By Dr. Victoria Nelson
Many people today have jobs that require them to be at a desk, or working on a computer or laptop for the majority of the work day. Your posture and the set-up of your work station play a huge role in your spinal health every day, and may be contributing to your neck and upper back pain. When working on a computer & sitting at a desk for extended periods of time, we tend to hunch forward in our chairs, roll our shoulders forward, and look down at our screens or keyboards, leaving us sitting with bad posture for most of the day.
You have proper head and neck posture when the center of your ear is directly above the center of your shoulder, your shoulders are back and down, and you are looking straight ahead. This means that your posture is balanced, and requires minimal effort of your neck muscles to hold your head upright. The repetition of that poor posture while at a desk causes your head to move forward on your shoulders and leads to what is called anterior head carriage. Anterior head carriage is one of the major causes of neck pain, and is sometimes also called “text neck”. The permanent forward head position of anterior head carriage requires constant effort from your postural neck muscles to hold your head upright. For every inch your head is forward on your shoulders, it requires 3 times more muscular effort to keep your head upright. These postural muscles are not meant for such constant contraction, so anterior head carriage causes stiffness, muscle spasm, aches and pains, and tension headaches. It can also cause tightness, pain, and stiffness in your upper back and shoulders.
At Langford and Karls Chiropractic, we will address your neck and upper back pain caused by anterior head carriage with a personalized treatment plan. This includes chiropractic adjustments, therapies such as massage, electric muscle stimulation, and ultrasound, and addressing your posture through stretches, exercises, and helping you with workspace modifications.