“90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine” Dr. Roger Sperry, (Nobel Prize Recipient for Brain Research) When your spine is not aligned properly (or has vertebral subluxation), it causes improper movement and forward head posture which will cause poor function and communication in your brain. Good news, Dr. Kimberly Maxwell at Abundant Health Family Chiropractic in Bozeman, trained in functional neurology, can help.

Your Head Posture is a Reflex

One of the most common patterns of poor posture and subluxation we see daily is forward head posture.  It is the root of what we identify as “bad posture”.  Your posture is a neurologic reflex developed in the first year of your life. You are not suppose to have to”think about your posture” to make it good.  Your good posture is suppose to happen automatically.  Yes, you can override this reflex by “thinking about good posture”, (Mom’s say: “Stand up straight”) but this does not make permanent changes, as you cannot spend your whole day “thinking about how to make your posture good”.

Sensitive cervical spine receptors in your neck govern the body’s ability to balance and must be perfectly coordinated with the inner ear’s balance system to stabilize equilibrium in both static posture and gait(movement). Keeping the eyes looking forward is a basic life-preserving reflex, and as such, dominates nearly all other postural considerations.  This means your body will twist (scoliosis), shift, contract, spasm to hold your eyes up as even to the horizon as as possible.  Because this is a primary life preserving reflex, you body will to this at the expense of other body function.  (It adapts to survive, but this form of adaptation is depleting to your system).

Consequences of Forward Head Posture

The consequences of having forward head posture extend far beyond asthetics and can even dictate your personality.  According to Roger Sperry’s brain research, a forward head posture will cause the brain to rob energy from thinking, metabolism, and immune function, and rob you of the ability to process under static and dynamic motion.  The March 2000 Mayo Clinic Health Letter expounded on
Sperry’s findings by reporting that prolonged forward head posture also leads to “muscle spasm, disc herniations, arthritis and pinched nerves.” Degenerative neck pain goes hand-in-hand with
balance and coordination problems as well as cognitive function in adults and children.  Forward head posture puts stress on your spinal cord and nerve tracks traveling to your low back and extremities.  Forward head posture affects digestive function, cuts off oxygen to your muscles and brain, and increase stress to your system.  

Forward head posture is a condition that can affect both kids and adults.  It starts as a nerve interference caused by stresses that have overwhelmed the body.  This nerve interference (vertebral subluxation) affects neurologic tone (too much or too little tone).   The most common stresses causing nerve interference are birth trauma,  sitting postures, computer and technology overuse,  diminished physical activity, learned coping, over stimulation from unnatural sources (food, light, noise, technology), lack of quality human connections,  repetitive and traumatic strains.

In children the consequences show up as retained primitive reflexes, low or high tone, torticollis, developmental/behavioral challenges,  deficient fine and/or gross motor skills, cognitive delays, and scoliosis.  In adults the impacts can cause headache, neck pain, low back pain, acid reflux, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, dystonia’s, tremors, stiffness, scoliosis, arthritis, dis-coordination, lack of balance, lack endurance, and fatigue.  Long term consequences mental disorders, Parkinson’s, autoimmune disease, dementia, Alzeihmer’s and premature death (yes….it is that serious).

Correction Happens through a Neurologic Chiropractic Approach

Correction is a top down, inside out approach.  A researcher, R. Cailliet  states: “Most attempts to correct posture are directed toward the spine, shoulders and pelvis. All are important, but, head position takes precedence over all others. The body follows the head. Therefore, the entire body is best aligned by first restoring proper functional alignment to the head”. The most effective way to improve head posture and functional alignment is through a Chiropractic approach.  The Chiropractic approach is unique from posture and exercised based programs. Specifically, the chiropractic adjustment,  utilizes the literal hard wiring of your brain to the joints of your spine to influence and improve  neurologic reflexes, and  nerve tone .  These adjustments coupled with specific neurologic exercises give you correct the central integration deficiencies of your nervous system and allow for long term corrections.

Take Action Now…

You may also request an appointment online Click here.   A professional evaluation can assess your head position and posture to determine if you are in need of specific care protocols.  In Bozeman, Dr. Kimberly Maxwell at Abundant Health Family Chiropractic is THE go-to resource for the health and wellbeing of your entire family, starting with prenatal care!  Being 20 years in practice, you can trust her expertise and experience in serving you and your family, keeping you healthy, well, and wise.