Neck pain and poor posture

04/18/2019

With all of our technological devices (cell phones, tablets, smart-tv's, computer screens) these days, its no wonder that sitting with poor posture can lead to neck pain.  

You've probably heard your mom say before, "sit up straight!" "Don't slouch, sit with good posture."  How important is it really?

As a matter of fact, it is very important that we practice good posture.  Poor posture over time, can lead to a condition called upper crossed syndrome.  This condition can be addressed in Physical Therapy, but lets first discuss what it means.

Upper crossed syndrome develops when certain muscle groups in the neck/upper back/chest become tight and adaptively shortened, and other muscle groups become weak and lengthened. The common position that people develop upper crossed syndrome is with "forward head posture" which occurs when your head moves forward in front of your neck. For every inch forward your head is over your shoulders, it is an additional 10lbs of stress on your neck.  

With this posture, the muscles that tend to accept excessive strain are the upper trapezius and levator scapula, and as a result, the pectorals major and minor adaptively shorten.  Other symptoms include upper back and shoulder pain, jaw pain, and fatigue.

What can a Physical Therapist do to help this condition?

- Patient education: Educating the patient on the condition, mechanism of injury, methods of treatment and the plan of care.  The more you know, the more you can be a player in your own recovery.   Being aware of when you are in faulty positions can help with positional changes and ergonomics

- Stretching: Improving the flexibility of the muscles that are tight

- Manual Therapy: Massage, joint mobilization to improve motion in your spine where it is stiff, and passive range of motion, cupping technique to tight muscles for myofascial decompression

- Strengthening exercise: working to improve the muscle strength of the muscles that have been weakened as a result of the upper crossed syndrome 

If you have neck pain, get seen by a Physical Therapist today!

Call or email Physiostudio PT.