Other than acute injury or trauma, most of the mild discomfort or chronic pain felt in the neck, shoulders and back are contributed by adopting poor posture.
This adoption of poor posture can start in our early childhood years and progressively develop over time into pain, discomfort and for some, debilitating illness.
Every inch your head is forward in posture, you are adding and additional weight of your head.
If your head posture is 3 inches forward from the correct position you will have added 3 times the normal weight, an additional 10 to 15 kg of load on the spinal column where the head and neck joins the back.
The effects are never felt immediately as neck and back problems develop over time and can start from a very early age, example: poor sitting posture at school.
As a result of having a forward head posture and rounded shoulders, the angle of the first rib gets depressed and then major organs in your body will get compressed and not be able to sit in their proper location and position.
This then restricts them from proper healthy function and adds additional, unnecessary stress to your body and will affect your overall wellness, vitality and quality of life.
Quite often people will develop a fatty tissue deposit called a Dowagers Hump located where the neck meets the upper spine as the body attempts to stabilise the additional head weight.
There is also a huge pressure exerted on the spinal cord, and its ability to carry messages and feelings is restricted and impaired to the point where we suffer sever problems.
Other examples of areas affected by poor posture are, poor lymphatic drainage, poor circulation throughout your body, the pump system including the heart, diaphragm etc.
The spine also houses the spinal cord, which is an intricate sensory network that runs through the vertebrae to transmit feeling and movement commands from the brain throughout the entire body.
When posture is poor we are putting pressure on the whole nervous system and this is extremely draining to our daily energy and vitality.
Correcting Poor Posture
If you have a forward head posture you will also have other related issues that will need to be addressed. The only way to correct poor posture is to treat the body as a whole.
As a C.H.E.K. Practitioner we start with a comprehensive In-depth Postural and Orthopedic Analysis. From this assessment we can determine which muscles are tight, weak or long.
Once your program has been designed to correct the imbalances in your body that are causing your discomforts or pain, you will begin to learn a specific stretching plan to stretch “the tight muscles only”.
Upon mastering this we would move along to stabilise the spine and the weak muscles throughout the body that we found during the assessment.
This then moves into functional movement patterns that we do on a daily basis, to strengthen the body as a whole. This becomes the base of your strength and conditioning program to move you into other goals that you may want to achieve.
These may include things such as body fat loss, muscle shape/tone, and strength for home, work or sports.
Our body is just like a car. We can be a vintage in great condition or a new model all beaten up and not running well. Age does not have to determine our condition.
Prevention is always better than cure, if you have mild discomfort now, it will not correct itself, it will only amplify as time goes on.
If you have imbalance in your body and you do a balanced fitness programme you will have no chance to correct the imbalance.
Fixing muscle imbalance is very individualised. Your body needs to be coached out of imbalance through specific exercise as well as a reeducation process that addresses every other area of your life, e.g. sitting, walking, lifting, working positions etc.
This is done at a neural, (brain) level. We have to re-educate the way that we think about our posture.
Also, you could have the best exercise program in the world and if you did not apply the six foundation principles, You may not have the ability to recover and repair.
Using the 6 Life Principles we can support the postural correction with improvements in our overall wellness.