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Forward Head Posture

 

           Posture, TMJ

           Other Effects

           Cranial Posture

           Endorphins

         Disclaimer

         Introduction

         How The Cervical Curve Affects those Inflowing Signals

         Dr. Alf Breig and "Adverse Mechanical Tension in the Central Nervous System"

         Lung Capacity, Heart and Blood Vascular Disease

         Some Other Important Facts & Factors

         Disc Nutrition

         Posture, Disc Compression, Nerve Entrapment, Etc.

         How Do Spinal Mechanical Derangements Come About?

         A More "Technical Review" (For the research minded reader):

         Review and Conclusions

  

What is Forward Head Posture?

"An anterior positioning of the cervical spine is characteristic of forward head posture."

ExRx.net: Common Postural Deficiencies: Forward Head Posture

 

Identifying Forward Head Posture

"To assess whether you have forward head posture,

          stand normally

          in bare feet

          with your arms by your sides.

          Look straight ahead and have a friend look at you from the side. [you can also check your posture by using a second mirror]

If you have good posture your ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle should sit in vertical alignment. In other words if you drop a plumb line from your ear it should pass through all those points. If you have a lot of forward head posture then the imaginary plumb line will fall in front of these points (photos 1 and 2 below)."

Peak Running Performance: Improving Your Posture for Optimal Performance

 

Effects

Posture, TMJ

"The danger of forward head posture and TMJ: The domino effect

  1. Moving forward, the head shifts the center of gravity.
  2. To compensate, the upper body drifts backward.
  3. To compensate for the upper body shift, the hips tilt forward.

The forward head position can be the cause of not only the

          head,

          neck and

          TMJ problems,

but also

          mid back and low back problems."

JungYun's Column: The danger of forward head posture and TMJ 

 

Other Effects

          "The vital lung capacity is reduced as much as 30%.

          The gastrointestinal system is affected, particularly the large intestine.

          When a hunched position is assumed, the body becomes rigid, and range of motion is affected.

          Since endorphin production is reduced, an increase in pain and discomfort results."

JungYun's Column: The danger of forward head posture and TMJ 

 

Cranial Posture

"Numerous investigators describe the effect of altered mandibular position on cranial posture.

Forward and lateral [to the side] head position

           Changes the

  • mandible,
  • hyoid bone [a U-shaped bone at the base of the tongue that supports the tongue muscles], and
  • tongue.

          It compresses the upper cervical facet joints causing muscular nerve entrapments. Nerve root compression or posterior vertebral facet irritation or restriction result in peripheral entrapment neuropathies. One common entrapment is the greater or lesser suboccipital nerves that pass between the occiput and atlas. This may cause headaches or refer pain to the facial region."

JungYun's Column: The danger of forward head posture and TMJ 

 

Endorphins

     "Forward head posture with loss of cervical curve

  • Causes an increase in discomfort and pain.
  • Motions of the first four cervical vertebrae are blocked.

     Normal movement of the vertebrae is a necessary stimulus for endorphin production by the brain and spinal cord.

      With inadequate endorphin production, many otherwise non-painful sensations are experienced as pain."

Island Chiropractic: Posture and Spinal Position Affect Physical and Mental Health

 

"Forward head posture causes an increase in discomfort and pain because:

          *Proprioceptive signals from the first 4 cervical (upper neck) vertebrae are a major source of the stimuli which create the body's pain controlling chemicals (endorphins). (10,13)

          With inadequate endorphin production, many otherwise non painful sensations are experienced as pain. (2,10)

          Forward head posture dramatically reduces endorphin production by limiting the range of motion of the cervical spine.(2,10)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

          The Brain: Endorphins: Effects: Dopamine Levels

           The Brain: Endorphins: Effects: Serotonin Levels

 

Things to Consider

Pillows

"Evaluate neck position at night since elevating head too high with additional pillows may act as a continuous neck stretch throughout the evening exacerbating the forward head posture."

WebMD: Answers to Questions: How can I improve my posture?

 

Weight Lifting

"Forward head posture may make it more difficult to perform exercises with the bar in front of head or neck."

WebMD: Answers to Questions: How can I improve my posture?

 

"Examples of affected exercises:

           Shoulder Press"

WebMD: Answers to Questions: How can I improve my posture?

 

"If you lift weights, focus more on upper back exercises than chest exercises."

WebMD: Answers to Questions: How can I improve my posture?

 

Suggestions

Caution

"If by any chance you are currently experiencing neck pain with a resultant numbness in your chest, shoulder, or arm, please do not attempt any of the exercises or techniques listed below. Instead, contact your physician for a proper evaluation. It is better to be safe than sorry!!"

NISMAT: Physical Therapy Corner: Neck Pain

 

Exercises

          "Corrective exercises for gravity induced kyphosis:

ExRx.net: Common Postural Deficiencies: Forward Head Posture

 

Posture

"If you slump or have forward head posture, try to lift your head up by inhaling and lifting your chest. This will put your head on top of your shoulders and reduce the stress on the traps [trapezius muscles] from forward head posture."

WebMD: Answers to Questions: How can I improve my posture?

 

Stretching

Note: Stretching some muscles continuously, for longer than 30 seconds, can exacerbate rounded shoulders and forward head posture by lengthening your muscles.

"You can also try stretching your neck muscles by standing or sitting straight up and dropping your ear to your shoulder. You can even pull it [your head] gently to the left with your left hand toward the shoulder (right hand behind your back) and then reverse, making sure to keep your head looking forward (don't twist your neck).

     Other stretches for the upper body will help, like arm circles and pulling your arm across the chest."

WebMD: Answers to Questions: How can I improve my posture?

 

          Muscle Tension: Upper Extremity and Neck Flexibility

          Muscle Tension: Upper Extremity and Neck Flexibility: Additional Information: The Scalene Muscles (Scaleni)

 

Exercise Programs

"If by any chance you are currently experiencing neck pain with a resultant numbness in your chest, shoulder, or arm, please do not attempt any of the exercises or techniques listed below. Instead, contact your physician for a proper evaluation. It is better to be safe than sorry!!"

NISMAT: Physical Therapy Corner: Neck Pain

 

Additional Information

Disclaimer

"The preceding information has been presented for educational purposes only. There is no intent to diagnose or treat any condition or disease. Anyone wishing to use any of this information for health improvement purposes is advised to do so under the supervision of the health care provider of their choice."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

Introduction

"The following article has been adapted from an original article by Burl Pettibon D.C. Dr.Pettibon's article was intended for professional practitioners and contained technical details that might not be immediately understood, or even of great interest to most lay readers. The following text has been designed to include other pertinent supportive and explanatory facts as well as the basic facts from Dr. Pettibon's original work.

This article is intended as an introduction to the several parts of Dr. Pettibon's full structural remodeling program which serves as the Postural Molding component of the Somatics Plus structural rehabilitative procedures."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

How The Cervical Curve Affects those Inflowing Signals

"Based on their clinical observations, for many years, Chiropractors have said that proper freedom of joint motion in the upper cervical spine is necessary for good health -- it is only very recently that (non-chiropractic) scientific studies are showing why that was observed."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"It pays to remember that: the garbled proprioceptor messages caused by the loss of the normal neck curve

        Not only have a negative effect on your body's control of movement and posture, but

        Also interferes with your brain's ability to control all types of motor activity -- that means things like cell function and even organ and glandular control.

        In fact the loss of normal proprioceptor messages even interferes with that most basic process of your cells [cellular processes], the creation of the energy needed to perform bodily activities.(7-13)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

Dr. Alf Breig and "Adverse Mechanical Tension in the Central Nervous System"

"Dr. Alf Breig, a Swedish neurosurgeon

        Coined the term adverse tension in the central nervous system to describe the mechanism by which loss of the normal cervical lordotic curve created serious health problems.

        His research is amazing, and

        His clinical results were astounding because he did surgical correction of cervical curves which actually cured such things as M.S. and ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), etc."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"What Dr. Breig showed was that as the cervical curve is lost, the tension of the meninges (covering of the brain and spinal cord) was increased in such a manner that measurable pressure was exerted on brain-stem nuclei (nerve control centers) which control our basic life functions. This in turn led to disregulation of basic metabolic control functions, and disease followed. Dr. Breig performed surgical procedures to re-establish the cervical lordotic curve and the diseases disappeared.(28)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"Something that isn't thought about too often is that the spinal cord is actually only 'tethered' to the bony skeleton in the upper cervical and lowest sacral areas (top and bottom ends of the spine). In between these polar attachments, the spinal cord is relatively free to move up and down. In fact, it has to do so as we bend our bodies forward and backward, twist, etc. Anything which reduces that freedom -- such as loss of normal spinal curves -- would be expected to increase tension on the cord and brain stem, especially as end range of motion bending forward or backward occurs.

Remember, this increased tension on the cord and brain stem interferes with the control of basic body processes such as breathing, motor control, etc."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

Lung Capacity, Heart and Blood Vascular Disease

"Forward head posture results in loss of vital capacity of the lungs. Lung capacity is depleted by as much as 30%.

This shortness of breath can then lead to heart and blood vascular disease. These breath related effects happen primarily because the loss of the the cervical lordosis blocks the action of the hyoid muscles, especially the inferior hyoid that is responsible for lifting the first rib during inhalation. This rib lifting action is necessary for complete aeration of the lungs. Loss of the cervical lordosis reduces the patients lung and vital capacity up to 30%. (2,13,20)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

Some Other Important Facts & Factors

Disc Nutrition

"Forward head posture causes loss of normal spinal and body motion which leads to problems other than increased pain.(2,10) Until age 12, the spinal discs, ligaments and cartilage are fed by the vascular system. By age 12 or so, the blood supply to these structures 'dries up' -- they become 'avascular'. From then on, it is only 'normal' spinal coupled motion that can bring nutrients into and take waste products out of these areas -- this occurs through a 'pumping' process called nutation.(18)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

Posture, Disc Compression, Nerve Entrapment, Etc.

"As the head rocks backwards on the top neck vertebra (Atlas, C1) impingement into structures at the head neck junction (suboccipital triangle) is inevitable. A number of painful mechanical and muscular nerve entrapments are produced by this posture if it is allowed to persist. (15, 16, 17)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"In man, neck-spine mechano-receptors dominate the body's balancing system in combination with the inner ear balancing system (vestibular function mechanism) through reflex regulation of equilibrium (balance) in both static posture and gait. (7,8)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"Cailliet also states: 'Most attempts to correct posture are directed toward the spine shoulders and pelvis. All are important, but, the position of the head is the most important. The body follows the head. The entire body can be aligned by first aligning the head'. (13)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

How Do Spinal Mechanical Derangements Come About?

"The actual initiating event is likely to be a trauma of some sort, a whiplash injury (aka flexion-extension injury), fall, etc. It doesn't take much if the conditions are right. The head can react like the last person in line in a game of 'crack the whip' -- the acceleration at the end of the movement chain is greater than at the point where the movement started."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"Once the head has been subjected to a rapid acceleration-deceleration process, there is commonly an immediate localized 'splinting' effect -- the local muscles lock-up to prevent further damage to the area by restricting movement of the head and cervical spine. If not corrected, this leads to many serious negative health consequences.(14)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"The loss of the normal cervical spinal curve has been found to result in negative effects in the control of the following:

1. The muscles that control eye movement, the control of body balance, and the control of gait (walking balance and coordination).

2. The senses of taste and smell

3. The ability to speak

4. Swallowing coordination and patterns

5. TMJ (jaw joint) related muscle tension

6. Coordination of movement

7. Hand eye coordination

8. As well as to the creation of rotatory vertigo (sensation of spinning) and,

9. Bilateral tinnitus (ringing in the ears) (9,10,14)."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"The effects listed above develop as a result of the following mechanical problems, and then they become solidified as part of your posture.

        Loss of Skull Flexion on Atlas (head is locked in a backward position on the top vertebra and the forward nodding ability is reduced -- or, leads to abnormally 'coupled' movement when the chin is moved towards the chest.

        Weak and unequal strength of the cervical flexor muscles (muscles on the front of the neck).

        Forward Head Posture.

        Loss of the normal cervical lordotic curve [forward head posture]."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

A More "Technical Review" (For the research minded reader):

"Equally, correcting problems in the upper cervical spine can lead to seemingly miraculous elimination of symptoms elsewhere in the body. In fact, cervical lordosis correcting adjustments have been experimentally shown to increase people's ability to

        Aerate their lungs, increase their vital capacity and

        Boost their immune systems' activity. Brennen et al., documented the respiratory burst of immune system enhancing cellular activity (polymnorphonuclear neutrophils and monocytes) following these corrective adjustments. (23) In addition, a literature review in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia showed that T and B lymphocyte numbers, natural killer cell numbers, antibody levels, phagocytic activity and plasma endorphin levels are positively influenced by spinal correcting adjustments. (24)"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

Review and Conclusions

"The postural molding and corrective processes recommended for your use based upon the Pettibon System of Postural Correction when used in conjunction with the other Somatics Plus Self Help processes can definitely help you to recover from problems associated with cervical spine curve loss and FHP problems."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"To Find out more about processes for correcting these problems please See the article: "Total Postural Rebalancing-- etc."

to see a: Description of the Corrective Processes Themselves."

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

"If you have found any of this information useful, and would like to show your appreciation for finding it here -- Please consider supporting my ability to continue developing and presenting more of this alterntive health care information by selecting some supplements from out excellent Store. Thank you for your consideration. Angelo Querin"

Somatics Plus: Posture, Pain, & Proprioceptors

 

Related Topics

          Posture: Rounded Shoulders: Effects: Thoracic Outlet Compression

           Muscle Tension: Upper Extremity and Neck Flexibility

          Vision: Bates Method: Palming: Forward Head Posture

 

 

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