Is my neck pain and stiffness related to my posture?
Written By: James Hayes
Neck pain and stiffness is extremely common in today’s population. A lot of us develop poor posture, which increases the strain of the joints, muscles, and ligaments in the neck. Poor posture in the presence of neck pain is a common presentation we see here at Dee Why Chiropractic Care and is something we can definitely help you resolve!
How do we get poor posture?
Poor posture is something that is developed over time and is usually a reflection of our lifestyle. A large majority of the population have desk jobs that involve slumping over paperwork and typing away at a computer. Some of us do manual work that involves a lot of bending over in awkward positions such as a mechanic working under the hood of a car or a tiler kneeling and bending, working on the bathroom floor.
The body is highly adaptive and will change to accommodate your lifestyle. If you slouch over most of the day the body will adopt that posture over time; the body does whatever you teach it to do. In summary poor postural habits, leads to poor posture.
Common causes of poor posture:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of awareness or education of correct posture
- Poor ergonomic work setup
- Nature of work
- Joint stiffness
- Muscle imbalances
- Weakness of the core muscles
- Decreased fitness
- Repetitive activities
How does poor posture cause neck pain and stiffness?
When we look at someone from the side, ideally the head, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle should line up; that would resemble someone with ideal posture. Typically people with bad posture with have a their head in front of their shoulders and a slouch in the mid back.
The human head weighs approximately 4.5-5kg and when the head translates forward it increases the workload of the structures in the neck. Imagine holding a bowling ball close to your body and then holding it out in front of you… it’s a lot harder! Stiffness and pain in the neck is a result the increased stress on the joints, muscles and ligaments of the neck and shoulder!
In addition when we have this posture we typically lose our important C curve in our neck that acts as a shock absorber against gravity potentially leading conditions such as:
- Cervical (disc) degeneration
- Wry neck
- Spinal stenosis
- Headaches and migraines
- Pinched nerves
Can Chiropractic Help?
At Dee Why Chiropractic Care we pay special attention to posture and determine whether it is linked to your pain. We take a digital posture photo in clinic, marking specific landmarks on the body and calculate how good your posture is.
The posture photo tells the practitioner what muscle imbalances are occurring and if there are any alterations in your spinal alignment. This will assist in developing an appropriate treatment and postural rehabilitation program for you.
We sit down and go through the posture photo to make sure you completely understand what is happening in terms of your posture and what steps we need to take to correct it.
Contact us today if you want to find out whether your neck pain and stiffness is related to your posture!