Christy Flick: We're going to talk about why a neck might feel tight and sore with any little quick movement. You get a crick in your neck.
Jennifer Taylor: Crunchy.
Christy Flick: Why does that happen? I'm Dr. Christy Flick.
Jennifer Taylor: I'm Dr. Jennifer Taylor.
Christy Flick: We're with HealthWorks: A Family Wellness Center in Plano, Texas. So lead us off Dr. Taylor. Tell us about spinal anatomy.
Jennifer Taylor: Okay, well, I'm not going to bore you too much, but this right here is the back of your head. As you'll see, this is George by the way, he always helps us out. So this right here is the back of your head, and then we have these nice flowing curves from the side here, okay? Very, very important. This right here should be about 35 to 45 degrees for optimal health.
Christy Flick: In fact, he's not looking very good there.
Jennifer Taylor: No, I know.
Christy Flick: Let's give him a little bit more curve.
Jennifer Taylor: Yeah, there we go. There we go.
Christy Flick: There we go.
Jennifer Taylor: So the head actually sits just like this nice and straight.
Christy Flick: Yes. Okay. So why do we have a curve like that? Why do we have curves in our spine? So I love the analogy of a spring. All right. So if I have a spring and I put ... Well! I put force into it, it absorbs that force. Let me get two hands on this thing, it absorbs that force and just dissipates right through it. So I can put a lot of force into a spring and let it go and the spring springs right back to where it should be, right? That's the function of a spring. Well, that is also the function of the curves in your spine.
Jennifer Taylor: Right.
Christy Flick: So imagine this now: your spine is like a spring. We've got the curves. We put force in and the force dissipates through. You can kind of see if you look really closely how this kind of comes together and then it springs right back, comes together, springs right back. Okay. That's what the curves are for. Now we can lose the curves at our spine through something called spinal degeneration. So that looks like, oh, ow. All right, very straight. Now we're going to use that same example. If this were curled, it would be a spring, but instead, it straightened and I put pressure into it and if I put enough pressure, it's going to bend and break. This is a little sharp, so I'm not going to do that exactly. But you can get the analogy. Instead of springing right back, eventually, this will bend and break. The same is true with your spine. When it's straight like this.
Jennifer Taylor: Right. I mean, instead of having that nice flowing curve, which provides significant shock absorption every time you walk, every time you're in a bumpy car.
Christy Flick: Yeah. Shock absorption.
Jennifer Taylor: Yeah. Okay. You actually get more of this pounding pressure.
Christy Flick: Absolutely. So curves are incredibly important to your overall health, your spinal health, your brain health. You cannot be healthy without a proper curve in your spine.
Jennifer Taylor: Right.
Christy Flick: If you are feeling tightness, if you notice your turn your head to the side quickly, you get a crick in your neck. If your pillow doesn't feel comfortable, if you feel like your head is being pushed forward by your car seat, these are all signs that you might have lost the curve in your neck. Chiropractors are excellent at restoring curves. See a chiropractor today.
HealthWorks: A Family Wellness Center is a chiropractic and wellness center located in Plano, Texas. Our chiropractors, Dr. Christy Flick and Dr. Jennifer Taylor, have been helping patients function better since starting private practice in 2005. For information about this article or other chiropractic questions, please contact our office at 972-612-1800.