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What is Military Neck?

military neck image
military neck

Military neck is not a result of military service!


Have you ever heard of “military neck?” Actually, it has nothing to do with problems in your neck caused by active or past military service. It has to do with the straightening of the natural curve in your neck. It’s called military neck because the condition, also known as straight neck or cervical kyphosis, resembles the standing up straight and tall posture of a soldier standing at attention.

The normal neck has a forward curve, called a lordosis, which from a side view looks like the letter C. This curve is designed to support the weight of your head and to facilitate movement. If there is just a mild loss of this curvature, you probably won’t even become aware of it because there are usually no symptoms.

If curvature loss is significant, however, you might experience symptoms such as neck pain/stiffness, shoulder pain and headaches. Loss of proper nerve function as a result of this condition can interfere with communication links between the brain and the body. Over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers might eliminate painful symptoms, but pain will return as soon as the pain reliever wears off. That’s because they don’t address the cause of the condition.

What causes military neck? Whiplash injuries, poor posture, repetitive movements and occupational conditions, such as looking down at a computer screen all day, can certainly contribute to this condition.

Is it possible to regain the proper C curve once you lose it? Perhaps, depending on a number of factors, such as the degree of curvature lost, whether there is disc degeneration or osteoarthritis in the neck, and how well you cooperate with the recommendations of your chiropractor! It can take some time, however, so patience is needed. You lose the curve over time so it can take time to regain it.

Chiropractic adjustments, along with neck extension, strengthening and stretching exercises can help relieve pain in the short term and, hopefully, resolve the condition in the long term.

Related posts:

  1. Forward Head Posture and Neck Pain
  2. More than Just a Pain in the Neck?
  3. Whiplash: More Than a Pain In the Neck
  4. Trigger Point Therapy for Chronic Neck & Back Pain

One Comment (Add Yours)

  1. I had a MRI & a CAT scan and was told I have no curve in my cervical spine, I needed surgery cause of narrowing of the spinal cord herniated discs and I needed my surgery was from C3 through C7 they performed it through the front of my neck with plates and screws but that did not fix me having no curve in my cervical spinal cord if I had it to do all over again I would have never had the surgery I am in more pain now than I was before the surgery the surgeon told me that I’ve been dealing with this for over 15 years on top of fibromyalgia and he said if he could alleviate my pain just a little bit we’ve hit a homerun well we hit a foul because this is ridiculous I’m in all kinds of pain I have more numbness and pain in both my arms my fingers do whatever they want on top of that I have lymphedema which is not being treated because I have a 35 year old doctor who doesn’t know what he’s doing any suggestions on what I should do please help

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