Articles in Category: Chiropractic

The Forward Head Posture

on Friday, 26 May 2017. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

The Forward Head Posture

The Forward Head Posture

In the January newsletter, we discussed the different types of common postures observed in people and how ideally the spine likes to be in an as neutral position as possible (not leaning forward too far and not overextending backwards). 

 

This month, we will start fixing those with a Kyphotic posture (the slouching and neck protrusion). 

 

First we start by correcting the top of the spine; the neck.

 

Kyphosis 1 

To minimize the stress and strains on the neck, the cervical spine ideally has to be in a vertical line with the body's centre of gravity. This position is balanced off by the front neck muscles (the sternocleidomastoid) and the back neck muscles (levator scapulae and trapezius). Like the wires holding a bridge.

 

This abnormal posture can cause headaches, neck pain, sometimes jaw pain and rounded shoulders. Most people also often feel pain/tightness starting from the neck radiating up to the base of the skull. In a prolonged period, an excessive load on the joint and muscles are imposed which can then degenerate the cervical spine leading to irritation of the nerves.  

 

In Forward Head Posture, the SCM shortens and the middle fibres of trapezius and levator increases in length and weakness. Most of the time the commonly prescribed treatment for FHP is to stretch the levator and trapezius (which is good short term) but it doesn't give you a long term solution as the SCM is still shortened and the levator and middle trapezius are in a lengthened position. 

 

What needs to be done is to relax the SCM and bring posterior cervical muscles to a correct length. To do so, the best exercise to begin with is the chin tuck exercise.  

 

Rolled Towel Chin Tucks:

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/m3smFwVGy7s

Chin Tucks 

 

A FHP not only increases load on the cervical spine, it also leads to a rounded shoulder which enhances the flexion of the mid back (the slouch).

 

Being in this position long term can affect your lung expansion capabilities, digestion rate, shoulder impingement and also cause loss of height. 

 

Kyphosis 2

 

Correcting your mid back will help your neck feel better in the long period. If you find that doing the chin tuck exercise does not make you feel any better at all, it probably means you will have to start fixing the thoracic spine first. 

 

The seated thoracic extension exercise is one of our clinics favourite. All you need is a chair and it can be practiced anywhere. Try doing these 2 exercises 10-20 reps throughout the day and feel the difference it makes on your neck and back!

 

Seated Thoracic Stretch:

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/YcURm7DWXko

Seated Thoracic 1 Seated Thoracic 2 Seated Thoracic 3

    

By Iris Tan

B.App.Sc (Chiropractic) M.Clin.Chiropractic. 

Memb: CA, Gonstead (Australia)

Iris picture new contrast 

Reference 

1.Lee, K.-J., Han, H.-Y., Cheon, S.-H., Park, S.-H., & Yong, M.-(2015). The effect of forward head posture on muscle activity during neck protraction and retraction. Journal of Physical Therapy Science27(3), 977–979. http://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.27.977

2.Dalkilinç, (2015). The benefits of good posture - Murat DalkilinçYouTube. Retrieved 8 March 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyK0oE5rwFY

Assessing young athlete injuries − When to see a specialist?

Written by Don Williams BSc, MChiro, ICSSD. on Tuesday, 11 June 2019. Posted in Newsletters, Sporting Injuries, Chiropractic

 Assessing young athlete injuries − When to see a specialist?

 

This month’s newsletter article was stimulated by a phone call I received this morning in regards to a young footballer who suffered a head injury playing on the weekend. We were glad to hear that the young boy was taken to hospital and did have a brain scan to eliminate any significant bleeds or anything that was pathologically present immediately following the injury. The after management is the point that is concerning me somewhat more.

A recent sports medicine Australia conference on paediatric injuries shows that there has been a massive increase in the number of major injuries suffered by teenage athletes. Particularly head injuries and ACL ruptures have been increasing almost exponentially. Across the board injuries have also increased and this has thought to be as a result of increased training loads and competition loads that are above and beyond what a growing body can tolerate.

The growing body needs rest and recuperation purely to grow, not even considering the demands of high level youth sport. The concern at the conference was in regards to misdiagnose or inappropriate assessment of youth injuries with the assumption that the injury would not be pathological. In particular relevance were head injuries, and the requirement in the sport medicine guidelines is that a head injury requires three weeks off work. This has been unfortunately somewhat ignored or not understood by some members of the community.

Often a GP or an A and E specialist with no specific training in head injuries will give the youth a return to sport because there was no apparent pathology on brain scan. This is purely not the case and the guidelines currently state that for a significant injury, that a minimum of 19 days off competition and intense training should be observed. The broader question for us is about appropriate assessment and this is the nature of my article. If you have an injury of your young athlete or child has an injury, it is appropriate to have them assessed by a relevant professional. This often means someone who has extensive experience in testing orthopaedic musculoskeletal conditions in the case of musculoskeletal injuries.

So often we see people show up here after a number of visits to their GP where they have a significant injury that has been missed. This is not to knock their GP, but it is not necessarily their area of expertise. Some GP’s are excellent, some don’t focus on this area very much at all. It would be the same as us in the musculoskeletal arena diagnosing ear issues, and visceral issues for which we are not adequately trained.

So my take home message is if you have an injury, get it assessed by a relevant professional and ensure you get the best possible outcome, rather than just hoping its nothing severe and going forward and creating more issues down the track.