I recently had a patient concerned about his posture and asked me if he was “normal.” He was middle-aged and his posture was slightly slumped forward. His shoulders were rolled forward and his head sat forward on his shoulders. He did not know what normal posture should be or understand what may cause his posture to be abnormal. He noted his neck seemed to bother him throughout the day when he used his phone more than usual. He was concerned about the amount of time he had to spend on his phone and the effect that had on his health. The overuse of the phone and the increase in pain of the neck could be symptom of bad posture of the neck recently coined “Text Neck”.
Posture is how the body is positioned at any moment. It is made up from the composition of all the joints in the body at one time. A correct posture is one that puts the most joints at the least amount of stress. There are static postures which involve positions such as sitting, standing or laying. There are dynamic postures which involve movements such as walking, running, lifting or any activities that require movement. Posture is made up from the different curves throughout the spine. If any of these curves are not “normal” or the joints are under stress, the posture will slowly change and eventually can be visually recognized.
In looking at this patient, his cervical posture was abnormal. I asked him to take his phone out and show me how he usually used it. He proceeded to pretend to text someone which profoundly increased how far his head positioned in front of his shoulders. His upper back curled forward slightly the longer he used the phone. I presented to him the very basic neck and shoulder posture. The ears should be in line with the shoulders and both shoulders aligned over the top of the hip bones. On correcting him he noted it felt very uncomfortable. He was very surprised at how off his body was from what should be normal. I advised him the only way to really understand what his posture looked like would be to have someone take a picture of him from the side in a comfortable position while using his phone and then take a picture of him from the side while not using his phone. Once this is established, he could adopt a longer-term correction plan.
Posture in cervical spine is critical. Forward head carriage and rounded shoulders, “Text Neck”, is abnormal and can lead to neck stiffness and tightness, headaches, tingling into the arms and hands, reduced mobility, jaw pain, early degeneration and overall heaviness of the head and neck over time. If you have trauma or are involved in a motor vehicle accident, the pain in this area will increase substantially. It is best to start looking at the positions you spend the most time in during the day and start corrections there. Correcting the static postures, and stretching and strengthening the core muscles of that area will help in long term correction. The earlier this takes place, the easier it will be to reach your goal. If you feel this to be a problem or you have been in a motor vehicle accident that has caused pain in your neck, please contact your healthcare provider for a proper evaluation.
–This article was written by Aaron Workman, DC one of the members of Chambers Medical Group’s team of car accident chiropractors who offer a variety of treatments and therapies ranging from diagnostic testing to various soft tissue therapies for car accidents and injuries in Kentucky.
If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.
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