Take a look at these neck x-rays. When we observe a normal neck, we should see a nice smooth forward curve, called the cervical lordosis. What I see quite frequently in the office is a reversed cervical curve, like you see in the middle picture.
Whether it be from a traumatic event like a car wreck or sporting accident, or from repetitive activities like sitting in front of a computer or driving, the curve can be straightened or even reversed. We call this a Phase I, or subluxation.
If a Phase I goes undetected and untreated, it will eventually begin to rub and wear down the joints, resulting in the picture on the right. This is called Phase II or arthritis. Can you see how the disc between the two bones that are circled is wearing out? It’s thinner than the previous picture and you can see the bone spurs forming too.
At this point we can’t cut you open and scrape out the bone spurs and give you a new disc. As much as I wish I could, I can’t make you eighteen years old again. Shocking, I know!
If Phase II is left undetected and untreated, we get Phase III. This is FUSION…permanent damage. Not much we can do at that point.