Think of someone standing tall with perfect posture, and you probably imagine a spine appearing “straight as an arrow.” However, Dr. Smith teaches patients that a normal, healthy spine has three unique curves, which are essential for balance and posture.
These curves help the body carry its weight and distribute it down through the pelvis. When one of the three curvatures decreases, the body’s alignment is thrown off balance. For example, if the cervical (neck) spine’s curve is lost, the neck will begin to straighten, causing a condition called “cervical kyphosis.”
Cervical kyphosis, often termed “military neck,” can progress to the point where the curve in the neck actually reverses, going in the opposite direction from its normal, healthy state, This reversal is also known as forward head posture (FHP).
FHP can cause vast degenerative effects in the spine of the neck, such as speeding arthritis, chronic pain, limited range of motion and increasing risk of strain. The good news is that FHP may be reduced, or even corrected in many cases.
Because of the amount of time most people spend hunched over desks and computers, FHP is one of the most common findings in patients cared for by Dr. Smith.
In addition to chiropractic care, doctors of chiropractic often recommend ergonomic changes. For example, when you sit down to read or work, do you tend to adopt a “gooseneck” position with your head jutting forward? Over time, this position can increase chances of FHP.
The solution? Try to keep your head aligned with your shoulders, with the middle of your back fairly straight. As you sit, it may help to visualize the three natural curves in your spine from your neck to lower back.