Posture, Slumping Posture, Forward Head Posture, Dowager’s hump (mid and upper back kyphosis, or hunching, or hunchback)
The head has moved farther forward of the chest and the lower neck, and the upper and mid back have begun to bow backward. Although some causes may hinge on chronic posture, nutritional and/or bone calcium deficiencies, …from a chiropractic,biomechanical perspective, this area of the spine has begun to bow outward because the normal forward (lordotic) shock absorbing curve within the neck has been lost to some degree, and an inordinate amount of the weight of the head is now carried by this lower neck/upper back area, which is not meant to bear such weight. Consequently, the spine begins to bow under the extra weight, particularly if the postural muscles in this area are weak. Often restoration of this normal forward neck curve, along with strengthening the neck and upper back postural muscles, is enough to lessen, or completely reverse this condition. Much of this work can be performed by the patient at home, with some visits to the chiropractor to assist in freeing long standing spinal pressures in this area. An upper body that is starting to bend forward goes hand in hand with forward head posture (FHP, see neck area). Both are clear indicators of weak postural muscles and both place excessive stress and strain on the entire spine and body, leading to further postural deterioration, pains and loss of normal ranges of motion elsewhere in the body, even lower back pain. A slumping upper back causes the chest to cave, thereby decreasing our oxygen intake, which then affects our brain functioning, overall energy level and our emotional state. It also, in decreasing our lung capacity, slows the transfer of air in and out of the lungs, increasing the onset and length of colds, bronchial and lung infections. (And you thought that it simply didn’t look so great!) Thorough postural muscle evaluation and subsequent strengthening of the weak postural muscles can contribute to improving a slumping posture of the upper back and its ever present cohort, Forward Head Posture (FHP), restoring stronger stature and overall improved whole body vitality.