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The Cervical Spine: Small Bone, BIG Job

The health of your cervical spine is crucial as it allows all range of motion of your head and neck. Have you ever thought about how your daily activities, like looking at a smart phone or staring at a computer, could be putting your neck mobility at risk? You may be surprised to know it is also the most thin and fragile bone in your body. Because such a small bone has such a big job, it is important to exercise and or massage this area of your body regularly to promote healthy blood flow to the surrounding muscles that protect it.

Normal ranges

To maintain optimal cervical spine health, you must ensure your neck movement is always functional within the normal movement ranges:


Flexion This movement involves touching the chin to the chest, this normal range of motion is 80-90 degreescervical_flexion


Extension This movement is the opposite direction of flexion, with a normal range of motion of 70 degrees


Lateral Flexion This movement involves titling the neck as if you are trying to touch your ear to your shoulder, the normal range of motion is 20-45 degrees, being equal on each sidecervical_lateral_flexion


This movement occurs when looking over the shoulder, with a normal range of motion of 90 degrees, being equal on each side


Effects of Cervical Spine Imbalances

There are seven vertebrae in the cervical spine, connected by paired facet joints that allow the neck to move side-to-side, and up and down. These vertebrae are cushioned by six cervical discs that act as shock absorbers and provide flexibility in neck movement.


Overtime, wear and tear on the facet joints and cervical discs can lead to health problems such as stiff neck, head-aches, cervical spinal stenosis, or even osteoarthritis. The spinal cord also runs through the cervical spine and is responsible for millions of nerve processes vital to our health. Any disruptions inside the spinal canal can cause various neurological concerns such as numbness in the extremities or muscular weakness.

The most common issues related to cervical spine imbalances are postural. These occur most often in individuals who are on a computer, or smart device for extended periods of time on a regular basis. In this position the body is hunched over, shoulders are rounded, and neck is tilted down. Related muscles will start to tighten when shortened (front of the neck) and weaken as they are lengthened (back of the neck), causing postural imbalances that lead to neck and back pain, headaches, or even injury.


SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) for Cervical Spine Screening

It is important to assess the health of your cervical spine and range of motion in order to prevent these various health issues that result from poor maintenance. SFMA is, “A systematic way to identify the vital impairments of mobility and motor control associated with functional movement patterns complicated by pain” (functionalmovement.com) This test allows your chiropractor to assess pain and problems areas related to the cervical spine through three different exercises that activate the seven vertebrae, six cervical discs, and surrounding muscles.

These exercises are:

Active Cervical Flexion      Active Cervical Extension      Cervical Rotation Bend

flex                               ext                                      bend

Each exercise is given one of four scores based on the ability to perform and pain level; FN (functional and non-painful), EP (functional and painful), DP (dysfunctional and painful), DN (dysfunctional and non-painful). These cervical movement patterns are then broken down and scored in each exercise.

This system ensures that the source of discomfort or restricted movement is clearly defined and a rehabilitation method can most effectively be put into place. The areas that are causing the most pain are addressed first, and then on to areas of restricted movement, and finally a focus on optimizing cervical spine movement ranges and increasing muscle strength.


Corrective Treatments and Exercises (See Video Below)

There are several corrective treatments and exercises that can be done with the assistance of your chiropractor to promote a strong, healthy cervical spine. Maintenance of this area of your body will prevent a number of health issues such as chronic headaches, stiffness, and pain.

Dr. Myers has a video on the way that will show you exactly what some of these exercises are…



Dr. Tri Myers

Omega Chiropractic Sports Performance and Nutrition

Ph: 919-462-0016


Chiropractic Care for Digestion

Digestive disorders are an extremely common problem that people face today and the epidemic only seems to be getting worse. We have all experienced digestive discomfort in some form, but far too many people deal with this on a chronic level. Most people even choose to live with it until it becomes too unbearable without assistance of drugs for relief. Every year we spend 80 billion dollars on drugs related to digestive issues like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, and heartburn (NewsTarget). Yet, our body has all of the necessary tools properly digest. So, why are we being pushed to rely on these drugs for relief.


There are many different factors that could contribute to digestive issues, but first thing is first, you must evaluate what you are eating. Just because your neighbor can effortlessly digest a cheeseburger and fries, does not mean your body should as well. Avoiding fried, spicy, fatty, processed foods can alleviate the systems of digestive dysfunction almost immediately.

Changing your diet is a great quick-fix to these issues, but it still may not be getting to the root of the problem. You must understand what’s going on internally. There are many different nerves that operate our digestive system. For example, the Vagus nerve runs from the brain stem to the atlas bone (connecting the skull to the spine) and controls all organs that operate digestion. Often a subluxation, or misaligned vertebra, will block nerves from firing in this region and digestive functions then struggle to perform. When this misalignment occurs it can be seemingly impossible to rid the discomfort, tempting us to rely on drugs for relief.



The all-natural solution: regular chiropractic adjustments.


Chiropractic care to maintain alignment in your spine will prevent these subluxations from happening and cure that stubborn stomach discomfort with no medication needed. A recent study taking on individuals with chronic digestive problems showed that 70% of these participants were able to cure their digestive problems and keep them under control after just 12 weeks of chiropractic care and no help from drugs whatsoever.

It’s important to understand that you should first consider how to maintain the tools your body has given you before running to foreign substances like laxatives and antacids for temporary relief. There is no need to waste money on, or risk the integrity of your health for drugs. Your body is a powerful healing machine and when you help to assist it in performing its natural functions it is capable of anything.

Start solving your digestive issues now and schedule your visit with Dr. Tri Myers:

Make An Appointment


Omega Chiropractic | Sports Performance and Nutrition logo

Dr. Tri Myers
Omega Chiropractic Center
527 Keisler Dr., Suite 204
Cary, NC 27518


Twitter: @DrTriMyers