Joseph Pilates, the originator of the famous stretching technique, is often quoted as saying, “Because of poor posture, practically 95% of our population suffers from varying degrees of spinal curvature, not to mention more serious ailments.” Could poor posture be at the heart of your chronic neck pain? Let’s take a look at why posture plays such a significant role in combating stubborn neck pain. Then we will help you to find a natural way to get rid of an unnatural curve in your neck.
The Link Between Chronic Neck Pain and Bad Posture
The main link between neck pain and posture is that the top two bones in the neck balance the 10-14 pounds of the head. Without this weight properly balanced, there is undue stress on the rest of the neck and spinal column. This can lead to pain, curvature, and other issues. What is one common way we unwittingly increase this pressure?
For many people, there is a problem with curving the neck at a forward angle for long periods or very often throughout the day. Either practice can result in neck problems. How does craning the neck in this way affect the spine? Consider the following:
- A curvature of 15 degrees creates 27 pounds of pressure on the neck
- A curve of 30 degrees creates 40 pounds of weight on the neck
- A curvature of 45 degrees creates 49 pounds of pressure on the neck
- A curve of 60 degrees creates 60 pounds of weight on the neck
As you can see, the weight of the head increases exponentially as you lean your head further forward. Why do we have the tendency to do this?
Modern Technology and Poor Posture
One of the big reasons we do this is because we work at desks for much of the day with screens that are too low. If your monitor is just a little below eye level, you will begin to lean your head forward without thinking about it. Remember that you only have to get to a 15-degree angle to basically double the load on your spine.
Then we have our smartphones. We love to read and reply to messages, check the time or weather, and see what is going on in the lives of our friends on social media. Add watching videos on YouTube or Netflix, and you can spend hours per day looking down at a 45 or even 60-degree angle. Again, you are increasing the pressure on your neck by three to four times!
Additionally, we need to be careful about our posture when sitting to relax, when driving, or even when exercising. How can you begin to correct the problem?
Improve Your Posture Today!
The first thing you have to do to improve your posture is to think about it. If you have spent years sitting hunched over a desk for school and now work, leaning your head forward may feel more natural than proper head positioning. Use a mirror to identify the problems with your posture or ask a friend or family member to observe your body position.
Exercise can also help. By strengthening the muscles that support the spine, you help your body to maintain proper posture, even when you have to sit for longer than you should. Core exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles and lower back are fundamental. It is is also crucial to build up your neck and shoulder muscles.
Finally, you also want to create an environment that is more conducive to good posture. Elevate your monitors on your work desk to keep them in proper alignment with your eye level. Limit mobile device usage to specific lengths of time or times of the day so that you don’t keep a forward head position for long periods of time or repeat the strain over and over again.
Another reason your poor posture may have begun to feel natural is that a misalignment may have developed in the upper cervical spine at the base of your skull. How can this be corrected so that proper posture feels better? We would like to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic care.
Try Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic to Target Chronic Neck Pain
Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the C1 and C2 vertebrae. Since the head balances on these two bones, they play the most prominent role when it comes to frequents bouts of neck pain. Upper cervical practitioners target this region employing precise measurements taken with diagnostic imaging. This allows the practitioner to calculate a specific adjustment for each patient. It also means that corrections are incredibly gentle – there is no twisting or jerking motion involved.
Upper cervical chiropractic offers long-lasting adjustments because less force means less reaction from the body. Therefore, once the surrounding soft tissue stabilizes, you will be able to space out your visits. Thus, upper cervical chiropractic care also becomes a cost-effective way to get rid of stubborn neck pain.
If you are struggling with chronic neck pain, either due to years of poor posture or some sort of injury, you may have just found the natural solution that you have been searching for. To learn more, locate an upper cervical specific chiropractor in your area. A no-obligation consultation may reveal that you are a good candidate for this safe and effective form of care.