Forward Head Posture
Forward Head Posture & Cervical Kyphosis
~ by Dr Audrey Choh (Total Health Chiropractic)
This is a condition we see everywhere nowadays, especially here in Singapore, and it is causing enormous loss of health. We are talking about incorrect or forward head posture caused by poor computer posture and the like, or generally slouching (Nb: Cervical means neck; Kyphosis means abnormal shape).
IT IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL that the head sits directly on the shoulders, resting at ease on a spring or the shock absorber formed by a well-shaped, ideally curved neck. Like this, the head is balanced and its weight is distributed kindly, allowing the tissues to remain healthy. However, with the posture of modern living, your head moves forward such that it loses its balance. It increases in weight substantially, the forward weight moving onto and stressing the poor delicate discs between the vertebrae.
How do you see yourself in the mirror?
Be honest – Which is you?
If you are developing forward head posture, not only does it look terrible, but the soft tissues surrounding the spine, the joint capsules, the muscles and ligaments, also come under strain and stiffen permanently.
With this ‘slouching’ posture, the shoulders have to work all day just stopping the head from falling forward. Hence the terrible tight shoulders and upper back and the stiff neck. No wonder chronic fatigue is another inevitable result. Your body is expending huge amounts of energy just being still, holding it’s shape in gravity.
It is actually not uncommon for the forward head to increase in weight from 5KG to 15KG or more due to leverage. Without correction this will eventually cause the discs to fail as they become compressed and ischemic (loss of blood supply). The forward head pushes the now bulging discs backward into the delicate nerves. Now we have nerve symptoms and deficits starting to affect our lives.
If poor posture persists, then unfortunately the problem will inevitably worsen as stiffness and misalignment increases.
To Chiropractors, this is THE most important aspect. Most crucially, poor alignment of your cervical curve will cause strain or pressure on the most important organ in your body – your nervous system, consisting of the brain, the brain stem, the spinal cord and the corresponding spinal nerves!
Because of the relationship between the spine and the central nervous system within, it is just not possible to develop poor posture without it terribly affecting your health. This is why you have never seen anyone with poor posture maintain vibrant health. The two conditions just cannot coexist – think about it!
In the neck region, the nerves that exit the spine are extremely important. They supply to, and receive nerve impulses from, various regions of the head (cranial nerves), the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, cheek, neck, as well as connecting to the shoulders, arms, forearms and hands. Hence, with neck problems starting, it is common to sense numbness or tingling, or feel weakness in the upper arms and shoulder, as well as experiencing headaches and dizziness.
It is only with specific chiropractic adjustments, together with the correct spinal stability and flexibility exercises, along with postural retraining, that rids your body of these misalignments and poor bio-mechanics and allows you to function as normal again.
However, here we should take note of an important chiropractic principle. Health is a process and of course there is no process which does not require time. Healing is a process of RE-creating yourself one cell at a time, over time. Although you may feel great after an adjustment, a series of specific adjustments and exercises over time are often needed to achieve the necessary lasting changes.
If you have completely lost your healthy cervical curve, it is absolutely vital you correct this issue as quickly as possible. This correction can take anything from 12 – 20 weeks depending on how long you have left it, but make no mistake…. your future health may depend on it.