While most of us have a look in the mirror at least once a day, few of us look at our appearance from a different angle, such as from the side. But, the view from the side can be quite revealing if you suffer from chronic neck pain.
First, note the position of your head in relation to you shoulders. Is it right above the shoulders or does it lean forward from your chest? If it does, this would be called forward head posture, and can come from a problem in your neck. Lower areas of your spine can also cause this problem. Some of us have increased our weight over the years with much of it added to our abdominal region. Because of this increased core weight, the body must counter-balance the weight gain by causing the lumbar spine to “sway- back.”
While this “sway-back” problem can create pain this the lumbar spine, it can also have far reaching effects in the posture of the neck. Usually someone with a protruding stomach and sway back will have somewhat rounded shoulders and a forward head posture. If treatment is only directed at the neck without considering how other areas may affect the stability of the neck, then the results may be less than optimum.
In an accident, many areas of the body can potentially be injured.
As a chiropractor, I not only look at your primary injuries but also how mechanically one area of the spine can affect a distant area. These more distant areas can cause neck pain by referral or they can impede complete recovery because the body is compensating for abnormal posture or movement elsewhere.
X-rays of the full spine can show this abnormal posture as can a detailed postural analysis from our office.
So do you like what you see when you view your posture from the side? If your posture leaves something to be desired, or you’re wondering whether your neck problem could be improved by changing another part of your spine, then it is important to be thoroughly checked. Just examining the neck after a whiplash may leave some injuries undiscovered. Are there tender spots in other areas of the spine? Does your overall upright posture seem lacking?