Weather conditions have long been associated with various symptoms experienced by individuals. From headaches to numbness in extremities, these symptoms often worsen during bad weather. This blog post aims to delve into the potential connection between weather-related symptoms and postural deviation in the cervical spine. By understanding the impact of this deviation, we can explore possible solutions to alleviate discomfort and improve overall well-being.
The Impact of Cervical Spine Postural Deviation on Weather-Related Symptoms
When it comes to weather-related symptoms, individuals report a range of experiences. Some individuals find that atmospheric pressure triggers headaches, making it harder to read a computer screen due to increased brightness. Others simply feel unwell when weather conditions are unfavorable.
In more severe cases, individuals may experience numbness in their toes, fingers, and wrists. While these symptoms may appear unrelated, there is a commonality among them – a susceptibility to bad weather conditions. However, the underlying cause could potentially be attributed to postural deviation in the cervical spine.
Understanding Cervical Spine Postural Deviation
The cervical spine, in its natural state, possesses a gentle curvature. This curvature acts as a cushion, absorbing the weight of the head and distributing the resulting pressure. When the natural curvature is lost and the cervical spine becomes straight, often referred to as “military neck,” its functionality is compromised.
Image from https://www.yorkrehabclinic.ca/
The ability to support the weight of the head diminishes, leading to overworked neck extensor muscles that become shortened. Furthermore, as the autonomic nervous system is located in this region, tight neck extensor muscles may impede its functionality.
Identifying the Culprit
Daily activities such as using cellphones, reading books, and working on computers could potentially contribute to the tightening of the neck extensor muscles. It is important to note that the human head weighs approximately 5 to 6 kilograms (11 to 13 pounds). Interestingly, as the angle of slouching increases to 30 degrees, the additional force exerted on the neck becomes three times greater than the norm. At a 45-degree angle, the extra force is amplified to four times the normal amount.
Addressing the Issue: Stretching and Strengthening
Given the force-coupling relationship of muscles, where one muscle tightens (agonist), its opposing muscle elongates (antagonist). The solution lies in stretching the tight muscles while simultaneously strengthening the elongated ones.
One effective exercise involves leaning against a wall, with the buttocks and shoulder blades touching it, and gradually bringing the head back to touch the wall. Finally, try to achieve a “double chin” position. This exercise utilizes the wall as a guide to re-educate the body and find the neutral alignment for the spine. While using the wall is ideal, you can also attempt the exercise without it whenever possible.
To stretch the neck, stand upright and clasp one hand with the other, then gently tilt the head to the side. It is crucial to perform this stretch slowly and avoid bouncing, as sudden movements may cause neck injuries or, in the worst-case scenario, spinal damage. Additionally, it is more effective to stretch after warming up the muscles.
Understanding the relationship between cervical spine postural deviation and weather-related symptoms provides valuable insights into improving our well-being. By recognizing the impact of poor posture on the neck and implementing appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises, we can alleviate discomfort and minimize the effects of bad weather on our bodies. Remember, maintaining a healthy posture is not only beneficial for our physical health but also enhances overall quality of life.