From the side, your spine looks like a “wiggly worm.” It is comprised of six functional curves that determine the health and function of the spinal column and Central Nervous System.
When one or more of the curves is lost, a health threatening condition called Forward Head Posture (FHP) occurs. FHP is caused by an injury or a prolonged exposure to hazardous conditions, like sitting at a computer, working at a production line for prolonged hours, etc.
We see Forward Head Posture all around us, but we usually refer to it as "slouching." In reality, FHP causes many dangerous complications.
Joints, discs, ligaments, and tendons don’t have any blood vessels in a human body. Their health depends on a proper motion or loading and unloading cycles. Injuries, occupational diseases, poor diet, lifestyle, etc., cause abnormal posture, which in its turn, causes abnormally low motion in these structures.
As a result, the pathologically decreased motion slows down nutrients and water interchange in the structures from twice per day to once every 500 days, and eventually leads to degeneration of joints, discs, ligaments, and tendons.
FHP is also responsible for constant headaches, shoulder pain, mid back pain, lower back pain, pain in the extremities, and joint pain.
For example, when muscles are supporting your body weight all day long, they perform work. Work in physics is defined as, Work (W) = Distance (D) multiplied by Force (F), or W=D x F.
Imagine this: you know that carrying 50 lbs over a distance of 100 yards is harder than carrying it over ten yards. This is because 100 yards is a longer distance than ten yards, and even though force or load (50lf) remains the same, longer distance causes you to perform more work.
FHP creates a similar problem; the head moves forward from the body's center of gravity. Thus, a distance from center of gravity increases (strait neck), and muscles that hold the head up are forced to do more work to hold it up right. The more work muscles do, the faster they get tired and cause pain. This is why your pain always returns.
FHP also overloads spinal joints. This overload causes joint and disc degeneration. The longer you have FHP, the greater degenerative joint and disc disease you will have. Therefore, it is in your best interest to resolve this condition rather sooner than later.
There is only one way to resolve this problem. The neck curve must be restored so that head could return as close to the center of gravity as possible. Muscles will then relax, while pain will recede.
The "Pettibon System" is the best tool for the job.
Interestingly enough, incorrect body weight distribution caused by FHP will also cause lower back pain, shoulders pain, hips pain, knees pain, etc.
To learn more about what researchers are finding out about hazardous effects of poor posture on your health, please read our section titled "what experts are finding."