Neck pain and Headaches
Sedentary lifestyles and poor posture can cause disorder of the neck and back especially if most of the remaining hours are spent slouching in front of the TV.
Sedentary lifestyles have been associated with increased neck and back pain incidences among young people these days. A large proportion of people work staring at computer screens with strained neck and back postures over prolonged periods. This coupled with lack of exercise and poor sleep is a recipe for chronic pain and stiffness.
Upper crossed syndrome
The muscle imbalance that manifests as a result of poor posture is called upper crossed syndrome (USC). In UCS the upper neck muscles, and pectoral muscles become tight, and the deep neck flexors, middle and lower trapezius muscle become weak. This can cause a joint dysfunction in the cervical spine, thoracic spine and shoulder joints, which can cause nerve irritation leading to headaches.
Specific postural changes seen in UCS, include:
- Forward head posture
- Rounded shoulders
- Increase curvature of cervical spine
- Increase curvature of thoracic spine
- Winging of the scapula
Chronic musculoskeletal pain can be caused by several pathologies making it difficult for the clinician to provide a specific diagnosis. A specific evaluation involving postural analysis and examination of movement patterns can diagnoses any muscle imbalance syndromes. A specific treatment plan is then initiated to address local and global changes associated with these syndromes.