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All About Neck Pain Management

Knowing a little about the structure of the spine will give you some insight as to why these pains can occur. The neck vertebrae and there are seven, makeup what is known as the "Cervical Spine". A healthy neck has a normal forward curve. If this curve is straightened to some degree it is called a "hyperlordosis". If it is increased beyond the normal curvature, it is called a "hyperlordosis".

The neck supports the head that can weigh as much as 20 to 22 pounds. This amount of weight places enormous stress on the cervical spine.

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The head contains the brain from which the spinal cord exits into the cervical vertebrae that form the protective bony canal. There are muscles and ligaments that are the supportive tissues that help keep these vertebrae in normal alignment. These muscles and ligaments can become stretched or torn when exposed to trauma.

Between the vertebra, there are discs that act as cushions that act as shock absorbers and facilitate the movement of the vertebrae upon each other.

The neck can be prone to many outside influences that impact the vertebrae and may cause them to become misaligned. We have all heard about whiplash, but that whiplash is usually attributed to an automobile accident. What is not generally known is that an individual can sustain a whiplash without being in a car.

A slip or fall, or even a near fall can cause the head to snap back and forward, or from side to side, causing an injury, not unlike a whiplash. This occurs more often than can be imagined because the weight of the head acts as a fulcrum, causing the head to snap backward and then forward in a snapping motion.

When the muscles and ligaments become stretched, or a sudden trauma occurs, the structural support to the cervical vertebrae are impacted, and there can be a misalignment of one or more of the vertebra. When this occurs there will be an encroachment on the spinal nerves that exit from between these vertebrae. These nerves carry messages from the brain to areas supplied by these nerves.

Depending on the nerves that are pinched or irritated, the pain will occur at the site of the muscle or organ that is supplied by that nerve or nerves. The pain can also occur and often does at a site farther from the neck. This is referred to as radiating pain.

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