Forward Head Posture
There is a lot of buzz in the world today regarding the use of cell phones and the potential risk. One obvious but understated problem is the posture that results from this behavior. Especially with the increasing trend of teenagers and children owning cell phones this issue needs to be addressed.
All too often, I will take x-rays on a new patient suffering neck pain or headaches and see that the curve in their neck is no longer present. Instead of a normal “C-shaped” curve, when viewed from the side, there is a straightened neck. In some cases, the curve has straightened and then curved the wrong way! This is a serious problem.
Their question is always – “How did this happen?”
Frequently, there is no history of a car accident. There is no history of trauma. Or at least not the kind you typically think of.
Losing the normal curve in the neck is usually a result of accumulated stress from years of sitting at the computer, driving, reading books, and yes – even texting.
These postures effectively strain the muscles of the neck and shoulders, stress the spinal ligaments and ultimately lead to a wear and tear of the joints in the neck spine. Eventually, there may be pain – but the pain results from a process that began days, weeks and months before.
And this is affecting children more frequently now…
A recent study found that poor posture was diagnosed in 38.3% of children, more frequently in boys. Children with poor posture reported headache and pain in the cervical and lumbar spine more frequently.
The Social Media Generation
Analysis of texting posture in youths finds that the position of the head tends to be 4.5 inches in front of the shoulders and places the shoulders in internal rotation.
This is startling considering that the typical youth may text or tweet up to 30 hours per month!
Every inch of forward head posture places and additional 10 lbs of pressure on the muscles and joints of the neck. This can lead to a lot of stress and dysfunction over a period of time.
Call us if you would like an evaluation of you or your child – we’re here to help!
Ventura D.C., Joseph. “Poor Posture and the Tweet Generation.” The American Chiropractor. May 2012.
Prevalence and risk factors of poor posture in school children in the Czech Republic. J Sch Health. 2007; 77(3): 131-7 (ISSN:0022-4391)