The effects of posture on health are becoming more evident.
Spinal pain, headaches, moodiness, blood pressure, pulse rate and lung capacity are among the many functions most easily influenced by poor posture. Many symptoms, including pain, may be moderated or eliminated simply by improving one’s posture.
One of the most common postural problems is Forward Head Posture. Ideally the head should sit directly on the neck and shoulders. Given the weight of the human head is generally between 4.5- 5 kilograms, it’s important that this load is distributed appropriately. When your head sits perfectly upon your neck and shoulders, the body naturally adapts to holding this weight. If your head is constantly pulled forward, the weight of your head pulls on your neck and puts pressure on your spine. This additional pressure on your neck, shoulders and back could lead to serious tissue damage.
We have been forced to adapt to having our heads forward of our bodies due to the repetitive use of computers, video games and tablets, and even carrying backpacks has forced the body to adapt to a forward head posture. ‘Text neck’ is also a significant contributor of Forward Head Posture. This is the term used to describe the injuries and pain sustained from looking down at mobile phones or other devices for too long. ‘Text neck’ does not occur only from texting, as looking down to read or work with crafts can also cause this. The symptoms associated with ‘text neck’ include chronic headaches, upper back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and increased curvature of the spine.
Repetitive movements in a certain direction will strengthen nerve and muscle pathways to move that way more readily and cause postural changes over time. When spinal tissues are subjected to a significant load for sustained periods of time, they deform and undergo remodelling changes that could become permanent. One commonly seen deformity is ‘Dowager’s Hump’, often referred to as a ‘Back Hump’ or ‘fatty hump at the back of the neck’. Dowager’s Hump is a hump that can form at the base of the neck. It is most commonly caused by having improper posture; more specifically, Forward Head Posture. Over time, the spine adapts to support the new position of the head which results in a more extreme curvature of the spine, leaving a hump.
Forward Head Posture has also been shown to flatten the normal neck curve, resulting in disc compression and damage, and even early arthritis of the spine. It’s important to understand that long standing postural problems can cause spine and nerve damage, and that often symptoms will not present early on, but rather after several months or years.
Therefore, monitoring good posture is essential for optimum health. With a little awareness and a chiropractor by your side, you can avoid suffering from damage and degeneration that poor posture can bring. If you are concerned about your posture, or your family’s posture, talk to your chiropractor to learn more about what you can do to prevent future posture- related problems.
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Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.