Back pain is extremely common. It’s one of the leading causes of doctor visits, missed days at work, and disability. When you’re experiencing pain in your mid or low back, the last thing you’re likely to think about is your neck. However, the neck is oftentimes the root cause of a lot of back problems, regardless of whether or not you have neck pain.
The Posture Connection
To understand a lot of back pain cases, it’s important to look at posture. The spine is designed to keep us upright. The uppermost vertebrae in the spine, your atlas (C1) and axis (C2), have a different shape and move very differently from the rest of the vertebrae in the spine. Even a small misalignment of the upper cervical spine can cause your shoulders to be uneven, a hip to drop, and for one leg to draw up shorter than the other. This can easily be the cause of the pain you’re experiencing anywhere in the back.
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The atlas and axis also protect an area of the central nervous system called the brainstem. The brainstem plays a role in relaying signals traveling between the brain and body about posture. Any abnormal signals caused by a misalignment can also cause abnormal posture, unequal muscle tension, and spasms.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help
Instead of chasing around individual symptoms, upper cervical chiropractic goes straight to the root cause by addressing the head-neck alignment. By correcting the position of the atlas or axis, we are able to restore normal posture to the neck, which in turn, will allow for the reduction of all of the compensations happening throughout the rest of the spine. By helping to normalize the body’s posture, a lot of back pain will go away with a gentle, specific correction to the neck. In addition, since we’re addressing the cause, the back pain is less likely to return than if we were just managing the symptoms.
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