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How Poor Posture Affects the Neck and Spine

Have you ever had a “crick” in your neck? Felt stiff after “sleeping odd?” Or simply had an unusual and inexplicable pain in your neck, shoulders or back? It could be that your basic posture is at fault. Your neck health effects and is affected by the curvature of your spine, which in turn is affected by your posture. Most pain you experience in your neck and back can be traced on some level to your posture. Here’s a more in-depth look at how poor posture affects your neck and spine.

Poor Posture and Neck Pain

There are a number of muscles in your neck that can result in pain when they become tightened due to poor spinal curvature or postural problems. These include the scaline, suboccipital, pectoralis minor, Subscapularis and levator scapulae muscles.

These various sets of muscles help to rotate the neck and head and help to support the head and shoulders from the chest up. If the curvature of your spine is not correctly aligned, you can be more susceptible to injury or degeneration over time.

Improper Head Posture

If you tend to stand with your head and shoulders too forward, you can experience several problems, including stress on your lower neck vertebrae which can be a contributing factor in degenerative neck issues such as disc disease. It also creates a situation where your upper back has to work harder to keep you upright, and the exertion can result in pain.

Lower Cervical Vertebrae and Posture

The lower part of your neck, and by extension your lower cervical vertebrae, are vulnerable to problems with posture. As your head pulls on these vertebrae can cause them to shear away from one another, which creates issues particularly for those who spend much of their day looking down. Those who work for hours at a time on a laptop, for example, may be susceptible to this problem.

Long Term Effects of Posture Problems

The longer you proceed with poor posture, the more likely you are to experience severe back and neck problems. The shearing effect will eventually cause inflammation and irritation of the neck joints and the soft tissues surrounding them. Neck pain from this condition can progress into the back and shoulder pain, creating tenderness, pain, limited range of motion, stiffness and even degenerative disc problems.

Chiropractic and Posture

A strong regimen of chiropractic care can be a saving grace for those who suffer from back and neck pain due to poor posture. It can adjust your spine and get it back into proper alignment, thus helping to reduce the negative effects from postural problems. However, you will also need to work to correct your posture problems in order to remain healthy. Your chiropractor can advise you on these issues as well.

If you have neck and back pain and think a chiropractor could be of help, we are glad to consult with you. Read about how chiropractic care can help you, and give us a call for an appointment today.

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