At Got Your Back Total Health, we believe POSTURE is the ultimate indicator of both health and performance. The inability to subconsciously hold your head over your shoulders and stack all other load bearing joints over one another is a sign of something amiss.
For starters, a forward head posture (Anterior Head Carriage) increases the amount of stress on your cervical spine. For every one inch your head moves forward, the relative weight of your head doubles. Do the math: If the average human head weighs between 8 and 10 pounds x 1 inch it effectively weighs 20 pounds. X 2 inches, 40 pounds.
As the adage goes, where your head goes, your body follows. A forward head will make it more difficult to do things like raise your arms over your head comfortably. Over time, limited range of motion can and likely will lead to shoulder issues. "Upper-crossed syndrome" will change the biomechanics of the shoulder because a forward head posture will ultimately cause forward rounding shoulders. In short, the inhibition of some muscles causes weaknesses and restions, effectively causing an imbalance of musculature and fascial networking around the spine and shoulder girdle. Over time, normal ranges of motion and natural abilities become a fargone conclusion.
Ever wonder why you feel numbness or weakness in the shoulders, arms and hands? This can happen because of compression of your cervical nerves, which innervate your shoulders, arms, and hands. This means that the nerves from your neck go to your upper extremity, feeding it information from your brain. In the case of numbness, your sensory nerves aren't telling your brain what to feel...and weakness can come from motor nerve restriction. If you're having any of these problems, please consult your Chiropractic BioPhysics doctor (us) and we can help you understand the structure of your spine.
And we haven’t even addressed the lumbar spine, hips, knees or ankles yet!
The Mayo Clinic (kind of a big deal in the medical community) has done research proving that “forward head posture leads to long term muscle strains, disc herniations, arthritis, and pinched nerves.” (Mayo Clinic Health Letter, Volume 18, #3, 3/2000.) Neuroscientist Sally Goddard Blythe, an international expert on Neuro-Developmental Functioning, says that the ability to control the head “dictates our ability to control balance, posture, and coordination.” In addition, she states that neck strength is a key indicator in our ability to control our head. Therefore, a weak neck equates to poor head control hence poor balance, posture, and coordination.
So how’s your head control?
With odds stacked against us in a modern world of desk jobs, sitting, electronics, texting and the unremitting force of gravity, how do we make impactful change on our posture?
Because moving your head and neck in this manner activates and stimulates your vestibular system, the foundational sensory system in your body that every muscle is connected to for balance and coordination. When you stimulate your vestibular system, you begin restore your reflexive stability i.e.your body’s ability to anticipate movement and use the right muscles at the right joints at the right times with the right force. Reflexive stability governs and controls your posture. Posture should be automatic and reflexive. It’s not so much a position to hold as much as it is a static and dynamic expression of of a well functioning nervous system.
Neck Nods help you restore your posture and strengthen the weak muscles throughout your neck and spine. This will give you a "head" start in strengthening your neck enough to enable the body to once again subconsciously and automatically control your head. Practice this in the rocking position or even in the "tummy time" position while you're on the floor.
Remember, control your head and neck you’ll regain control of the rest of your body. Want to learn more? We are offering a FREE First week of classes to all current patients. Not a patient? You can sign up here for Class Pass which allows you to sample new fitness classes at discount prices. Come learn how to PRESS RESET!