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Posted on 10-11-2015

~~From the desk of Ann Arbor Chiropractor Mike Tannenbaum, D.C.

The spinal column should have three curves in it none of which should be lateral curves. You should have a forward curve in the neck, a backwards curve in the mid back and a forward curve in the low back. These curves are positioned as such to allow the spine to work as it should. With out the proper curvature in the spine the spine will not move properly, will not have the shock absorber effect that it should and the spinal bones will degenerate faster then they should.

Often I see the cervical bones (neck bones) curve lessened, straightened or reversed. This straightening or reversing of the neck curvature can occur for a number of reasons from long standing holding of the neck in a anterior position to whiplash type accidents.

It is possible to improve the neck curvature a little to a lot. Spinal bone alignment changes can take time. There is a lot of retraining of muscles and retraining of the sensory environment affiliated with the bones and muscles. Doing the following may help improve neck curvature.

1. Make sure to maintain proper posture as much as possible. That is, your ears above your shoulders, your shoulders above your hips and hips above ankles. Also, make sure your shoulders are back.
2. Make sure your work environment ergonomics are correct. For example, your computer monitor should be about 15 degrees below straight in front of your eyes, you should only have to look slightly down at the monitor and do this with out moving your head down. Your feet should be flat on the ground with your legs bent at a right angle at the knees.
3. Make sure when sitting nothing is in your back pocket, like a wallet. You don't want anything in your back pocket that would cause your pelvis to be uneven while sitting. Avoid heavier loads on one shoulder then the other like the weight of a  purse.
4. You should follow the adjustment protocol for neck posture improvement recommended by you chiropractor.  Generally, the chiropractor among other things, will adjust your neck pushing from the back of the neck to the front, that is, from posterior to anterior as part of the protocol to reintroduce proper forward neck curvature.
5. You should stretch your neck muscles forward and backward and left and right laterally and rotationally. This should be done at least once a day six days a week.
6. Try to understand when your stressed and to make sure your not tightening your neck, and upper back muscles.
7. Avoid sleeping on your stomach and/or with your head tucked toward your chest.

I can't guarantee that following the above protocol will improve your straightened or reversed neck posture, but I believe that it can and that you should give it a try.

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