 

So gentle traction - yes - though it wants to be in the correct direction that you learnt in the course and that is described in the book. Cervical pillow - not for you in my opinion (based on having worked with you and reviewing your pictures in our files). It's very rarely that I see benefit from a cervical pillow - only when there is so much existing curve that not having a cervical pillow would leave the neck unsuppported and suspended midair. What you don't want is for the pillow to be creating more curve than you currently have. 

I'm looking forward to a day when you get consistent recommndaitons from all yoru providers! In the mean time, you will have to make some decisions yourself...

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