Updated: Dec 1, 2021
As wellness professionals, we see the effects of poor posture every day. The American Journal of Pain Management states that posture affects and moderates every physiological function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture. A study done by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found evidence to support that poor thoracic posture shows a trend towards greater mortality.
It is time that we recognize that prolonged sitting in conjunction with excessive usage of mobile phones, tablets, and PCs is absolutely detrimental to our health. Over the past decade, the average time spent using a mobile phone increased from 0.3 hours a day to over 3 hours a day for the average adult. During phone usage, the typical posture of the neck is at 60 degrees flexion. As the head tilts forward, the weight of the head goes from 10-12 pounds in the neutral position, to over 60 pounds! Over time, this forward head position causes permanent ligamentous creep deformations that have lasting neurophysiological effects.
In addition to ligamentous damage, muscle adaptations begin taking place resulting in “Upper Cross Syndrome”. This is characterized by tightness of the upper trapezius, levator scapulae, and pectoral muscles along with weakness of the deep cervical flexors, and middle to lower trapezius muscles. As postural changes take place in the upper body, the lower body is also susceptible to weakened muscles, which increases the chance of injury.
Using a collection of symptoms and use of special tests, chiropractors can easily diagnose this syndrome and put a plan together to start reversing the changes.
Dr. Kathleen Hartford, a licensed Integrated Wellness Practitioner, Healthy Aging Expert, and NET licensed specialist, has dedicated herself to improving her patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellness. The author of FIT, FUN & FABULOUS AT ANY AGE, Dr. Hartford speaks all over the world to promote understanding among the healing disciplines and to help people reclaim their health and vitality.