Why Do I Have Back Pain?
In the poster on the left, the first sketch (top-left) represents “perfect” head posture. A line dropped from the center of the external auditory meatus (EAM) would land directly in the center of the shoulder (the tip of the acromion process). The graphic on the right demonstrates the progression of forward head posture (occasionally referred to as “anterior head translation”).
Rene Cailliet M.D., famous medical author and former director of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Southern California states:
“Head in forward posture can add up to thirty pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine. This can pull the entire spine out of alignment. Forward head posture (FHP) may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity. These breath-related effects are primarily due to the loss of the cervical lordosis, which blocks the action of the hyoid muscles, especially the inferior hyoid responsible for helping lift the first rib during inhalation.”
Persistent forward head posture (a.k.a “hyperkyphotic posture”) puts compressive loads upon the upper thoracic vertebra, and is also associated with the development of Upper Thoracic Hump, which can devolve into Dowager Hump when the vertebra develop compression fractures (anterior wedging). A recent study found this hyperkyphotic posture was associated with a 1.44 greater rate of mortality.
It’s not uncommon to observe 2″ of anterior head placement in new patients. Would you be surprised that your neck and shoulders hurt if you had a 20-pound watermelon hanging around your neck? That’s what forward head posture can do to you. Left uncorrected, FHP will continue to decline.
- Your smartphone is a pain in the neck (cnn.com)
- Cervicalgia (ardentpt.wordpress.com)
- Could Neck Problems Be Affected By Your Posture? (alliedhealthgroup.wordpress.com)
Posted on November 5, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged Back pain, Cervical vertebrae, Forward head posture, Health, Medicine, Physical therapy, University of Southern California, Vertebral column. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.