Have you ever heard of something referred to as a “pain in the neck”? There’s a reason that phrase is such a derogatory statement! Neck pain is a nuisance. It’s annoying. It makes simple daily tasks difficult. And in some cases, it can be downright debilitating. If you have ever experienced neck pain…you know what a pain-in-the-neck it can be!
Whiplash from a car accident or neck strain from sports-related injuries are common conditions we treat at Champion Wellness. For the purposes of this education, however, we will focus on preventable neck pain related to poor posture.
I bet you just sat up a little straighter as you read that. The surge of digital devices such as smartphones and computers have perpetuated forward head posture, but it is not a new issue. Before digital media, there were books (made of paper!) to slouch over. And throughout the ages, there have been many laborious tasks (such as cleaning and cooking) requiring a forward hinged position leading to forward head posture.
Forward head posture (FHP) is a forward translation of the head, hence the name. Since the head is held forward, the neck must support additional weight. Think of a bowling ball. If you hold it near your chest at your center of gravity, it is a tolerable weight. If you extend your arms with that 10 pound ball straight out in front of you…well let’s just say that you would not want to do that for an 8 hour work day. Thus, along with FHP comes a domino effect of dysfunction at the levels of cervical joint, muscle, and/or discs.
Forward head posture affects the joints, muscles, and discs of the neck.
But that is just the beginning!
And, unfortunately it can also result in headaches, shoulder pain, upper back pain, and radiculopathy into the arms. The symptoms may resolve with rest or over-the-counter medications, but if you do not address the underlying issue recurrent problems may arise.
- Chiropractic manipulation. We use a variety of techniques ranging from manual manipulation to gentle activator.
- Muscle or fascial release. Massage, cupping, stretching, and instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization are great ways to release fascia and loosen muscles to help the body heal.
- Strengthening. When there are muscle imbalances, it is just as important to strengthen the elongated weak muscles as it is to stretch the tight ones.
- Lifestyle recommendations. Proper sleep habits, nutrition, desk ergonomics, and posture are just a few of the many topics we can discuss at your next visit.