Gone are the days of meetings in comfortable conference rooms. Now you are meeting by video conferencing over a laptop or tablet that you find difficult to put at the right height. You may have had an ergonomic chair or standing desk that was left behind at the office. You are probably leaning down over a phone trying to answer messages with a kid climbing in your lap. Even if you did not struggle with your posture before this, there is a good chance the "new normal" has led to new aches and pains in your neck and back.
Improper posture, especially as it relates to Forward Head Posture (FHP), a condition caused by a variety of things that leads to aches, pains, and a range of issues.
We have been helping patients improve their FHP through treatment and exercise and want to provide advice during this difficult season.
What You Need to Know About Your Posture and Pain
Forward Head Posture (FHP) is when the head develops a forward positioning on the shoulders. Once called "reading neck" or "scholars neck" it may be more accurately described as "text neck" in our time. Whether you are scrolling through social media or trying to multi-task with your phone during a meeting, it is all too common to lean too far forward when looking down at our phones. It is not just our phones. Other causes include:
- Extended periods of time looking at computers, especially when they are not arranged properly
- Extended periods of time playing video games, especially when you are hunched over a controller
- Sleeping with the head too high propped on pillows
- Lack of nutrients in your diet
- Lack of toning in the back muscles
Eventually, this combination of poor posture practice and improper diet and exercise can lead to FHP and its associated issues, which include but are by no means limited to:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Neck pain and soreness between your shoulder blades that usually includes burning
- The feeling of numbness and tingling in your arms
- Painful tension headaches
- Pinched nerves in your neck or back
- Herniated discs
- TMJ (jaw pain) and clenching of teeth
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Difficulty breathing/snoring/sleep apnea/obstructed air way
How to Relieve Pain and Correct Your Posture
One of the first steps you can take toward pain relief and correcting your posture is scheduling a chiropractic adjustment. Your skilled chiropractor can help determine the severity of your FHP and begin the process of restoring your posture to its original intended form.
A chiropractor will likely combine adjustments with recommended exercises to help strengthen the muscles around your neck and upper back. This will help prevent the return of poor posture. They will also likely provide tips for improving nutrition.
Lastly, you can help prevent the return of poor posture by correcting back habits. Set up your computer and work devices at nearly eye level, so you are not looking down at a screen. When you must look at your phone, hold it up to your face, or prop it on a stand. Invest in a firm, ergonomic chair that allows you to sit back comfortably. And finally, try to be aware of when you are leaning forward and remember to sit back, with your head against your headrest. These tips should help you maintain the posture you need.
The best step forward to correcting FHP is to schedule an appointment with Monitto Chiropractic. We are seeing patients during this time, so our team is using an abundance of caution, employing the best cleaning and sanitation processes. Contact us to learn more about how we can help correct your posture.