One of the most common things I treat is something called anterior head translation. This takes place when the ligaments of the posterior aspect of the neck become stretched. That happens to people through two mechanisms, the first “Plastic Deformation of Tissue” the second “Visco-Elastic Deformation of tissue.” Plastic deformation is the slip and fall, car accident, years of contact sports or sports where you fall a lot. Visco-Elastic is where you sit staring at a computer all day or reading for hours at a stretch with your head looking down or forward. These two actions can cause a structural shift that no amount of traditional Chiropractic can deal with.
Before we talk about “Deformation of Tissue” we should define what normal is. The spine is supposed to have four curves on the coronal plane. (Looking at the body from one side through the shoulder coming out the other side shoulder.) When we look at the body on the sagital plane (Front to back) there should be NO curves though its common for some people to have lateral deviation known as scoliosis to varying degrees. The picture to the right represents the “Normal” spine,
If your spine doesn’t have these dimensions, you have a primary structural problem that leads to, which you probably already guessed – secondary conditions or symptoms.
The most common structural shift which I deal with almost every day is Anterior Head Syndrome or A.H.S. for short. The picture below represents A.H.S. Normal alignment is when the skull is over the thorax or in simpler terms.. Your head needs to be balanced over your shoulders.
Simple physics demonstrate that for every half inch of anterior translation there is ten times the stress on the muscles that hold the head up in gravity. When you look at the picture above think of it this way, the head is a twelve pound weight, the neck is a six inch lever arm that is exerting stresses into the rest of the system. The more forward the translation, the more stress it is causing on the bones and muscles mandatory for support of the skull.
If your friends or family are telling you…. “Dude… your head is sticking out” or, “Cheese, you’re starting to look like the hunchback of Notre Dame”, you probably have Head Forward Posture.
Other things that may tip you off to the fact that you are a candidate for Corrective Care are:
1) I store my stress in my shoulders. (Muscle tension and or spasm in the traps or between the shoulder blades.
2) The formation of what’s known as “Dowagers Hump” Though this can also be caused by a genetic disposition of fat right at the top of the shoulders.
3) Numbness and tingling in a hand or hands.
4) Alteration of grip strength.
5) Degeneration of the spinal vertebra (Though this takes time to develop.)
6) Degeneration of the vertebral disc’s.
If you have any of these symptoms, you may want to seek out a corrective course of Chiropractic care rather than the band-aid symptomatic relief approach. I’ve had an amazing amount of success with this process and it helps people who have had chronic pain more than you can possibly imagine.
If this makes sense to you feel free to call me at my office (415) 922 2225 for a complimentary consultation to see if this approach may be right for you.
As always thanks for reading, yours in Health, Dr. Camp