When it comes to neck pain, habits can be a big part of the underlying cause. For example, a recent study revealed that smoking can actually increase cervical degeneration. On the other hand, upper cervical chiropractic can help cervical health. Let’s take a close look at these two factors.
Smoking and Neck Pain
If one is suffering from chronic neck pain, quitting a smoking habit may be the first step toward recovery. At the very least, it may be an important factor in slowing the degenerative process.
For the sake of the recent study, disc health was given a score of zero to three. Zero meant the entire disc between each vertebra in the neck was in tack. A score of three indicated severe degeneration (at least 66% loss of disc height). Smoking was revealed to result in degeneration being an entire point higher. That means smokers were averaging about 33% more wear.
Of course, this is not the only lifestyle factor that results in damage to the upper cervical spine. However, it is good encouragement to quit smoking, especially if one is dealing with neck pain or even neck arthritis.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic to Relieve Neck Pain
Now it is time to consider something that can improve neck health. Being in the habit of getting one’s neck checked by an upper cervical chiropractor can help to reduce degeneration. When the atlas and axis (top bones in the spine) are out of position, this can send changes down through the neck and back resulting in faster degeneration of discs.
Correcting the misalignment and keeping the atlas and axis properly aligned can help to limit the degenerative effects. As a result, the body can have time to heal soft tissue damage, and less pain can result.
If you are suffering from chronic neck pain, you may have some lifestyle changes to make in order to reduce disc degeneration. Seeing an upper cervical chiropractor to correct any misalignments can also help improve cervical health. Search for a practitioner near you to schedule a consultation and get started on the road to better neck health.