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This Month's Condition is:

Cervical Spine Issues

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Urban Institute showed that Americans drive, on average, the most during the summer months starting in July at 30.6 miles a day. This is also the time that a majority of individuals and families take extended weekend trips and family vacations! With so much time in the car, the likelihood of dozing off is high.

According to Dr. Claudia Anrig, one of the most common ways to cause cervical issues is to fall asleep in a car. The vertebra in the neck have a lot of important nerves going through them. If something happens to cause those nerves to no longer be able send signals properly the results may be irritating. For instance, pain in the shoulders or arms and the resultant tingling in the hands and fingers are just some of the possible results of cervical vertebral subluxation.

Other potential symptoms include: headaches, migraines, dizziness, sinus problems, allergies, head colds, fatigue, vision problems, runny nose, sore throat, stiff neck, cough, asthma, heart conditions and high blood pressure.

So what causes these issues? First, consider that the head is really heavy and the neck (or cervical spine) supports it. When the head falls forward too long or is even just in the wrong position for an extended amount of time, this can cause the vertebra in the neck to be subluxated. Once this happens it causes irritation to the nerves going through the cervical spine and can result in any of the aforementioned issues.

Recommended Tips:

If you’re traveling and you know you’re probably going to doze off in an awkward position then be proactive and prepare yourself.

While there are cervical pillows available, they can be costly and a simple homemade option will work just fine. Just roll up a towel and wrap it around your neck, securing the ends in the front with a rubber band. This will support the cervical spine and potentially avoid a mini-episode that will require adjustments.

If your travel will also have you sleeping in an unfamiliar bed then considering using this same cervical support during the night. This support may help avoid cervical issues should you end up sleeping in the wrong position.


When home from your vacation, if you have any of the symptoms of cervical spine issues be sure to contact Dr. Laura right away to receive recommended stretches and to schedule an adjustment.