Platinum Chiropractic

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Anterior head syndrome

What's Causing My Neuro-Structural Shifts?

We already know that Neuro-Structural Shifts are caused by stress, and stress comes in three forms: Chemical, Physical, and Emotional. If you missed that article, you can check it out here.

When you come in for regular appointments, Dr. Karo checks your body for Neuro-Structural shifts and adjusts your spine and nervous system to reduce that stress on your body.
So the question is, what parts of our day-to-day lives are re-creating that stress?
For example, how do you spend the majority of your day? Sitting or standing at your workstation? Slowly slumping into your computer screen? Bending your lower back as you extend your neck and round your shoulders forward? Getting annoyed at your co-workers? Could this be putting stress on your body and re-causing a Neuro-Structural shift?
Yes, it very likely is.
To put it in perspective, your head weighs about the amount of a bowling ball and each vertebrae and disc in your spine are about 1-2 ounces. For every inch your head is forward, there is an additional 10 lbs of stress on your spine and nervous system. Thus, the Anterior Head Syndrome pictured above redistributes the weight of your head in a way that puts a significant amount of stress on your cervical spine (neck). The more consistently you slouch, the more your neck muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints must adapt (shift) to support the additional weight. What can we do to change this pattern, limit that stress, and stop re-creating the Neuro-Structural shifts?
  • Organize your posture: As you start a work session, organize yourself in a good ergonomic position. First, squeeze your butt, brace your belly, put your shoulders back and down, then pull your chin back to position your head over your body. 
  • Get a stand-up desk: As they say, “Sitting is the new smoking,” meaning it is one of the most significant contributors to decreasing our health. Sitting puts three times more pressure on our spines than standing does. If standing for most of the day is not feasible, consider alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day.
  • Set an alarm: We all lose track of time. Research shows that even if you are doing nothing but trying to sit and hold your posture, you can only maintain it for 15 min before slouching. Set an alarm for every 30 min to an hour as a reminder to check your posture.
  • Exercises: Doing neck exercises is a great way to release any tension that is pent up in your neck. Try the exercises that Dr. Karo demonstrates in this video here.

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