Will a straight neck give you arthritis? It’s possible. We look at the link between loss of cervical curve, the straight neck, and arthritis in the neck.
What does it meant to have a straight neck or a loss of cervical curve?
The medical terms for a straight neck are kyphosis, lack of cervical curve, or military neck.
In extreme cases one or more vertebra can tilt backward, creating a reverse neck curve. A straight neck is not a good thing and can have a number of consequences for human health.
Let’s focus on one reason a straight neck is bad—it can be associated with osteoarthritis in the spine (the breakdown of neck joints).
Why does the neck naturally curve?
In a normal healthy state, the human neck has a forward curve, which develops early-on in life. The spine of a baby is shaped like a letter “C.” As the baby begins to hold up his or her head, the weight of the head stimulates the development of neck muscles which put a curve into the neck.
Curves are an important part of the anatomy of the spine. They help support the weight of your body. They also cushion the spine and protect the delicate nervous system inside of the spinal column.
Reduced spinal curves affect your health
As the neck looses its curve, it can affect how you feel. A straight neck or a reversed cervical curve is often found on patients who have:
- whiplash injuries,
- chronic headache pains,
- mild to serious neck pain,
- and disc disease (including bulging and herniated discs) in the neck.
Straight neck is often accompanied by a forward head, a problem called forward head syndrome, or forward head posture.
According to experts in biomechanics (the study of the movement of the body) a forward head can put as much as ten pounds of extra pressure on the spine for every inch the head moves forward of the shoulder. Forward head posture can place as much as 30 extra pounds of stress on the muscles, blood vessels, lymph tracks, nerves, and joints of the neck and upper shoulders.