Radiographic analysis has long been used in chiropractic and orthopedics to assess the curvature of the cervical spine. Abnormal curvature in the sagittal plane, particularly following cervical trauma, is considered an indication of joint dysfunction and subluxation.
Cervical hypolordosis/kyphosis (CH/K) is said to be a complication of 3 out of 4 cases of spine trauma. Decrease or reversal of cervical curves may be produced by muscle spasm due to nerve root irritation or other mechanisms involving the intervertebral disk, ligaments and joint capsules.
Several chiropractic methods have been developed to assess cervical curvature and attempt its normalization, based on the assumption of some idealized normal curve. The only published trial of the effects of chiropractic adjustment on CH/K was an unblinded retrospective study performed in 1983. That work suggested that chiropractic adjustment can have a positive effect on cervical curve abnormalities. The current study is an attempt to develop an objective blinded analysis of cervical lordosis that may be used to corroborate and extend those early findings.
Author Keywords: cervical curve, radiographic analysis, computer-aided radiographic analysis.
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