Poor posture is now recognised as an important factor in the cause of neck and shoulder related pain. But why? Your head is about the same size and shape as a bowling ball, and weighs around 14 pounds or 6 kilograms. The latest research indicates the further your head sits forward than your shoulders, the more likely you are to have problems.1
If you suffer from poor posture, it may be as a result of your neck and shoulder muscles resisting the extra force caused by your abnormal head position. Other symptoms of excess strain in your neck and shoulders are constant aching, popping noises in your neck, and numbness or tingling.
The following two x-rays show a healthy, reverse ‘c’ shaped spine with the head positioned on top of the shoulders.
Now let’s look at what happens to the neck spine when chronic poor posture is left unattended. Compare the shape of these neck spines and the posture of their owner.
Can you see how the spine has distorted from it’s normal curve? The law of gravity tell us that considerable strain is being caused on the neck, in this ‘head forward’ posture.
Constant overloading or prior injury (such as whiplash) eventually can cause effects on the neck spine. Look at the shape and condition of these neck spines below:
BUCKLING – OFTEN INTO AN ‘S’ SHAPE
OR WORSE, A COMBINATION OF BOTH!
The second X-ray has been taken at an angle, to see the size of the nerve exit space. Can you see how the space for the nerve has been reduced? Do you think the nerve is being pinched painfully in this individual? Correct! Nerve pinching is a major cause of pain and tingling in cases of advanced neck wear and tear.
Although Posture Pro is a great tool to see if your posture is contributing to your symptoms, it is important to realize that an x-ray is the only sure way to tell the condition of your spine. At Mawson Lakes Chiropractic, your doctor is trained to correctly investigate the cause of your neck and shoulder symptoms, and recommend X-rays if required.
And, if it is causing your problem, your spine can be brought back to as near normal as possible by corrective care chiropractic.
- Spine, September 15, 2005;30(18):2024-9 Glassman SD, Bridwell K, Dimar JR, Horton W, Berven 5, Schwab F. “The impact of positive sagittal balance in adult spinal deformity”
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