Cervical kyphosis, sometimes called military neck, occurs when the normal curve of the neck begins to straighten.  Cervical kyphosis can progress to the point where the curve in the neck actually reverses, going in the opposite direction from its normal state, aptly called a reverse curve.  A loss of the cervical curve results in a forward head posture, which can limit movement and cause pain.

In order to maintain a normal curve in the neck, all the cervical structures (vertebrae, discs, muscles, tendons and ligaments) must be strong and healthy.  Damage to any of these structures can lead to cervical kyphosis.  Damage can be caused by traumatic injuries, such as whiplash or fractures, or can occur more slowly over time, such as poor posture, disc degeneration or arthritis. Conservative treatment can be very effective in alleviating the symptoms associated with a loss of the cervical curve, and may also be helpful in restoring the normal curve.