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Chiropractic & Medicine Collide

We never want anyone to have so damage in their spine and nerve system that they undergo spinal surgery. The failure rates are very high and they often don’t have relief from the initial symptom. A study published in 2015 showed that medical professionals, particularly surgeons, are beginning to understand (as chiropractors have been saying for decades) that the curve in our neck (lordosis) is essential for normal function, healing and life.

Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Chris Centeno….
What’s a big and easily preventable cause of neck fusion complications?
The curve of someone’s neck is often ignored in medicine, as the focus is usually on procedures like surgery for chronic pain. However, our understanding of the importance of this curve has been growing. Now a new study shows that if the surgeon happens to fuse a neck without a curve, bad things happen.

The term “lordosis” means curve. The normal neck has a C-shaped curve that’s critical in distributing the weight between the discs in front and the facet joints in the back. When the normal neck curve is lost, more of the weight is placed on the discs, leading to a higher risk of disc failure. Studies have also shown that restoring this neck curve once it’s been lost can help neck pain. (!!!!!!!)

Given that, how important is it for surgeons to “respect the curve” when they fuse someone’s neck? The new study followed 113 patients who underwent neck fusion surgery over a four year period. The curve of the neck was measured after the surgery to see if it still had the normal curve, or was straight, or even bent in the opposite direction (kyphosis). The authors found that the lack of a normal curve was directly related to increasing disability. In other words, getting fused with the wrong neck curve really seemed to mess patients up.

What’s the practical reality of this problem? I’ve seen many patients like this in the clinic through the years, whose necks after fusion have no curve. They are miserable, because their head pulls forward rather being centered on their spine, leading to pulling on their neck muscles into their shoulder blades. Regrettably, outside of treating the symptoms, there’s little that can be done after the surgery to fix the issue.

Back to my comments….
I love the fact that, in spite of the limited medical approach of drugs & surgery, there is a growing understanding of the critical role our spinal structure, stability and movement have on the function and healing of every muscle, tissue and cell.

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