The neck of the human body is a bio-mechanical marvel. Known specifically as the cervical spine, it possesses a wide range of mobility in nearly every direction.
The neck serves as a conduit for the major blood vessels to the brain and is the primary pathway of the central nervous system. The cervical (neck) region of the body is one of the most important areas of the body and a growing body of research clearly shows that its structural integrity and function are absolutely critical to overall health and healing.
The Central Nervous System is so vital to overall health and functioning of the human body that it is protected by the hardest substance in the body — a series of vertebral bones that make up the spinal column.
The small bones of the neck are called vertebrae and are designed to fit together in a C-shape. This column of curves is balanced so that the weight of the human body is evenly distributed throughout the spine. If these curves are out of balance, the vertebrae are pushed out of line, placing abnormal stress on the nerve pathways, muscles, and soft tissues of the spine.
The curves of the spine are important because they allow the spine to support more weight and to withstand more stress than if it were straight. This is because the curves increase resistance to axial compression — that is, head-to-toe squishing of the spine.
That means 10 times more weight can be supported by a curved neck versus a straight one (can you say “computer-neck?). The cervical spine supports the weight of the head – roughly 10-14 pounds. With proper posture the head is directly over the centre of gravity. But those who work on computers or commute hours per week have a major stress load equivalent to the weight of the head multiplied by the number of inches the head is forward of centre.
This forward head posture causes pain, decay, deterioration and arthritis – not OK! Please if you have forward head posture be sure to utilize a chiropractor to recondition and support the natural curves in your spine.