Can Correcting the Neck Curve, Increase Blood to the BRAIN?

Often  as chiropractors, we see people coming with neck pain, stiffness and tension. Not surprising in this technological world that we live in. These people may also show changes in their neck curve, that they may not have been aware of.

Changes in the normal forward neck curve has been shown to increase loading in the lower neck and accelerate degeneration. Further adding to the pain and stiffness in the neck that may be experienced.

This research that Dr. Lisa, chiropractor, is speaking about shows the possible implications of curve changes on the blood flow to the brain.

Our neck curve should have a forward curve of 42 degrees, with an average 34 degrees. Research has shown how a reduction in the normal forward curve, known as cervical lordosis, reduces the blood flow to the brain. The vertebral artery travels through the neck to the brain, supplying the brain with vital oxygen and nutrients to run our body.

When the neck curve is in a neutral, normal forward posture, then the vertebral arteries are relaxed. When the neck curve is straightened, then the vertebral arteries are compromised.

“Arteries under prolonged stresses and strains become stiffer and less elastic. As such, restoration of normal cervical lordosis may result in a slower response from arteries that were stressed and strained the most and a faster response from arteries that were stressed and strained the least.”

This Chiropractic BioPhysics research the aim was to find out what would happen if the cervical lordosis of people with a straight to a reversed lordosis (-19 to 13 degrees) were corrected over a certain time frame. The subjects in this research were men and women between the ages of 28 and 58 years.

The subjects were tested before treatment started and after care was given by looking at the blood flow with a magnetic resonance angiogram.

The results showed that correcting the neck curve, resulted in an increase in blood flow to the brain.

This study may have some implications in the area of neurodegenerative disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These conditions are noted for their reduction in blood flow to the brain. Further studies are needed to understand the impact that correcting cervical lordosis may have on neurodegenerative diseases.

Katz E, et al, ‘Increase in cerebral blood ow indicated by increased cerebral
arterial area and pixel intensity on brain magnetic resonance angiogram following correction of cervical lordosis.’ Brain Circulation. April 17, 2019, IP: