Did you know that weakness of one particular muscle group is associated with long standing neck pain for conditions like pinched nerve, herniated discs, headaches, arthritis and others? It's the sort of thing we see at Alcoa Chiropractic Clinic every day.
What muscle group would you guess?
Deep Neck Flexor Group
Have you ever heard of that one?
This group of four muscles (Longus Colli, Longus Cappitus, Rectus Capitus and Longus Cervicus) is deep within the spine, right next to the vertebrae. For the most part, you can't see or feel these muscles. However, you can tell what they do (or don't do).
They're responsible for stabilizing the vertebrae of the lower neck. That means they protect the neck during normal movements like looking up, or rotating your neck to check your blind spot.
A 2020 study reaffirmed that weakness of the deep neck flexors is common in cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve) patients:
"Current results confirmed the presence of cervical multifidus and longus colli muscle atrophy in subjects with chronic radicular neck pain."
To see if you might have this, try this:
Assessment: Deep neck flexor endurance test
The Deep neck flexor endurance test - Lie flat on your back. Tuck your chin, the lift your head one inch.
See how long you can hold it without flexing your head forward nor allowing the back of your head to touch on the surface you're lying on. The average endurance for men is about 40 seconds and 30 seconds for women. If you're closer to 20 seconds or less, that indicates an imbalance where you over-use the other bigger muscle of your neck which could result in upper crossed syndrome or neck pain.
Don't make pain your lifestyle, let us health you get out of pain and get on with your life. Give us a call today.
-A Chiropractor Near Me @ Alcoa Chiropractic Center
247 East Watt Street
Alcoa, TN, 37701 (Just outside of Maryville in Blount County)