Chiropractors/My neck doesn't curve.

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Question
I am 17 years old and I've recently been to a chiropractor because I have been getting many migraines. My mom thought it would have to do with my neck so I went to take x rays. The doctor says my neck doesn't have the curve it is supposed to have it is at 0 degrees. Also that the bone that holds my my skull (i don't know what its called) is tilted and it isn't supposed to show the hole in the middle. He said he may not be able to fix it back to place since it is very hard to do so, but he can assure me with curving my neck at least so i wont have many migraines. He said if i don't fix it it will lead to arthritis in my mid twenties. i will have to go to a chiropractor once every 5 weeks for the rest of my future life. Should i be worried and fix my neck or should i just live my life normally?

Answer
Dear Capullo,

I am sorry about your headaches.  Yes, perhaps the chiropractic care will help you with the headaches. It is definitely worth a try. Think of the alternatives...

1) No care, continual headaches.
2) Medicinal care only for symptoms... with all the negative effects of taking medication for the rest of your life... on your liver, kidneys, stomach, intestines, etc etc. (not a good long term option.)

The loss of curvature, as the chiropractor explained, is a difficult thing to correct, but you still might benefit from chiropractic care.

I do take exception with the statement that you will have degenerative arthritis by your mid 20's. There is no way to know this for sure. Yes, I do believe that a loss of cervical curvature causes additional stresses on the joints of the neck and upper back region, but to prognosticate future arthritic degeneration is a bit bold, in my mind. As far as I know of, there are no peer review articles that link with certainty the loss of C spine curvature to premature arthritic degeneration.  This is a theory that makes a lot of sense, but it is not proven.

If I were you, I would initiate treatment. It should include manipulation/adjustments, stretching, and strengthening exercises, and possibly even postural exercises/postural traction.  If you are somebody that sleeps on his back, then an orthopedic pillow is also a good idea. I use the Tricore pillow from Apple Products.  It allows for proper posture both in side and back sleeping positions.

There is a device known as the Posture Pump.  It can be used at home to try and help increase the formation of a normal C spine curve.  This will cost you about $125 new, but at times you can find used ones for less.

If you find that you get relief with chiropractic care, then as you learn the exercises, you can begin to cut back on treatment frequency. Once per month is a good idea when you are not having headaches. This is a good idea for even healthy individuals...those with no particular complaints.  It helps to keep joints functioning.

Other things that can cause headaches...

Allergies or sensitivities
hormonal imbalances
neurological conditions
neurological tumors
TMJ disorders
Poor diets, rich in refined carbs and chemical preservatives

Other things that might help control the symptoms:

Acupuncture
Homeopathy
bio feedback/relaxation techniques
Mouth Splints (for TMJ disorder)
Massage, trigger point work
Dietary changes (eliminating potential headache triggers)

I hope that this gives you some thought. Good luck with your headaches and with your chiropractic care.

Keith Biggs, DC
http://www.eastmesachiropractor.com

Chiropractors

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Keith E. Biggs, DC

Expertise

I can answer questions regarding chiropractic care and diagnosis, exercise rehabilitation, spine therapy, disc injuries, back pain, neck pain, headaches, sports injuries, car accident injuries, physical therapeutics, acupuncture, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, decompression traction, acupressure, acugraphing, orthotics, arch supports, carpal tunnel, sciatica, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, weight loss, etc.

Experience

I have been in private practice for more than 20 years in Mesa, AZ. In my practice I have seen thousands of patients with many different conditions. Every patient is unique and requires individualized attention and care. I pride myself in attentive and appropriate care for every individual that comes to my office

Organizations
Arizona Chiropractic Society

Publications
Biggschiropractic.blogspot.com therapeuticfoods.blogspot.com

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Chiropractic, Cum Laude,Logan College of Chiropractic, 1987. Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, Logan College of Chiropractic. Licensed to practice Chiropractic in Arizona. Certification in Acupuncture. Certification in Physiotherapy and Traction.

Past/Present Clients
I have treated thousands of people in my private practice during the past 21 years, and in the process, I have learned so much. Practice guidelines and patient privacy laws prohibit the naming of past patients.

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