Why is Neck pain so common??

 

  • The spine is made of bones that stack up (called Vertebra), that are separated by discs, which increase mobility of the spine greatly and absorb shock/load.
  • The shape of the spine is like an “S”, having a natural curve in the lower back (LUMBAR LORDOSIS) and in the neck (CERVICAL LORDOSIS).
  • This “S” shape with the natural curves acts like a cushioning spring, allowing normal distribution of load evenly through the discs, and is generally present when we stand upright.
  • Loss of these natural curves occurs most commonly when we SIT SLOUCHED.
  • Slouched sitting allows the lower back to round (causing the lumbar lordosis to disappear). When this occurs the head protrudes forwards, also causing disruption of the Cervical Lordosis (natural curve in the neck).
  • These natural curves are also lost whenever the low back is bent forwards or rounded, which occurs with many activities both in the Home (eg. Vacuuming, cooking, gardening, emptying the dish-washer, putting on make-up or shaving, sitting on the couch, ironing etc) or at Work (eg. Sitting slouched, frequent bending at work for Nurses, Manual Workers, Driving etc).
  • Loss of the lumbar lordosis with these common daily activities allows the head and neck to PROTRUDE (poke forwards), which then looses the Cervical Lordosis.
  • The Cervical Lordosis also disappears when the neck is bent down as in reading, writing, cooking, and using your iPhone/iPad.
  • Initially these lifestyle causes of regular loss of the lordosis put strain on the soft tissues such as the ligaments in the spine. At this stage pain is felt while sitting slouched or bending your neck down, but quickly disappears once you get out of the offending position.
  • As the process continues with SLOUCHED SITTING and repeated bending, overstretching of the ligaments occurs and this then starts to cause bulging of the disc.
  • If this continues due to the overloading from loss of the lordosis the disc can bulge far enough to touch the nerve behind it, giving rise to radicular symptoms in the arm.

Notice with poor sitting posture, the natural curve in the lower back (called the LUMBAR LORDOSIS) is lost

Notice with poor sitting posture, the natural curve in the lower back (called the LUMBAR LORDOSIS) is lost