Recent information on normal placement of the upright spine reveals the importance of head position in relationship to your body. It is extremely important that the position of the cervical spine allows your head to sit back on the top of your shoulders.
Sadly, the effects of gravity, poor posture, the weight of the head, or past trauma will cause neck and skull misplacement leading to something called “Forward Head” syndrome, meaning the forward displacement of the head where your chin is out in front of your shoulders and chest which causes pathological tension on the spinal cord and brain stem and it usually hurts around the top of your shoulders. Incorrect head positioning leads to improper spinal function. The head in forward posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine. Forward head posture results in loss of vital lung capacity. In fact, lung capacity is depleted by as much as 30%. Loss of lung capacity leads to heart and blood vascular problems. The entire gastrointestinal system is affected, particularly the large intestine. Loss of good bowel peristaltic function and evacuation is a common condition that comes with forward head posture and loss of spinal lordotic curves. Forward head posture causes an increase in discomfort and pain. Freedom of motion in the first four cervical vertebrae is a major source of stimuli that causes production of endorphins in production many otherwise non-painful sensations are experienced as pain.
The first four vertebrae of your thoracic spine can also contribute to the discomfort and the “dowager’s hump” seen at the base of the neck is a common manifestation. Forward head posture causes loss of healthy spine-body motion. The entire body becomes rigid as the range of motion lessens. Soon, one becomes hunched. As the above shows, it’s incredibly important to restore the skull and cervical spine back to their normal position, which can be done by focusing on four areas:
- Correcting the position of the skull
- Adjusting pertinent cervical and thoracic vertebrae
- Rehabilitating the musculature in the back of the neck and upper shoulders and improving posture
- Correcting any imbalances in posture i.e.: high shoulder, torso rotation, lateral head flexion or rotation
Such treatments are offered by our chiropractors. Neither physiotherapy nor surgery can effectively resolve forward head posture or its complications.
To see some neck related exercises please watch the video below:
Here is a lovely little video about computer posture