All Posts tagged Poor Posture

Chiropractic Treatment of Upper Back Pain

Most of us spend a good deal of our time on computers, tablets, smart phones or other such devices.  In our free time, to get away from technology, we may craft, do woodworking, read a good book or workout.  We live and work in a world that sets us up for having poor posture.  A lot of the time our heads jut forward, our shoulders are rolled forward, and our spines are hunched back.  This puts a lot of stress on the muscles and joints of the upper back (also known as the thoracic spine). 

While the neck and lower back are designed more for mobility, the thoracic spine is designed to be very strong and stable to allow us to stand upright and to protect the vital internal organs of the chest. Because this section of the spine has a great deal of stability and limited movement, it generally is not injured as often as the other areas of the spine.  With that being said, postural stress on a daily basis tends to have a cumulative effect.  Over time, persistent poor posture can put compressive loads on the upper thoracic vertebrae which can lead to the development of an Upper Thoracic Hump, which can devolve into a Dowager Hump if the vertebrae develop compression fractures.  Ultimately, this can put stress on your internal organs and even lead to a decrease in lung capacity.  In fact, a recent study found that this “hyperkyphotic posture”, as it is called, was associated with a 1.44 greater rate of mortality in seniors.

As chiropractors, we can help correct these problems before they become permanent.  Chiropractors specialize in reversing the lack of normal movement in joints and restoring normal muscle balance.  Postural issues, such as what I have been describing, lead to tightening of some muscles and weakening of others.  The muscles in between your shoulder blades can become like over-used rubber bands.  Through the use of exercises and other therapies, normal muscle balance and joint function can be restored.  So if you are experiencing upper back pain, you may want to consult a chiropractor.


Chiropractic Treatment of Neck Pain or Stiffness

In this world of high stress, long hours spent in front of the computer, and busy days, it seems like everyone has experienced some form of neck and shoulder pain/stiffness.  The good news is there is an answer to your pain.  Chiropractic is one of the most commonly used treatments for neck and shoulder pain.  Stress or bad posture cause the muscles in your neck and upper back to get tight.  Those muscles are the major muscles that attach to your cervical spine (your neck) and are responsible for moving your head and neck.  When those muscles are tight, the vertebrae in your cervical spine cannot move normally.  As a result, you start to develop pain and stiffness in your neck. Through chiropractic adjustments, normal motion can be restored to your neck.  This, in turn, helps to relax the tight muscles and eliminate the pain.  The doctor can also recommend simple exercises and stretches that will help to speed up the recovery process and return your posture and muscles to normal. These can be done long after treatment has stopped to prevent future flare-ups of neck pain.

Signs that you may need treatment for your neck pain include:

  • decreased range of motion (can’t turn far enough to look back when driving)
  • aching in the upper shoulder region
  • aching below the skull at the top of your neck
  • frequent headaches
  • forward head carriage (head protrudes forward from the body)
  • neck pain

If you have been suffering from neck and shoulder pain and want relief, you may want to consider seeing a chiropractor.  Chiropractic treatment for the cervical spine (neck) is both safe and effective.