Poor posture might not sound like a big deal, but over time the stress that poor posture places on your spine can lead to changes in the spinal structure, provoking pain and problems with your muscles, discs and joints.
In some cases it can cause a more serious diagnosis:
Scoliosis is a condition where the spine abnormally bends either to the right or left. For some people, the condition does not affect their day-to-day lives.
The cause of scoliosis is unknown in most cases, and such cases are referred to as idiopathic scoliosis. However, in around 30% of idiopathic scoliosis cases there is some family history of the condition, which points towards a genetic link. Some scoliosis cases are found to have been causes by health conditions that affect the nerves and muscles, including cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. In very rare cases, scoliosis is present at the birth. In some adult sufferers, it has been found to be causes by gradual damage to parts of the spine.
People with scoliosis will notice a change in the appearance of their shoulders, chest or hips: they may have one high shoulder, a shoulder blade that is more prominent than the other and one hip might stick out.If the curvature of the spine worsens then the condition can become uncomfortable and muscles near to the site of the curve may feel sore and tender.
Treatment for scoliosis will vary depending on how severe the curve of the spine is. If your posture points towards scoliosis, we can assess you using X-ray technology to effectively measure and examine your posture.
Our treatment for scoliosis focuses on managing your pain and the function of your spine. We will use gentle and specific adjustments to help improve the function and flexibility of your spine. We can also advise you on strengthening and stretching spinal exercises to compliment your chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractic treatment for scoliosis may not reverse long term spinal curves but it will work towards making you more comfortable by improving the overall function of your spine.
The Hump (Kyphosis)
Kyphosis is where the curve at the top of the back appears more rounded than is normal. A healthy spine will naturally have an outward curve at the top, however a curve of more than 60 degrees is understood to be a sign of kyphosis, or “the hump”.
In cases of kyphosis, the thoracic section of vertebrae is curved out of position. There are three different types of kyphosis: postural, Scheuermann’s and congenital. Postural kyphosis results when a person’s poor posture pulls the thoracic vertebrae out of position. If vertebrae do not develop in the right way then they can end up being out of position, which causes Scheurermann’s kyphosis. Congenital kyphosis is caused by abnormal development of the spine in the womb, which can result in vertebrae fusing together.
Sometimes, the only symptom of kyphosis is an exaggerated hunch at the top of the back. In some cases, however, the condition can cause a stiff and painful back, spine tenderness and tiredness. If your kyphosis is severe, your symptoms may get worse over time. Some sufferers experience difficulty breathing and eating.
To treat your kyphosis we will assess the severity of the hump through a physical examination and, if necessary, an X-ray. We will determine the cause of your kyphosis and once we have a clear understanding of your case we will propose an appropriate treatment plan. If you have postural kyphosis, we can advise you on how to improve your posture, balance and core strength.
Forward head posture
Forward head posture is when a person’s head is positioned in front of their shoulders rather than above. It has become an increasingly common problem due to the fact that so many peoples’ lives are now structured around using computers, mobile phones, tablets and laptops in and out of work.
When we use electronic devices, we tend to drop our heads forward, which rounds the shoulders and results in forward head posture. This postural problem can also be caused by sleeping with too many pillows or from a lack of developed back muscle strength.
A forward head posture places excessive strain on the muscles in your neck and back. In fact, research suggests that for each extra inch your head sits forward of your shoulders, the head gains another 10 pounds in weight. This means your back and neck muscles have to work a lot harder to keep your head from dropping forward, which adds pressure to the base of your skill resulting in headaches, tingling in the arms and pain between the shoulder blades.
We will begin by realigning your spine into the correct position and relaxing the muscles that have been affected. We will then advise you on the correct neck and shoulder posture and the type of exercises that can help you to gain control over weakened postural neck muscles.