Since the invention of the computer and smart phones human beings have seemed to be dependent on such technology and use it to a fault of their own health and functionality. People slouching over their desks at work 8-12 hours a day or constantly looking down at their phones to check social media or sports scores is a health crisis that needs prompt addressing. We notice time and time again patients coming into the office with rounded, sluggish shoulders and head posture that is too far forward. During the COVID-19 quarantine while schooling was mainly being performed online at home we even noticed a huge influx of younger patients coming into the office exhibited such posture at an alarming amount.
This posture, while becoming disturbingly normal, has been shown to cause neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain and even numbness/tingling into the fingers. This decline in the human frame also has its roots in the decline of human health. We must remember that our heads weigh approximately 10-12 pounds, and our bodies feel and function better when we support it correctly. Research has shown that for every inch of forward head posture we have there is an additional 10 pounds of pressure being placed on the Cervical spine (neck), Thoracic spine (upper back) and the surrounding soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. We now wonder why we always feel “tight”, “achy” or even “stabbing pain” right at the base of ours necks/ upper back into the shoulders and between our shoulder blades. Unless we address the problem and stop the underlying factors people will be more subjected to this type of condition.
When our shoulders and head slouch forward like the picture above its all caused from poor habits or ergonomics at home or the workplace. These habits cause functional changes that inhibit certain muscles and overwork their counterpart. In the picture above notice how the Tight muscles (Upper Trapezius, Levator Scapula and Pectorals) are usually where you have pain and achiness. Furthermore, our pectoral muscles are accessory breathing muscles meaning they help us to fill our lungs and take a nice deep breath. The weak muscles (Deep neck flexors, Lower trapezius and serratus anterior) are the muscles being inhibited and need to be strengthened to allow proper function of this part of the body. So how can chiropractic help? Well, Chiropractic in a nutshell helps to express the optimal human potential by releasing misalignments and fixations in the spine allowing the nervous system to function the way it was intended, without interference. The nervous system orchestrates every function in the body starting in the brain, sending signals down the spinal cord and into millions of nerves that reach all the way to the tips of your fingers and toes. Doctors of Chiropractic focus on the entire human frame and look at the body from a functional/neurological standpoint to help the patient attain a pain free healthy lifestyle. The chiropractor will assess any misalignments or fixations in the spine and suggest stretches for the muscles that are tight and exercises for the muscles that are weak/ inhibited.