How much more weight is your spine carrying from your head leaning forward?

Every day, Americans log in more and more hours in front of a computer, driving and being on their smart phones.  The increased time with our heads looking down and our shoulders being internally rotated take a toll in our posture and therefore our health.

Every joint in our body has receptors that tell our brain where we are in space. Many of these receptors are located in our neck.

The more forward our head is translated the more weight the spine has to carry which ends up causing damage in our joints eventually leading to pain.

“For every inch of Forward Head Posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.” Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3

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Many people recognize that having good posture means standing tall with no slumping shoulders. What many do not realize is that rounded shoulders occur as a result of our head being forward compared to our spine. For example: when we are looking down on our phones, sitting in front of a computer or driving. Rounded shoulders are a consequence of inadequate spinal curvature.

Over time this posture leads to more than just neck tension. As the curve changes it causes arthritis, disc herniation, headaches and predisposes the shoulder to many rotator cuff injuries.

As our neck moves more and more forward, the spine on the upper back follows it. This eventually leads a person to having more of a “humped back” posture. As a result, the increased degree in the curvature leads to rounded shoulders. Many corrective exercises and stretches try to primarily address the rounded shoulders, while completely negating any rehab or treatment for the neck area; thus causing us to leave the underlying source to be unaddressed.

How much can a forward head posture or carriage affect your health?

It is estimated that carrying your head forward may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity. Internally rotated posture diminishes the action of respiratory muscles; specifically decreasing the action of the first rib during inhalation.

With the amount of hours that we are spending in front of tech devices, it is worth it to check your posture for proper neck curvature. Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy are the most effective ways to correct your posture.