If you pound down on a bent nail, the nail will become more bent, right? Over the past 30 years our office has treated over 12,000 patients. As part of the initial exam, each new patient receives a postural evaluation. In nearly 100% of the cases the patients exhibit uneven shoulder and hip heights.
Today’s athletes are working out differently. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Cross Fit, Group Training, Body Weight Training and Personal Training are all exercises that exert concentrated stress upon the joints of the body. These high intensity exercises exert a concentrated amount of force on the joints. When the athlete’s posture is uneven, there is a high risk of accelerating the degeneration of the joints. It is known as the Law of Diminishing Returns. Meaning you are breaking down the joints in an effort to build strength and stamina. Before you give up on your workout regime, there is a simple way to eliminate this risk.
Simply stated, when the upper neck misaligns the rest of the spine and body compensates. The top of the neck, or the upper cervical spine, surrounds and protects the portion of the spinal cord that controls all the involuntary muscles of the spine. These muscles are the type that help move the spine and more importantly hold the vertebrae, shoulder girdle and pelvis in their natural position. The top two bones in the neck (atlas, and axis) have flatter joints than the rest of vertebrae.
This allows the head to swivel on the spine. These joint surfaces leave this area of the spine most vulnerable to misalignment. Physical trauma such as auto accidents, heavy lifting, slips and falls, sport collisions and traumatic births are just a few events that can misalign the atlas and axis. When these bones misalign, they move into the area reserved for the vital nerve tracts which carry information to the involuntary muscles in the rest of the spine.
Whenever you are running, lifting weights, and working out while the posture is uneven; the joints of not only the spine are under stress, but the joints of the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are as well. Stress on the joints causes restriction, irritation and swelling. The muscles go into chronic spasm. Over time this will lead to degeneration of the joints.