Common Posture Problems
Forward Head Posture
Forward head posture is the most common postural defect found in computer operators. Forward Head Posture (FHP) can be recognized by the positioning of the ear being forward of the shoulder, rather than sitting directly over it. Poor neck posture leads to a Forward Head Position which is one of the most common causes of neck, head and shoulder tension and pain. This can be a result of long term habits of “slumping” at the computer, whilst driving, sitting poorly on the couch, or poor sleeping posture. These habits can be worsened if strains and sprains of the neck have occurred in the past which has weakened the neck muscles.
Round Shoulders is distinguished by the hunched over appearance it creates, and is a poor posture that is often associated with office workers and computer operators. It’s estimated that up to 73% of the population are affected by ‘round shoulder’ posture and common complaints resulting from this condition is an increased incidence of pain between the shoulder blades.
Rounded shoulders are usually the result of slouching. Prolonged slouching can strain the muscles between the shoulder blades, causing upper back pain. When slouching, the natural forward curve of the neck is also exaggerated, which can also result in neck pain. It is more common to slouch when sitting. Slouching is often caused by fatigue, especially when sitting in front of a computer.
Rotate hips can be caused by holding a poor position for a long period of time, such as sitting at your desk twisting to write as well as looking at the computer. Uneven Hips affects the pelvic, lumbar and thoracic areas of your spine.
Spending much of the day with your legs crossed can contribute to developing this condition, as can activities like carrying children on one hip, getting babies in and out of car seats, balancing shopping bags or carrying unbalanced loads in the garden.
Long term uneven hip posture can lead to muscle imbalances and stress on the lumbar spine, sacrum and pelvis. Misalignments of the lumbar spine can affect the proper functioning of the nerves, which can lead to numbness, tingling and associated pain. The lumbar nerves connect directly to vital organs , tissues and cells; like the bladder, kidneys, reproductive organs and the muscles and ligaments of the legs and feet. So it’s important to minimise and reduce stress to these areas of the spine for total well-being.
In severe cases, long term bad posture can lead to Scoliosis, a condition that results in the spine twisting from left to right, instead of running in a straight line from top to bottom. Depending on the severity, scoliosis of the spine can have a detrimental impact on vital organs, such as your heart, liver and kidneys.
The good news is that postural issues can be corrected, and even, in some instances reversed.
When in a working environment that requires a lot of desk and computer work, make sure your workstation equipment is ergonomically sound.
Take regular breaks – in fact you should take a 1 – 2 minute break every 30 minutes you spend sitting at a desk or workstation.
Crist Chiropractic can assess your spinal health and provide the Chiropractic care needed to improve it.
One of our Chiropractors can also provide guidance on some exercises that, when done regularly, will help to strengthen your muscles and maintain improved posture.