Thursday, January 16, 2014
The Neck Is Your Life Line
The nervous system is the master control network for your body, directing virtually every function and action, from monitoring your life needs, to precisely responding to threats to your health. Each system, from your heart and blood vessels, to your digestive and immune systems, is directed through nerve impulses originating in your brain or spinal cord that travel through its protective bony structure: the spinal column. The neck region is the most vulnerable region of the spine to injury. Indeed, even death can be brought through significant trauma to the neck. When the trauma is not fatal, the consequences can still be severe, such as when paralysis strikes.
Most people will not experience these severe injuries, however sprains of the delicate ligaments with subluxation (misalignment) do commonly occur. Despite the injury being smaller, their location (the neck) makes their impact more profound. Functions throughout the body can be impaired when the nerves in the upper neck are compromised. Within chiropractic, there are even specialists who focus their entire care on the uppermost two vertebrae of the spine.
Because most nerves pass through the neck, if irritation or compression is present, virtually any system of the body can be affected. The point being is that a neck disorder will not necessarily just cause neck pain or headache. Dizziness, digestive problems, fatigue, high blood pressure and generally reduced quality of life are some of the symptoms patients commonly experience.
If you have suffered a severe whiplash, you may have noticed far more than a stiff neck. Indeed, recent research suggests whiplash needs to more thought of as a whole body disorder.
We take these injuries in our office and address them in both a specific and comprehensive manner. Most patients who have suffered a neck trauma will require x-rays to rule out serious conditions and analyze the posture of their spine. X-rays may also need to be taken in motion to test the stability of your ligaments and to determine precise levels of impaired movements. With this road map, it is not difficult to determine how care should be directed and what factors could influence your long-term prognosis, such as degeneration.