Researchers study the shape of the spine in patients with pain versus those without pain.

Using the x-rays of 194 people, some with no neck pain, some with acute neck pain, and some with chronic neck pain, researchers were able to identify an average measurement for cervical hypolordosis (abnormal flattening of the spine). 

Purpose of the Study 
The purpose of this study was to discriminate between neck pain patients versus normal participants based on the shape of the spine. When cervical hypolordosis is present, it causes increased mechanical pressure to be placed on the bones, discs, muscles, ligaments, and nerves of the spine, causing spine degenerative changes and neck pain. Until this project, no valid x-ray measurement for the amount of cervical lordosis existed that was able to discriminate between normal participants free from neck pain versus patients suffering from acute and chronic neck pain. 

How it Was Conducted 
The x-rays of 194 people were used for the study. 72 were not experiencing pain at the time of their xray, 52 were experiencing acute neck pain, and 70 were experiencing chronic pain. Rather than use Conventional Cobb angles, which only compare the endplates of the distal vertebrae, researchers chose to measure all segmental cervical vertebral angles and model the cervical lordosis with a piece of a circle in order to test whether these measurements could accurately discriminate between normal healthy people versus people suffering from acute and chronic neck pain. 

Researchers found that the x-rays of people in pain reflected hypolordosis and larger radiuses of curvature when compared to the normal, non-pain group. The methods reported, using detailed segmental spine measurements and circular modeling, were found to be able to determine who had neck pain and hypolordosis versus those who had a normal cervical lordosis and no neck pain. 

Doctor Daniel Kraus is a Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP) trained chiropractor and can help correct many spinal disorders and postural deformities. Find a CBP chiropractor near you at directory.
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