How your headaches and pain could be related to poor posture 

by kind permission of Erik Dalton

Are you frequently seated over a desk or in a car driving long distances? Do you suffer from frequent headaches, tension in your neck and shoulders, experience chronic pain in your lower back and often feel fatigued? All these symptoms may be related to your daily posture. Over time your posture changes to accommodate the position of being slumped over a keyboard with neck extended to view a screen or slouched in a car over a steering wheel. The muscles at the back of your neck become short and tight, the muscles at the front of the neck become long and weak and are unable to hold your head correctly and so a forward head posture develops. Over time your eye gaze changes and your balance is altered. The forward head posture increases the strain on your neck muscles by up to 30lbs and, unless it is corrected, will lead to effects felt throughout your body.

The change in posture is hardly noticeable at first and, as poor posture develops it changes breathing patterns. Forward head posture and protracted shoulders means the diaphragm will cease to be the primary muscle for inhalation, instead, the neck muscles take over this role and the ribs are unable to lift to take in sufficient oxygen for your body to function correctly. Breathing becomes shallow as the abdomen is compressed. Compression of the abdomen leads to poor gastric function and may lead to irritable bowel syndrome. It is also related to conditions such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, chronic pain syndrome, fibromyalgia and "foggy brain" and a sense of oppression/heaviness in the chest.

A Dowager's hump may develop as the cervical spine tries to compensate for the additional stress placed upon it. Forward head posture can lead to premature ageing of intervertebral discs and records show that poor posture is also related to hormonal production, blood pressure, pulse and stimulation and nutrition to the brain.

The gradual onset of change within the spinal tissues can become permanent. ACT NOW - Rehabilitation of the postural muscles through soft tissue work, exercise and corrective diaphragmatic breathing can:

  • reduce pain
  • reduce tonicity in muscles
  • reduce tension placed on joints and improve joint function
  • release trapped nerves
  • improve sleep by reduction of stress placed upon the body
  • reduce the risk of injury due to fatigued muscles
  • and get you feeling healthy again.  

How I can help you fight postural pain!