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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Wroten

Hip Replacement and Cervical Curve

Could there possibly be a connection between hip replacement and the tension and curvature in our neck? You want to realize that neck pain is related to the amount of tension and curvature in the neck. A relaxed neck will curve forward toward the jaw, part of the trio of curvatures that exist in a healthy spine. The top of the pelvis should be flat, providing a stable base for the spine. Nearly every patient with a hip replacement that I’ve observed shows a drop to that side years before the replacement is needed. The body will contort and misalign the pelvis, using back and abdominal muscles to try to create a level base. What’s the end result? A spine that has most of its curves reduced or straightened as well as multiple levels of restriction or subluxation through the rest of the spine.

It’s worth taking note that the spine may be more stable after hip surgery than before if the iliac crest has become more even. I’ve had patients work habitually over a 6 month period to correct their neck curve using contoured pillows specifically designed to recreate neck curvature only to find there was no change. It appears that until the pelvis is level, the body will continue to use the neck to stabilize itself. One particular patient showed an improved neck curve in X-rays taken 13 years later. What was the difference? They had hip replacement surgery. Even though they hadn’t had consistent chiropractic care for years in the interim, the leveling of the pelvis created a change in the neck. This isn’t an plug for surgery, but it shows us that we may be able to avoid it by understanding the underlying cause. The key to relaxing spinal tension and improving spinal curvature is to stabilize the pelvis.

The base of the spine is the pelvis, and the base of the pelvis is the foot. Supporting the arches of the foot as well as adding appropriate heel lifts can make all the difference, not just today but decades into the future. A word of caution: please be sure that you are working with a chiropractor who can assist you through the process. Remember all those contortions and misalignments the body creates over time to deal with an unstable pelvis? It takes skilled chiropractic adjustment over time to unwind these issues. Even with assistance, it’s sometimes a painful process.

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