By Gregory E. Johnson, D.C. (Davenport campus ’81)
Forward Head Posture & Its Damaging Effects On Our Health
One of the most common problems we see at our office, Advanced Chiropractic Relief , that causes neck and/or low back pain is Forward Head Posture (FHP), which increases the gravitational weight-bearing forces and creates abnormal compressive stresses on the muscles, ligaments, disc and joints of the spine.
This aberrant compression stress on disc, muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine can cause three to four times the amount of stress on the muscles, disc and ligaments. If left uncorrected, it will cause the nerves that exit the spine to function abnormally (known as a pinched nerve), causing a variety of different health problems. These may include headaches, simple tension in the neck, upper back, shoulders mid back and all the way down to the lower back and pelvis. It can also cause more serious spinal conditions like bulged and/or herniated disc, as well as degenerative disc.
Gravity is always pulling us down towards the earth 24/7, whether you’re sitting, standing, sleeping, walking or doing any other activity a human being might do during their everyday activities of living, both at work and at home. We have become a sedentary society for the most part, sitting most of the day as we work on a computer or at a desk with our heads leaning or bent forward from our shoulders. This means FHP is very prevalent in our society. Not only does it cause serious postural problems, it can also cause compression of the upper cavity and lower cavity, which includes the lungs, heart and vasculature out of the upper chest cavity and above the diaphragm (which can lead to hiatal hernia conditions or other gastrointestinal conditions.
Our children are already showing signs of having FHP in their lives with school work, computers, handhelds, cell phones and other high tech devices (i.e. gaming controllers like X-Box, Playstation, Nintendo and others as well). You will see that this younger generation will have more spinal problems than any other generation to date because of their aberrant posture on a daily basis.
Posture is a mirror of spinal bio-mechanics, and if your posture is bad, so is your spinal alignment (bio-mechanics). One must remain vigilant when performing any activity of daily living, such as sitting, standing, sleeping, bending, twisting and rotating to make sure we are doing it in a manner consistent with normal upright posture.
If you look at pictures taken of you earlier in life from the side view, you would be able to see if you have had FHP for a while or not. Professional analysis of your posture is the best way to know for sure. Chiropractors are experts at evaluating posture and spinal alignment.
Your Houston Chiropractor,
Dr. Gregory Johnson
This post was originally published on Dr. Johnson’s blog, Your Houston Chiropractor Dr. Gregory Johnson. The above edited was content posted here with permission. Visit Dr. Johnson’s YouTube channel to see his videos about chiropractic.