The condition gets its name from the shape of the neck of soldiers standing at attention. Notably, this specific position creates unnatural stress on the muscles and bones of the neck. Clinically speaking, doctors refer to this as a straight-neck syndrome or cervical kyphosis.
Military neck happens when your bones curve toward the front or when they’re straight and do not have the natural curve to your back. This can bring pain and discomfort in severe cases and may lead to neurological symptoms or even disability.
If you examine it closely, your neck should have its natural c-shaped curve where the C opens towards your back. However, if you have military neck or straight neck syndrome, your natural curve can be in reverse, meaning the C opens to the front of your body, or it’s non-existent, and your cervical spine straightens. The curve of your neck also determines the level of your natural gaze.
The Dangers of Military Neck Syndrome
One of the most common military neck symptoms is pain, but it’s not the only possible issue that patients must look out for. If left inappropriately addressed, military neck syndrome can also bring additional symptoms such as:
- Abnormal posture
- Changes to the shape and alignment of your spine
- Difficulty moving the head and neck
- Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing
- Balance issues when walking.
- Neck, back, shoulders, or arms pain
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or hands
- Urinary or fecal control issues
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle weakness
- Emotional imbalance
Some of these symptoms can put you at risk of falling and other injuries that can easily be prevented. If you notice any of the abovementioned symptoms, you must know your options and seek proper care. A chiropractic doctor in Seneca can help relieve and manage your symptoms. But, it still pays to consult with your physician, therapist, or other chosen healthcare provider to understand the cause of your straight neck syndrome and know the best course of action.
Causes of Military Neck Syndrome
Being more familiar with the possible causes of your military neck or straight neck syndrome can help you better manage your condition. This way, you can gauge if there are habits you should avoid or the most effective way to deal with your pain and discomfort. Common causes of military neck syndrome may include the following:
This is a type of arthritis that brings inflammation in the joints and ligaments of the spine. Sometimes, ankylosing spondylitis also causes significant body stiffness and pain.
Degenerative disc disease
As the name suggests, this condition develops when the discs between your vertebral bones wear down, which can weaken and compromise the structural integrity of your spinal column and increase risks for nerve pinching or, worse, myelin sheath damage.
Spinal abnormalities present at birth
A person born with some defect, such as incomplete spine formation, can lead bones to grow into a triangular shape with the small end pointing forward, which can cause the spine to have a forward curvature.
This is one of the less common causes of military neck or straight neck syndrome. Some abnormal growths affect the natural curvature of your cervical spine.
Prior spine surgery
People under surgery, such as laminectomy, can develop cervical kyphosis. This surgical procedure eases spinal cord compression, most often caused by spinal stenosis or the narrowing of spaces between the spine. A surgeon usually removes a lamina, or a piece of bone, to relieve the pressure, which can change how your cervical spine supports your head. Sometimes the weight of your head leans to a forward tilt which can progress to kyphotic deformity.
Trauma or injury of the spine
Military neck or straight neck syndrome can sometimes result from trauma endured in the neck area or the cervical spine. In addition, sports injuries or motor accidents can trigger a compression fracture in your neck bones, potentially leading to a wedge shape when it heals.
Your bad habits can contribute to postural problems, including:
- Overuse of computers and mobile devices
- Extending your neck downwards for long hours
- Placing your phone between your neck and shoulder when on a call
- Sitting for extended periods without stretching or resting in between
- Poor sleeping position
- Slouching while watching TV
Contact the Leading Chiropractic Doctor in Seneca
Several reasons can lead to the development of military neck syndrome. Notably, some of these contribute to misalignment in the upper cervical spine, which consists of your top two bones, the atlas and axis vertebrae. These bones surround and protect the brainstem, and any potential injuries or trauma endured in the neck can lead to posture problems that can worsen your existing health concern and trigger new ones.
Fortunately, upper cervical chiropractic adjustments can help you get on top of the situation and manage your risks for chronic neck pain. The only thing you need to do is check if you will make a good candidate for this specific care plan.
If you haven’t explored upper cervical care, we suggest dropping by Upper Cervical Health & Restoration here at 112 Surgical Blvd. Seneca, S.C. This way, you can work with a chiropractic doctor in Seneca who can assess your neck and check your medical history.
Your chosen chiropractic doctor might also require X-ray scans of the neck to determine the exact angle and severity of misalignment that requires adjustment.
Once Dr. R.T or Dr. Amy Holliday has the information needed to tailor-fit your care regimen, you can start receiving a series of adjustments on your C1 and C2 bones to correct your posture and improve your neck pain.
If you suffer from military neck syndrome interfering with your life, perhaps your cervical bones need more attention. Call our practice at 864-383-9421 or fill out our webform to book your appointment.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Holliday, call our Seneca office at 864-888-4399. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.