November 29, 2017
Sleeping through the holidays!
Have you heard of Pokémon? Have you seen people wandering in the park with their head down looking at their smart phones? Yes, they are looking for the prize while in the meantime putting their health and future quality of life at risk. I agree that this “app” has mobilized people and has gotten people out to exercise, explore the world and socialize. I would ask at what cost? The position the neck is in when playing this game can create undue stress and challenge to your spine and health. As a chiropractor, I always say that you want to begin your health journey by first stop hurting yourself, then beginning the good, healthy habits to create health and wellness in your life.
According to Kapandji in Physiology of the Joints, “for every inch your head moves forward, it gains 10 pounds in weight , as far as the muscles in your upper back and neck are concerned, because they have to work that much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping onto your chest. This also forces the muscle behind the skull (they raise the chin) to remain in constant contraction, putting pressure on the suboccipital nerves. This nerve compression may cause headaches at the base of the skull and can mimic sinus (frontal) headaches.”
This persistent “forward head posture” puts additional stress on the upper back creating the dreaded Dowager Hump. No one likes the way this looks on others and especially on themselves. This posture is not limited to this game it is also happening in the workplace and at home. This posture creates even more problems and robs you of your quality and quantity of your life. Things such as decreased lung capacity (Rene Cailliet M.D.), decreased digestion and elimination. In a recent study, it was found that this posture was associated with a 1.44 greater risk of mortality (J Am Geriatr Soc 2004 (Oct); 52 (10): 1662—1667.) This means that people with a forward head posture die early than the counterparts that have neutral posture. How long do you want to live?
I am all for getting out and exercising, but please consider the types of activities that help support healthy and strong activities that add to your life, not take away from it. If you are unable to make the changes yourself, get it evaluated by principled chiropractor that can recommend a corrective care plan to help you not only straighten up, but reach the health goals your desire. So make a change, straighten up and stay healthy. Be Well!
~ Dr. Blau