There are many people who suffer every day with severe neck pain. But believe it or not, most of the pains from this part of the body are not caused by a trauma such as whiplash, but by poor posture. Bad posture can lead to several serious problems, including chronic neck pains. Obviously, it is difficult to sit or stand properly at all times, especially when you are sick or tired. However, it is important to ensure that your head and spine are always properly aligned in order to prevent injury. Otherwise, over time you will begin to feel the debilitating effects.
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Forward Head and Shoulder Posture
The parts of the neck that are vulnerable to poor posture include:
- Scalene Muscles
- Suboccipital Muscles
- Pectoralis Minor Muscles
- Subscapularis Muscles
- Levator Scapulae Muscles
Forward head and shoulder posture is the most common condition that contributes to neck pain. This occurs when the neck is slanted forward, which thrusts the head out in front of the shoulders. Because of this, the head is constantly weighing the rest of the body down, and that places extreme amounts of pressure on the vertebrae of the lower neck. Often times this leads to degenerated discs or other neck problems.
This position also affects the muscles in the upper back because it often causes these muscles to overexert in order to continually hold the head up. People who have become accustomed to this posture will often also have shoulders that are constantly hunched forward and a rounded upper back.
How Poor Posture Effects the Vertebrae In The Lower Neck
Poor posture mostly effects the lower part of the neck, just above the shoulders. What usually occurs is that the lower vertebrae in the neck will begin to slide forward in response to the constant pull of gravity on the head. This is usually what people with neck pain have the hardest time with, because they often have jobs that require them to sit at a desk for most of the day while using a computer or something similar.
Negative Long Term Effects From Poor Posture
Bad posture can lead to several long term problems. For instance, forward head posture can cause damaged vertebrae, which in turn can irritate joints in the neck or cause ligament and soft tissue damage. And when that happens, the neck pain can begin to travel further down into the shoulder blades and upper back, and so on.
This kind of situation also tends to irritate the muscles, making them overly tender, stiff, and painful to touch. And degenerated discs can lead to even worse conditions such as osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease.
Understanding the specific long term effects that poor posture can have on the neck will help you to appreciate how important it is. Always try to be mindful of how you position your body when at work, home, or even driving your car, so you can avoid neck pain and serious neck related problems.
The Illinois Back Institute is dedicated to educating people, because we know that the more that you understand about your problem, the more likely you are to eliminate it.