Americans on average spend between 8-10 hours a day sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen. This increasing decline in workplace activity can take a toll of your body including poor posture and chronic neck and back pain. This can often lead to a misalignment of the vertebrae known as Forward Head Posture and sometimes informally called “Scholar’s Neck” or “The Microsoft Posture”.
There are 7 articulating vertebrae in the average human neck, making up what is called the cervical curve. Sitting in front of a computer tends to cause the forehead and shoulders to come forward, tilting the spinal column out of alignment. This can cause the center of gravity to shift forward, pulling not only the cervical vertebrae of the neck out of position, but also cause misalignment of the hips and lower back.
Leading chiropractors agree that for every inch your head moves forward, 10 pounds of pressure is applied to the neck, as the muscles and soft tissue must work that much harder to keep the head from dropping onto your chest. This means that if your head is only 3-4 inches forward, you are putting 30-40 pounds of pressure on your neck.
If the posture is not corrected it can cause chronic pain as well as degenerate the disks between the vertebrae. In addition, individuals may experience shortening of muscle tissue in the neck and shoulders, impacting breathing and can put pressure on the nerves causing migraine headaches.
“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.” Rene Cailliet M.D, former director of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Southern California
For people whose jobs require long hours in front of a computer, it is advisable to take short breaks to stretch, change position and move around to help keep the spine straight. Increasing activity improves circulation and strengthens the muscles in the neck and back.
If you are experiencing back pain, tension or headaches, contact the experts at Prime Spine for more information. Treatments can effectively correct posture and relieve chronic pain.
Back pain is not worth living with; call us today at 425-825-8750!