It's an epidemic.
Forward Head Position.
See anyone like this?
These people have Forward Head Position ("FHP"). This youngster not only has FHP, but also has rounded shoulders, evidenced by the position of the hands, knuckles facing forward means the shoulder joints have rolled forward and away from their straight aligned position.
This person's head and shoulders and forward-leaning upper body have to counterbalance the weight of the backpack. The other two people shown above have rounded shoulders. In the first photo, that person also has a rounded upper back and spine. Stand up, move your head forward and try NOT to move your shoulders. It's not possible, the shoulders round forward as the head moves forward.
The significance of this is.....this person is on his way to changing the shape of his spinal curves, experiencing diminished oxygen usage and breathing capacity, TMJ problems, maybe hearing or vision problems, headaches, neck pain, pinched nerves, herniated discs, blood pressure problems to name a few.
Good Posture (or correct posture alignment) is not just about what your mother nagged about when you were young. It is not a "nice to have" skill enabling balancing books on one's head while walking. It is a biological, structural, total health imperative that can have serious health consequences over time.
"Damage from prolonged head forward position contributes to myospasm, disc herniation, osteoporosis and nerve impingement. POSTURE has impact on and helps modulate all body systems from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, lung capacity are some of the functions most easily impacted by poor posture." MAYO Clinic Health Letter, Volume 18, #3 March 2000
All primary load bearing joints (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders) are designed to be positioned vertically stacked with the front (technically the TMJoint) of the ear being centered on that same vertical stack or line. For every one inch the head is forward of the line, the head becomes heavier, 10 pounds heavier. Just look what effect that has on the shape of the spinal curves. The head is forward of the intended original blueprint design position and various muscle groups are not working extremely hard at holding the head out in space.
Until the head returns to the proper position over the spine and in alignment with the other load bearing joints, the wear and tear will continue. The body has great tolerance, it does not have INFINITE tolerance.
Go ahead, look at your body and your posture!!! It's not rocket science. Pull out those candid photos of yourself or check out your alignment in the full length mirror.
Then give us a call (772-559-1532) and we'll help guide you through the process of Posture Alignment to return your body to it's optimal position and weight bearing.
Catee Ingwersen is an Egoscue certified Posture Alignment Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist.