A picture is worth a thousand words. We hunch over our smart phones more than they deserve. I took this picture in Bart, because as a chiropractor I am appalled at what I see every day. These gentleman's heads are literally falling out and ahead of their bodies as a result of their phones. Research shows that the average head weights 10lb. For every inch the head is held forward the strain in the neck increases 10 fold. Therefore the two gentlemen are caring at least 40lb, if we estimate that their heads are 4 inches forward, which is a gross understatement.
Forward head posture is the leading cause of neck and upper back sprain and strain, stiffness, headaches, joint deformity, straightening of the cervical curve, muscle spasm, pinched nerves, carpal tunnel, radiating pain, tingling and numbness into the fingers, early degeneration of the joints of the neck and back and disc problems, just to name a few. These symptoms are seen in young adults as early as 14 years old. There isn't a simple cure, but there is a way to reverse the anterior head posture over time with changing habits, increased awareness, chiropractic adjustments and exercise.
This is what you can do: 1) Limit your cell phone use to specific time during the day. Talk to your friends do not text them. 2) Call your chiropractor and get evaluated for the effects of the forward head posture on your spine, joints and muscles. X-rays may be necessary in some cases, depending on the joint dysfunction the chiropractor finds through the orthopedic and neurological examination. Get adjusted first before you start stretching and exercising. The function of the joints needs to be restored first, or you will be causing more undue stress and strain. Stretching of already over stretched muscles is not the way to go. Stretch the chest and anterior shoulders, not the neck. Strengthen the upper back and posterior neck and shoulder muscles. 3) Your chiropractor can prescribe a special traction equipment to help restore the curvature at your home safely. Along with the right exercises and increased awareness you will regain the normal function and posture in your body.
The chiropractors at Chiro-Health are trained posture experts, practicing for over 11 years. For more information please go to www.chirohealthsf.com. Phone and office consultations are free and encouraged. It is your future, be there healthy, we can only help along the way.