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Upper Cervical Chiropractic Cases from Dr. Zachary Ward

When your body gets locked into stress, pain, and chronic conditions, we help unlock it

Big and small accidents cause your body to shift and lock down into a stressed position. You can see it for yourself in the mirror, if you know what to look for. Some talk about shifting posture. And many others just ignore it. But at Life In Alignment, we see consistent changes in your chronic pain and other conditions using a specific protocol to unlock the spine and bring it to better balance.

We don’t just talk about improved spinal balance. We measure it as it changes.

Can you see the change?

The following “before and after cases” show how your spine can shift from unhealthy to healthy, and from abnormal to normal. And how quickly these positive changes often happen when the right approach is used.

In the words of a recent patient: “This is not what I expected from a chiropractor.”

What does a reverse neck curve look like when it corrects (video)

What does a reverse neck curve look like when it corrects (video)

We look at two cases of serious reverse curve (C-shaped) moving towards straight, with two different symptom patterns: head/neck and shoulder. These cases are featured because they are realistic both in the their changes, and their time frames.

There are different kind of reverse neck curves

Recently I took a moment to answer a question on the website Quora asking about the possibility to restore the cervical curve when the neck is in reverse.

(The article: Is it possible to restore the curve in your cervical spine? I have a reversal of the normal lordotic curve (straight neck). Will chiropractic help?)

In the article I describe several different kinds of reverse curves:

  • The kyphotic neck (straight – not necessarily a true reverse)
  • The kyphotic neck with a reverse top
  • True C-shape reverse
  • S-shape and
  • Inverse S-shape reverse

In the Quora article, I state that it’s more common to see a full or near reversal of the curve when the neck is only slightly reverse, or it’s kyphotic. Especially if the patient is beyond childhood, when degeneration and trauma can limit some restoration of the curvature.

Want to learn more about reverse cervical curve? Here is my comprehensive article.

Reverse C-shape curves may return to a “straight” configuration but may not return to a full normal curve

Lateral Post X Ray Upper Cervical
A healthy cervical curve.

I also state that true reverse curves are more likely to return towards a kyphotic (straight) configuration rather than return to a normal curve. Perhaps with more time some of these curves will continue to improve. however, most of the progress examinations I’m conducting are happening in 3 to 6 months after the pre-treatment exam.

I provided several examples of this kind of curve improvement as found in this article: Severe pain in shoulder blade

What this process can look like varies between patients. I wanted to take a look at the progress of two similar reverse cervical curves with symptoms at different ends of the neck. One patients has neck pain and chronic, recurring headaches. She is a female in her late 40s. The other has chronic pain behind his left shoulder blade. He is a male in his young 30s, and is incredibly fit.

Female – late 40s, chronic neck and headache pain – with reverse c-curve

Please note the degeneration in between the C5/C5 vertebra as evidenced by the lack of space between the bones. The neck moves from a reverse c-curve to a kyphosis with a slight reverse at the top. Mid-neck moves 7 millimeters total, from -10 to – 3 mm using the depth method of measurement.

As her alignment improved, so did her symptoms. At the time that this patient moved out of the area she was largely free from headaches and neck pain.

Male – Early 30s, chronic pain behind the shoulder blade – with reverse c-curve

This video features a morph between the images. The most reversed neck bone (vertebral segment) is C4. You might notice how there is more space between the vertebra suggesting less degeneration of the discs.

If you look closely, the back joints show a lot of overlap, and therefore this patient has a lot of cervical rotation that has to change in addition to the curve. Like the patient above, the symptoms (shoulder/shoulder blade pain) diminish when the curve improves. The alignment shifts by 5 millimeters.

Image Credit
DrJanaOfficial [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Upper cervical chiropractic and torticollis (congenital)?

Upper cervical chiropractic and torticollis (congenital)?

Does neck alignment matter in torticollis? Below is a story of Baby M who is currently undergoing care to improve her neck and body alignment to see if it will help her torticollis. What is congenital torticollis Not long after birth some babies develop a tilt of the head toward the right or left shoulder,… Continue Reading

Three millimeters to headache freedom?

Three millimeters to headache freedom?

Many cases of chronic and recurring head pain (like tension head ache, migraine, etc.) are treated by focusing on the head…Where the pain appears to be. But many cases of chronic headache may actually be stemming from biomechanical problems in the neck and deserve to have an evaluation from a chiropractic provider, especially one with… Continue Reading

Vertigo can be caused by neck alignment (video)

Where vertigo comes from is a huge question that a lot of people have. Especially because vertigo symptoms are so confusing, and can include and be confused for dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, and even  migraine, anxiety, and motion sickness. As an upper cervical chiropractor, I am very aware of the primary causes of vertigo symptoms, which… Continue Reading

Correcting the S-shaped neck curve (video)

Hello Dr. Zachary Ward back with another “Ten Patients in Ten Minutes” In this episode we’re talking about a female in her mid-30s with migraines, head sensitivities, left ear plugged, sense of brain fog, anxiety, chest pain…whole gamut of symptoms and of course a reverse curve.   And this is her x-ray of her neck… Continue Reading

Solving neck pain after whiplash (video)

Hi, this is Dr. Zachary Ward at Life In Alignment Chiropractic here in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Facebook.com/LIAChiropractic We’re going over ten cases in about ten minutes. (Don’t hold me to it.) Whiplash after car crash- the acceleration-deceleration injury of the neck We’re on number eight, looking at whiplash after a car accident…The cervical acceleration-deceleration injury.… Continue Reading

Improving upright posture and pelvis alignment in a long distance runner

Improving upright posture and pelvis alignment in a long distance runner

Can long distance runners improve their overall body posture by focusing on the head-to-neck alignment? Yes and no. It depends on if they are self-correcting or receiving a correction. This case study from our practice and a little bit of research sheds light on this important topic. Focusing on the hips, knees, and ankles When… Continue Reading

Scoliosis in middle age: common questions and one woman’s story

I have scoliosis and I’m middle aged. Is it too late for me to get help from a chiropractor? Plus… One woman’s story after four weeks of spinal care with scoliosis And answering your common questions about scoliosis in adulthood by a doctor who works with adults with scoliosis Most scoliosis information focuses on children… Continue Reading

Upper Cervical Success Stories

Post-concussion syndrome, brain fog, and neck alignment? Really?

Post-concussion syndrome, brain fog, and neck alignment? Really?

It’s important to know that if the body has experienced enough trauma to have a mild brain injury, it has experienced enough trauma to have a neck injury. This video on alignment and post-concussion syndrome show why: The following is from a feedback form taken from a high school student, about 8 weeks after his… Continue Reading

I was most impressed with this new form of treatment

I was most impressed with this new form of treatment

Here is an unsolicited review on Facebook: Thank you to Nancy for sharing her experience and getting the word out about specific cervical care and its impact on the whole spine and health on Facebook. Nancy loved chiropractic, but wanted a new experience to see if she could could feel less pain and greater balance… Continue Reading

Sleeping patterns have improved with upper cervical chiropractic

Sleeping patterns have improved with upper cervical chiropractic

How would you describe your health before you began receiving your spinal corrections? I was generally in good health other than having headaches, neck pain, and lower back pain. Went to my physician and former chiropractor without much relief. What is it that you heard or read that made you decide to choose my office… Continue Reading

Baby’s severe gastric reflux ends after watching episode of Ricki Lake?

Baby’s severe gastric reflux ends after watching episode of Ricki Lake?

When Sylvia Herrera’s infant daughter Alexa kept spitting up her bottle, baby Alexa ended up with a diagnosis of acid reflux (severe colic), and a diet of Zantac, Prevacid, and Prilosec. This article was written by Dr. Zachary Ward, and was originally presented in the summer edition of the 2013 NUCCA News. “When Alexa was… Continue Reading

Excruciating facial pain not responding to medication?

Excruciating facial pain not responding to medication?

What would you do if you faced Ryan’s painful situation? When does a pain in the face start as a pain in the neck? Thanks to Ryan for posting this on to Facebook, and sharing his story. He experienced dramatic Jaw and TMJ nerve pain, and was going to be evaluated for trigeminal neuralgia. One… Continue Reading

I experienced vertigo symptoms

I experienced vertigo symptoms

How would you describe your health before you began receiving your upper cervical chiropractic adjustments? It varied. I experienced vertigo symptoms that were incapacitating. What is it that you heard or read that made you decide to choose my office for chiropractic care? I was referred to the office by a co-worker. Before coming, I… Continue Reading

It is so different…

It is so different…

How would you describe your health before you began receiving your adjustments? Soreness all of the time. What is it that you heard or read that made you decide to choose my office for chiropractic care? More referral than anything else. Were you skeptical about chiropractic care? No. What are the three benefits that you’ve… Continue Reading

Major increase in neck mobility

Major increase in neck mobility

How would you describe your health before you began receiving your adjustments? Low energy, tense, sluggish, tender, and tight. What is it that you heard or read that made you decide to choose my office for chiropractic care? My father’s experience. Were you skeptical about chiropractic care? No. What are the three benefits that you’ve… Continue Reading

Runner’s Knee and Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Runner’s Knee and Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Runner’s knee and upper cervical chiropractic care? This original story appeared in the Fall 2o13 NUCCA News, the quarterly newsletter of the the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association. It was part of one of three very different stories about healing through upper cervical care. This true-life story comes from Dr. Nathan Wheat in central Iowa, and was written by Dr. Zachary Ward. Continue Reading

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