Military Neck (Cervical Kyphosis):Causes,Symptoms, And Treatments

It is a random word for cervical spine deformity which causes irregular curves in your spine. Also, It has nothing to do with the military. Both children and adults can get cervical kyphosis. There are several causes for this condition. The most common symptom of the military neck is pain. When the bones are weakened and the spine is bent, you put more pressure on the spine, which can cause more pain. However, there are many treatments available that you can do better with.

What Is A Military Neck?

The military neck is an unusual curve of the cervical spine that makes it look like it “stands up.” The condition is called cervical kyphosis. However, common causes include:

  • Congenital disorder.

  • Degenerative disc disease.

  • Bodily trauma.

  • Iatrogenic disorder.

Cervical kyphosis can mean that your neck is unusually straight or bent backward. However, people with military necks have unusually straight necks.

What Are The Signs?

The following are the most common signs of military neck:

  • Headaches.

  • Nerd neck.

  • Coordination problems.

  • Stiffness in the neck or back.

  • A low range of motion.

  • Weakness in muscles.

  • Deformity of the spine.

  • Crick in neck.

  • Bowel or bladder control issues.

However, Not everyone with a military neck will experience the same symptoms. Also, if your condition is severe you may face trapezius nerve damage symptoms.

Symptoms of trapezius nerve damage:

An injury to the trapezius can cause:

  • Limited mobility, decreased range of motion, or muscle weakness (you may not be able to shrug your shoulders or raise your arm).

  • Neck and shoulder pain and stiffness.

  • Pain between the shoulder blades.

  • Swelling, bruising, or tenderness in your shoulders, neck, or back.

  • Trapezius muscle pain.

What Causes A Military Neck?

The most common cause of military neck is poor posture, either when awake or when sleeping. Poor posture can result from staring at the computer, occupational conditions, or repetitive movements. However, the condition can develop from other factors as well, such as:

1- Degenerative Disc Disease

As you grow older, your intervertebral discs begin to deteriorate. This causes the discs in your spine to grow thin and fall off.

However, This change in the spine can change the natural bend of your neck and cause imbalance due to the weight of your head. This disease usually progresses with difficulty as you grow older.

2- Congenital Kyphosis

Some babies are born deformed or have abnormal spinal cord development. The spine may not be fully formed, or the bones may grow into a triangular shape. When this happens, the bones are not properly packed, which can cause the neck to bend forward.

3- Cervical Spondylosis

This condition is a type of arthritis of the neck. As your discs deteriorate with increasing age, your bones begin to rub against each other and break down. This causes the spine to bend, your head tilted forward, and your neck bent. However, the Deterioration of the discs can also lead to arthritis.

4- Iatrogenic Disorder

The military neck can be iatrogenic, which means it is an unintended consequence of a medical procedure. The most common of these procedures is a laminectomy, which is performed to relieve stress on the spine.

However, removing the lamina creates more nerve space, but can also cause facet joints between the vertebrae to become unstable. This problem is more common in children undergoing surgery, compared to adults. Iatrogenic disorders may also result from ineffective cervical spinal cord injury, in which case the connection is too short.

5- Congenital Disorder

These disorders are the ones that occur from birth, also known as birth defects. Those with congenital cervical kyphosis often have problems with other parts of the body, such as urinary retention or kidney failure.

However, When the military neck is the result of birth defects, such as a completely unstable spine, the spine gr. ows abnormally and the vertebrae form a triangular shape as they grow. This puts an unnatural curve in the neck and the accumulated vertebrae.

6- Trauma

There are various types of injuries that can cause trauma, including a car accident, a fall, or a sports injury. However, Compression may cause the vertebrae to recoil from the vertebrae, creating instability. In severe cases, you may experience neurological problems from a narrowing of the spinal cord, called spinal stenosis. Pressure can cause numbness, pain, and muscle weakness.

How Can We Diagnose A Military Neck?

Doctors diagnose the military using a variety of methods. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms. After that, they will do a physical exam. They may order imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.

However, there are no exact measurements of how the neck should be aligned, so a diagnosis is made if your neck angle is less than 20 degrees or more than 40 degrees.

What Are The Risk Factors?

Psychological risk factors, such as chronic depression, lack of social support, anxiety, and depression are important risk factors for neck pain in fort worth. Depending on the biological hazards, neck pain may result from certain diseases, such as neuromusculoskeletal disorders or autoimmune diseases.

Is Having A Straight Neck Serious?

If the neck is straight and also known as a ‘flat neck’ or ‘military neck’ then serious problems can arise such as spinal compression and degeneration. It can also affect your ability to carry your load and increased pressure may cause irregular curves to develop.

How Can We Treat A Military Neck?

Some of the most common treatments are physical therapy, neck braces, and painkillers. Unless the neck curve compresses the spine, for which a doctor may recommend surgery. However, The most common surgery for cervical kyphosis is spinal manipulation.

For at-home treatments, your doctor or physical therapist may recommend that you do the following:

  • Relax your neck. Avoid activities that make your neck stiff. You may also be given a neck collar to reduce movement.

  • Chin tuck. Doing chin tuck at home may also help heal your condition.

  • Straighten your neck. A special contour pillow can help to properly position your neck while you sleep; slide the inside of your pillowcase to support the curve of your neck. Your provider may also recommend using certain positions to help reduce arm pain that comes out of your neck.

  • Apply ice. Ice packs and ice bags can help alleviate pain. Your doctor or physical therapist will probably suggest using the ice for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. You can also massage the area by rubbing an ice cup or ice cube on the sore spot.

  • Apply heat. A heating pad, hot pack, or hot bath or shower can all be beneficial. Heat often works best when applied for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

Can Chiropractors Fix Military Necks?

The posture of their head and neck is not normal and can lead to severe complications. However, chiropractic for the military neck can reverse this problem and help patients resume a healthy and pain-free life.

Surgical Treatments:

The treatment for the military neck involves managing your symptoms and correcting the spine.

  • Surgery

Surgery is the mainstay of treatment, but it is usually done only when your neck becomes very bad. Your doctor may add a metal plate and crutches to give your neck stability or it may clog your bones.

  • Cervical Traction

Your doctor may use cervical traction, which is a way to apply a counterforce to your neck. Cervical pulling with a halo ring uses gravity to help move the spine and release pressure from the cord. This is especially helpful for children with severe cervical kyphosis, which is usually performed before surgery.

There are a few consecutive treatments that can help manage some of your symptoms and can be effective in more severe kyphosis.

However, you may also need to check your ergonomics. Make sure that your workplace is organized in a way that allows you to position your neck properly. This may include changing the height of your desk, the screen area of ​​your computer, or the type of chair you are using.


In conclusion, cervical kyphosis, or military neck is a condition that can cause discomfort, pain, and limited range of motion. It is caused by various factors such as poor posture, injury, or degenerative changes in the spine. The symptoms vary from person to person and can be mild or severe. Treatment options include physical therapy, medications, and surgery in severe cases.

It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms related to cervical kyphosis. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the chances of successful management of the condition. Don't let military neck hold you back from living your best life; speak to your healthcare provider today!


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