A significant number of patients who visit our chiropractor in Ealing are dealing with problems relating to poor posture. We help these patients by providing chiropractic treatments including spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy and range of movement exercises.
In addition to providing chiropractic treatments, chiropractors can recommend several lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes usually include a modified exercise program, stretching techniques, habit modification, physical therapy and ergonomic improvements to work and home environments.
However, the key to dealing with postural issues is awareness. If you are aware of the different types of postural conditions, what causes them and how they can be corrected, you are less likely to run into problems.
Our Ealing chiropractor at The Spine & Joint Centre shares the 3 of the most common postural problems and how to fix them.
#1 – Forward Head Posture
What Does Forward Head Posture Look Like?
Patients with forward head posture have an anterior (forward) neck slant which positions the head in front of the first neck vertebrae. Instead of being in line with the body, the head juts forward.
To see if you have forward head posture, have someone take a photograph of you while you are standing sideways. If your neck is at a sloped angle and your head looks like it is in front of your body, you may have forward head posture.
Another way to test for forward head posture is to stand with your heels and back against a wall. If your head naturally rests against the wall without arching your back, then you do not have this condition.
What Causes Forward Head Posture?
If you are like most people, you probably spend several hours each day reading books, using computers or looking at a mobile device. While doing so, your head is usually pointed down. Unfortunately, remaining in this position for a long time causes stress on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the neck and shoulders.
Eventually, this causes the anterior scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, sub-occipital muscles, and posterior cervical muscles to become tight from overuse. At the same time, the deep neck flexors and lower cervical extensors become weak.
This muscular imbalance leads to forward head posture. It comes with several symptoms including neck pain, headaches, insomnia, fatigue and kyphosis (rounded shoulders).
How To Fix Forward Head Posture
There are several strategies for fixing forward head posture, including:
- Exercises to strengthen the neck, rear shoulders and upper back
- Neck posture drills and stretches including chin tucks, neck mobility exercises and chin nods.
- Chiropractic adjustments to ensure the cervical spine is correctly aligned
- Use a pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck
- Improved workplace ergonomics so you are not looking down as often
To learn how to perform these exercises or to obtain chiropractic adjustment, you can make an appointment at our chiropractic clinic in Ealing.
#2 – Anterior Pelvic Tilt
What Does Anterior Pelvic Tilt Look Like?
Anterior pelvic tilt occurs when the pelvis is rotated forward, forcing the lumbar spine into an exaggerated curve. The two most obvious signs of this condition are a bulging abdomen, protruding buttocks, and an unusual angle from the pelvis to thighs.
If you have this condition, you may also experience tight muscles in the front of your pelvis and thighs, along with weak gluteus and abdominal muscles.
What Causes Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
If you have a sedentary lifestyle or a job that involves a lot of sitting, your hip flexors will be in a shortened position for most of the day. The glutes will be also inactive for most of the time. Eventually, this causes changes in the muscles and connective tissues, leading to the pelvis rotating forward.
How To Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt
There are several strategies available for correcting anterior pelvic tilt:
- Exercises that lengthen the hip flexors
- Strengthening the glutes
- Reducing the amount of time in a seated position
- Using a foam roller on the quads and hip flexors each day
- Chiropractic treatments
#3 – Rounded Shoulders (Hunchback)
What Does Rounded Shoulders Look Like?
This is a common condition that often occurs at the same time as forward head posture. Sufferers will have a hunched position with their shoulders drawn forward.
One way to check if you have this condition is to take a side angle photo, then look at the position of your upper back and shoulders. If your upper back and shoulders are bent over, you may have rounded shoulders.
Another simple test is to stand in front of a mirror in a relaxed position, with your arms hanging by your sides. If you notice that your knuckles are facing forward, you may have rounded shoulders.
What Causes Rounded Shoulders?
Rounded shoulders are usually caused by the same lifestyle factors as forward head posture: poor posture habits, excessive time using electronic devices, a sedentary lifestyle and/or muscle imbalances. These factors weaken certain muscles in the upper back and core, which eventually causes the shoulders to slope forward.
How To Fix Rounded Shoulders
Fixing rounded shoulders involves a combination of exercise, physical therapy and chiropractic care. Some of the best options include:
- Plank and bridges exercises
- Chest stretches (this article has many useful stretches)
- Seated rows and pull-ups
- Chiropractic treatments including soft tissue therapy and adjustments
If you are concerned about your posture our chiropractor at The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing is here to help you. You can make an appointment with our experienced chiropractor by calling 020 8900 9004.