Published Research

Non-Surgical Management of Upper Cervical Instability via Improved Cervical Lordosis: A Case Series of Adult Patients
Two common injuries that occur with whiplash are loss of cervical spine lordosis (the proper C-shaped curve in your neck) and ligament damage. When damage to ligaments of the upper cervical spine (the top two vertebrae in your neck and their connections to your skull) occurs, it can lead to pathologic movement, which we name Upper Cervical Instability (UCI). UCI is associated with terrible and often permanent symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, loss of balance, neck pain, weakness, and more. For a second, imagine being dizzy on and off during the day, every day, the rest of your life, due to an injury that occurred in a car accident. It is terrible. Upper Cervical Instability has been notoriously hard to treat. This paper discusses new findings showing how and discussing why improving the cervical lordosis can actually improve the Upper Cervical Instability. This is yet another example of the importance of correcting spinal alignment and balance.
Mid & Upper Back Hyperkyphosis (Hunchback) Is Associated With A Variety Of Serious Health Concerns

People of all ages can develop a thoracic hyperkyphosis (or hunchback).  In adolescents the condition often leads to depression and impaired self image.  This is especially important for developing children as the poor self image impacts relationships and friendships.  As time goes on the condition can lead to reduced lung capacity, uterine prolapse, GERD, functional impairments (reduced mobility, strength, coordination, balance, and strength), reduced quality of life, neck pain, back pain, headaches, vertebral fracture, vertebral degeneration, and progression of the deformity.

As patients with this condition reach their 60’s the condition is associated with an increased likelihood of needing to be placed in assisted living.  If all that weren’t enough, the condition is even has an increased risk of a SHORTENED LIFE SPAN!  Luckily, Chiropractic Biophysics (a technique practiced by Dr. Longo) has been proven to be able to reduce thoracic hyperkyphosis.

Reducing A Hunchback Improves Lung Function

Patients who had a hyper kyphotic thoracic spine, or hunchback in lay terms, were treated using Chiropractic Biophysics (a technique Dr. Longo uses in office).

The patients had their lung function and quality of life measured before treatment began. Then they underwent therapy (approximately 3x/week for 10 weeks). At the end of treatment, each patient’s thoracic spine kyphosis was reduced towards normal and each patient’s lung function and quality of life measures had improved.

Don’t we all need to be able to move in a coordinated manner? Of course we do. So, the takehome is that EVERYONE needs proper alignment in order to be our best.

Forward Head Posture Reduces Balance, Agility, Speed & Power

This research took two groups of college athletes and split them into two groups: those with forward head posture and those without the postural problem. The athletes all performed four well-known athletic tests: 1) T-run ( agility test whereby you sprint forward, then side to side, then back) 2) Vertical Leap (power generation) 3) Stand on one foot (static balance) 4) Stand on one foot and use the other foot to touch various points on the floor (dynamic balance)

What the researchers found was that the more abnormal the posture was, the worse the physical performance in all four tests. In other words, the more the atheletes’ heads were translated forward, the slower, less powerful, and balanced the athlete had become.

If you are an athlete, the implications are obvious. Athletes must be in proper alignment to perform their best. What about for the everyday person who isn’t a competing athlete? Well, don’t we all have to balance ourselves so we don’t fall and get injured?

The results were amazing.  The study group that received CBP traction had significantly improved nervous system functionality and reduced forward head posture after only 2 ½ months of treatment.  The group that received only traditional cervical spine rehab had no improvement in any category measured.  Further, there was a direct correlation between the amount of forward head posture and the amount of diminished central nervous system function.  Predictably, it was also discovered that there was a direct correlation between the amount of improvement of forward head posture with the amount of improvement of central nervous system functioning. 

Remember, none of the subjects in either group were in pain.  So, regardless of whether or not you have pain, it is a smart idea to get your spine checked by a CBP trained doctor to make sure you do not have any alignment problems that could be causing your brain to undergo neuroplastic change.

Poor Cervical Neck Alignment/Curvature Both Changes & Slows Down Your Brain

This paper is full of outrageously important information that everyone should know.  All subjects in this paper were ASYMPTOMATIC, meaning they had no neck pain.  The subjects were screened to ensure that everyone had forward head posture (Anterior Head Translation). 

Everyone underwent the same testing which measured certain nervous system functions.  It was discovered that the Anterior Head Translation had caused a decrease in central conduction velocity.  In other words, if you have forward head posture then the messages traveling to your brain from your body do not get to your brain in the proper amount of time.  This leads to a delay in your brain being able to process the environment, and thus respond in a timely manner. 

The implications for this finding are seemingly endless.  Basic human functioning is dependent upon the brain receiving input from the body and then responding appropriately.  This basic ability is delayed and diminished with forward head posture.  In turn, this research found, these diminished nervous system inputs to the brain lead to neuroplastic change of the brain itself.  This means that your brain actually changes in an effort to compensate for the diminished information its receiving from the body!  Not good, not good at all.

The subjects were then broken into two groups: the control group and the study group.  The control group received therapy such as what you would get in a traditional chiropractic or PT clinic.  The study group received the exact same therapy as the control group AND a particular type of traction used by doctors trained in Chiropractic Biophysics (such as Dr. Longo).

Its important to note that this was not a study about neck pain.  This was a study about what happens when your neck is not in proper alignment.  So, regardless of whether or not someone has neck pain or headaches, if they have forward head posture or loss of curve, your nervous system will be under stress and will not function appropriately.

Poor Neck Alignment/Curvature Worsens Motor Control & Whole Person Stress

This paper shows how your central nervous system is impacted in two very damaging ways when you have forward head posture and loss of cervical spine lordosis (proper neck curve).  First, Sensorimotor Control is damaged.  Sensorimotor Control was measured through smooth pursuit, neck torsion test, and head repositioning. In real life this means that if you have the improper neck alignment discussed, your ability to track a moving object is impaired.  Think how that would affect you driving a car, or trying to catch a fly ball, or catching a pass, etc.  This is a monumental clinical finding.

Moreover, this study also found that the Autonomic Nervous System is negatively impacted by forward head posture and loss of cervical curve.  This research shows that if you have this improper neck alignment your body will be under stress, and all the detrimental system wide (total body) effects of stress such as blood pressure dysregulation, blood sugar dysregulation, cognitive impairment, immune system deficiencies, etc. 

Provided here are but a couple of the research papers affirming these cut points.

Relationship Between Neck Alignment & Pain

There has been an abundance of published medical literature regarding the relationship between the cervical lordosis, forward head posture, and pain.  The correlation is clear, the further your head translates into forward head posture (Anterior Head Translation) the more likely you are to have pain (frequency) and the more pain you are likely to have (intensity).  Also, the further your cervical lordosis reduces from normal (average is 40 degrees in an adult), the more likely you are to have pain and the more pain you are likely to have.

So, from a clinical perspective, there are certain benchmarks that are sought in order to significantly reduce your pain likelihood and intensity.  The first benchmarks are to reduce any forward head posture to less than 20mm and to increase any reduced lordosis to at least 20 degrees.  These cut points have been shown to be of clinical importance.  It does NOT mean that a 19mm forward head posture or a 21 degree cervical lordosis is normal or ideal for a given patient.  But, those benchmarks are solid initial goals.

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