Neutral posture is observed when a plumb line passes through the center of the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and just in front of the ankle (Illustration - LEFT). Forward Head Posture [FHP] is present when the head at rest is positioned in front of the center of the shoulder. The movement of this much weight (About ten pounds) in front of the plumb line causes a shift in the body's Center of Mass, or balance point.
- Head moves forward of the shoulders. This changes the body's center of mass and center of gravity, triggering a response in the body's balance system.
- To counter-balance the mid and upper back drifts backward, the shoulders rotate inward.
- In response to that movement, the pelvis tilts forward
- Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture; however, many symptoms, including pain, may be moderated or eliminated by improved posture.1
- Hyperkyphotic (hi-per-kie-fah-tick) posture [excessive curvature of the thoracic spine, commonly referred to as hunchback] predicts increased mortality. Interventions specifically targeted at improving hyperkyphotic posture could result in reduced mortality rates.2
|What is Kyphosis?|
- Researchers found that even mild forward head carriage is “detrimental” to a person’s “overall health”. They concluded that the farther the head/neck moved in front of the seventh (7th) cervical vertebrae “all measures of health status showed significantly poorer scores” and that this forward translation increased a person’s pain and decreased their ability to function!3
- Researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK found a direct cellular connection between muscles in the neck and a part of the brainstem - called the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) - which plays a essential role in regulating heart rate and blood pressure. This finding quite possibly explains why an injury to the muscles of the neck (i.e. whiplash) can at times change a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. It stands to reason that repetitive use injury to these same muscles (i.e. slouched posture at your desk and/or computer, cell phone, tablet use) may very well adversely alter these vital signs too!
|Poor Posture Alters Your Vital Signs|
|The Physics of Forward Head Posture|
Even though poor posture is not self-correcting it can be reversed. A chiropractor near you utilizing manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and lifestyle advice can help you overcome upper crossed syndrome [see image above] and return you to a neutral posture in no time