Addressing Knee Pain during Pregnancy through Chiropractic Care!

Addressing Knee Pain during Pregnancy through Chiropractic Care!

Pregnancy is a whirlwind of emotions and changes, and sometimes, those changes include the not-so-welcome addition of knee pain.

While pregnant women may choose from many remedies, have you ever considered chiropractic care to relieve knee pain?

It might sound a bit off the beaten path, but chiropractic treatment is a tried-and-true method numerous moms swear by.

Chiropractors offer a hands-on approach to make your journey to motherhood a little less painful by aligning the body and providing relief to those stressed knee joints!

3 Causes of Knee Pain during Pregnancy

For starters, as your baby grows, so does your weight.

The increased weight puts additional pressure on your knees. It’s like carrying a heavy backpack everywhere you go; after a while, you’re bound to feel it in your legs and knees.

Furthermore, pregnant bodies go through wild hormonal changes during pregnancy.

One such change is the release of a hormone called relaxin. This hormone loosens the ligaments in the pelvic area to make room for the baby and prepare for childbirth. It also travels throughout the body and causes other joints to become more relaxed and less stable, leading to pain and discomfort.

Some pregnant patients experience knee pain right from the get-go—in their first trimester. The pain occurs due to the surge of pregnancy hormones causing knee swelling. As the body adapts to the newness of pregnancy, the knees bear the brunt of these changes.

Lastly, the body’s center of gravity shifts as the belly grows, altering how a pregnant woman walks or stands.

Does Knee Pain Go Away after Pregnancy?

We talked about how knee pain haunts some pregnant women, but here’s the million-dollar question:

“Does pregnancy knee pain bid adieu once the baby arrives?”

For many women, the answer is a hopeful “yes.”

Once the baby is born, a myriad of the factors contributing to knee pain begin to fade. The extra weight reduces as the body starts returning to its pre-pregnancy state.

Also, those pregnancy hormones that were causing all sorts of body changes level out after giving birth. Especially the hormone relaxin, which makes the ligaments looser, decreases in the system. Therefore, the knee ligaments regain their strength and stability.

While many women might feel their knee pain vanish after pregnancy, some might still experience pain. Factors like the speed of weight loss, the intensity of physical activity after childbirth, and even genetics determine how quickly pregnancy knee pain disappears.

For those still facing discomfort, we recommend seeing a doctor or a physical therapist, who may offer exercises or stretches to alleviate knee pain.

Pregnant woman stretching

How Does Chiropractic Care Address Knee Pain during Pregnancy?

Let’s dive into how a knee pain pregnancy chiropractor, like Dr. Doerr, is a game-changer for expecting moms experiencing those bothersome knee pains.

First off, Dr. Doerr will point out that the spine and pelvic region play a considerable role in knee pain during pregnancy.

When your spine and pelvis are misaligned, they cause a ripple effect throughout your body, reaching down to your knees. This misalignment occurs due to the extra weight and changes in posture that come with pregnancy.

By gently adjusting the spine and pelvic ligaments, chiropractors balance out that ripple effect, relieving knee pain.

Another awesome thing about chiropractic care is its holistic focus on the body.

Dr. Doerr doesn’t just look at your knee and call it a day. Instead, he’ll assess your entire body’s mechanics. This comprehensive approach ensures that the root cause of the knee pain is addressed rather than just managing it on the surface.

Chiropractic care is also beneficial for women with severe knee pain. Techniques like soft tissue therapy reduce inflammation in the knee area. Plus, chiropractors offer advice on exercises and stretches tailored for pregnant patients, further helping in mitigating discomfort.

Beyond physical therapy and adjustments, chiropractors also provide guidance on proper footwear and orthotic supports. The right support will make a world of difference in how your knees feel!

Can I Visit My Chiropractor during My Second and Third Trimester?

The answer is a resounding “yes”!

In fact, many chiropractors specialize in prenatal care, meaning they’ve got the know-how and the skills to safely treat pregnant women, no matter what stage they’re in.

One fantastic aspect of seeking chiropractic care in the second and third trimesters is that it’s not just about the knees. While the goal might be to address knee pain, the adjustments also help with overall alignment, potentially easing other pregnancy-related discomforts.

While numerous women benefit from chiropractic care during their second trimester and third trimester, it’s essential to discuss this with your primary care physician or OB/GYN.

5 DIY Ways to Treat Knee Pain during Pregnancy

5 DIY Ways to Treat Knee Pain during Pregnancy

Especially as you hit your second and third trimesters, knee pain will feel like it’s taking center stage. But don’t fret, as our DIY ways will address this pain and keep you moving smoothly throughout your pregnancy journey!

Get Moving, but Gently!

Exercise is your friend, even during pregnancy.

Light activities like swimming or prenatal yoga may be your ticket to knee pain relief. Water-based exercises take the weight off your joints. So, while your belly grows during the second and third trimesters, take a dip in the pool and let the water work its magic!

Kick Your Feet Up!

Elevation does wonders when it comes to reducing swelling.

If you’ve been on your feet all day, take a few minutes to relax and elevate your legs. This simple action reduces the pressure on your knees, giving them a much-needed break.

Watch Your Weight (But Don’t Stress Too Much)

Gaining weight during pregnancy is healthy and expected. But keeping an eye on excess weight gain is recommended as extra pounds add stress to your knees.

Comfy Shoes Are Key

Let’s be honest; those high heels were probably lost in the closet anyway.

Wearing comfortable and supportive shoes during pregnancy will make a world of difference for your knees.

Consider investing in a good pair of supportive sneakers or flats. Your knees (and feet) will thank you!

Gentle Stretches

Stretching, especially with guidance from a physical therapist or a prenatal yoga instructor, provides much-needed pain relief. They’ll be able to show you the best moves to relieve tension and keep your knees feeling good.

Pregnant woman stretching

Is Pregnancy Giving You Weak Knees? Chiropractic Care Comes to the Rescue!

Every pregnancy is unique. What works wonders for one person might not work for another.

Always consult a healthcare professional before making significant changes or if the pain persists.

Pregnancy is all about listening to your body and finding what’s best for you and your growing baby. Keep rocking that baby bump, and know that you’ve got this!

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere. 

Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic care for knee joint pain during pregnancy!

References

  1. “5 Ways Chiropractic Can Help Reduce Pain during Pregnancy.” Chiropractors, 23 Dec. 2020, www.drckennedychiro.com/5-ways-chiropractic-can-help-reduce-pain-during-pregnancy/. Accessed 30 Oct. 2023.
  2. “Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy? Here’s What You Should Know.” Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy? Here’s What You Should Know: Trace L Alexander, DC, FNP: Chiropractic Physician, www.drtracealexander.com/blog/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy-heres-what-you-should-know. Accessed 30 Oct. 2023.
  3. “The Facts about Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy.” OC Wellness Physicians Medical Group, 31 July 2023, ocwellnessphysicians.com/the-facts-about-chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy/. Accessed 30 Oct. 2023.
  4. Ultimate Guide: Chiropractic Care in Pregnancy, www.chiropractorwimbledon.com/blogg/903-ultimate-guide-chiropractic-care-in-pregnancy. Accessed 30 Oct. 2023.
Debunking 12 Universal Myths about Chiropractic Care!

Debunking 12 Universal Myths about Chiropractic Care!

Chiropractors have been treating millions of people worldwide for their lingering back pain, neck pain, and headaches for decades now.

But it wasn’t until the recent age of social media that the popularity of chiropractors skyrocketed.

Videos of chiropractors cracking necks and spines have surfaced online, and more chiropractic myths came with all that added buzz.

Seeing these videos of chiropractors looking like they’re about to break someone’s neck leads people to Googling, “Are chiropractors dangerous?”

Lo and behold, the answer is “no!”

Chiropractic care is one of the best things you can do for your spine health, and we’re here to debunk all the common myths about chiropractors so you won’t feel scared to see one!

Spinal manipulation

Setting the Record Straight on Chiropractic Care

Myth #1: Chiropractors Are Not Real Doctors

Being a doctor isn’t just about the title or the attire. It’s about the level of study, the kind of knowledge you’ve got under your belt, and the responsibilities you take on to look after people’s health.

Chiropractors are doctors—just not the same type as your family physician. They’re called doctors of chiropractic, earning that title through 4 years of graduate-level education to learn all about bones, nerves, muscles, and ligaments.

After graduating, they must pass a rigorous board exam and earn a license—just like medical doctors.

Furthermore, even after all that studying and testing, chiropractic doctors are dedicated to continuous learning by taking courses and staying up-to-date with the latest in health care to keep their license fresh.

And if you’re still skeptical about their extensive training, both federal law and the Department of Health and Human Services officially recognize chiropractors as doctors—the ultimate stamp of approval!

Myth #2: Chiropractors Are Not Trusted by the Medical Community

It’s true that back in the day, there was a bit of a cold shoulder from the medical community towards chiropractors. They just didn’t get what chiropractic professionals were all about.

Fast-forwarding to the 80s, a massive legal showdown in Illinois determined that the American Medical Association was unfair to the chiropractic profession.

Nowadays, medical doctors often give a high-five to chiropractors, sending patients their way when they know it’s a musculoskeletal issue right up the chiropractor’s alley! And chiropractors do the same, referring patients to medical doctors when their healthcare expertise is needed.

Myth #3: Chiropractic Is All about Back Pain

medical issues addressed through chiropractic care

Chiropractic care is a secret passageway to overall health, not just a quick fix for a sore back!

Other than back and neck pain, chiropractic medicine will also address:

Myth #4: Chiropractic Adjustments Are Painful

Chiropractic adjustments may look painful because of all the cracking and popping noises. But the truth is, these sounds are no different than the sound you hear when you crack your knuckles! 

Imagine you’ve got a soda bottle, and you twist the cap off. You hear that fizz and pop, right?

That’s approximately what happens during a chiropractic adjustment—the gas bubbles in the joints are released with a popping sound, which many patients find satisfying!

Myth #5: Chiropractic Techniques Cause Strokes

When we hear “stroke,” we automatically think of the brain and the nervous system.

Since chiropractors work with the spine—a big part of the nervous system—some have correlated chiropractic treatments to stroke incidents.

But the science says otherwise.

Numerous peer-reviewed studies have disproved—time and time again—the link between chiropractic care and stroke.

All the stroke incidents following spine manipulations were caused by previous injuries, whose pain the patients were seeking to alleviate through chiropractic treatment. 

Myth #6: Chiropractic Care Always Requires X-Rays

spinal x-rays

Not all chiropractic visits involve X-rays. Period.

If you’ve got a simple problem, like your back being out of whack because you slept funny, an adjustment is all your chiropractor needs to sort out your discomfort.

Indeed, X-rays allow chiropractors to see your musculoskeletal system up close. However, not all issues stem from the bones—something X-rays won’t show!

While some chiropractors perform X-rays during your first visit to get the complete picture of your spine, it’s not a must-do for every patient or problem.

Myth #7: Chiropractic Treatment Requires Permanent Care

Chiropractic care isn’t some trap ensnaring you forever and ever.

Instead, it’s about putting a tailored treatment plan in place. 

Some patients require several visits to tackle a tricky back issue. In contrast, others are good to go after a quick spinal adjustment!

Once they’ve done their job, your chiropractor will teach you how to care for your back with exercise routines and healthy habits. Their guidance will empower you to preserve your proper posture!

Indeed, some patients regularly see their chiropractor to keep their spine health in tip-top shape. However, that’s a personal choice, not a must-do.

Myth #8: Chiropractic Care Only Applies to Adults

Chiropractic care isn’t just for adults—it’s for everyone, kids included!

Kids can get sore from a playground tumble or carrying a heavy backpack. And just like adults, they have a nervous system that needs to stay in tip-top shape to keep them being their bouncy, jumpy, playful selves without any aches or pains getting in the way.

The wonders of chiropractic care also work on infants. Colic symptoms, ear infections, and acid reflux are but a handful of the issues chiropractic techniques are more than able to address!

Myth #9: Chiropractic Care Is Expensive

Woman settling up expenses

Some of us hear the word “chiropractor” and immediately think dollar signs.

But here’s the real scoop: chiropractic care is not as costly as you think!

Chiropractors are all teaching your body how to better take care of itself better. Their goal is to boost your musculoskeletal health so much that you don’t need to come back all the time. Plus, they empower their patients with tips on how to stay well, like DIY stretches and exercises!

Furthermore, plenty of insurance plans cover chiropractic visits. And even if your insurance doesn’t cover it, many chiropractors offer payment plans to ensure the cost-effectiveness of your chiropractic care!

Patients without insurance can expect a $175 fee for the initial visit (including an overall health consultation) and $66 for every follow-up treatment session!

Myth #10: You Don’t Need a Chiropractor for Chiropractic Care

You’ve probably seen people twist their neck or back until they hear a loud pop and say, “I just gave myself a chiropractic adjustment!”

But before drawing any conclusions, the answer is no: that’s not how chiropractic care works.

Chiropractic professionals don’t just randomly twist you like a Rubik’s Cube—they have a plan and know how to adjust your body safely.

Also, when a part of your body is sore or stiff, and you feel like you need to pop it, it’s usually a sign that something’s not quite right. A chiropractor can figure out the source of the discomfort and help fix it. But trying to fix it yourself amounts to taking a shot in the dark without solving the real problem!

So, while it might be tempting to try and adjust yourself, it’s not the safest idea.

Myth #11: Chiropractors May Only See Referred Patients

Like visiting a dentist for a toothache, you can see a chiropractor if your back’s bugging you or you want to keep your body in tip-top shape.

All you need to do is pick up the phone, make a call, and book an appointment with your chiropractor.

No need to get a note from primary care physicians first!

Myth #12: You Should Only See a Chiropractor When You’re in Pain

Chiropractic care isn’t just about crying “uncle!” when you’re hurting; it’s also about keeping your body running smoothly.

Regular chiropractic visits are akin to a supportive coach who makes sure you’re moving right, standing tall, and not putting too much pressure on any one spot. They also help keep your spine—your body’s information highway—in line. 

When the spine is in optimal shape, messages from your brain zip down your spinal cord and out to your body without a hitch!

Plus, getting your back checked out even when not in pain may reveal tiny problems before they cause significant damage.

chiropractic manipulation

We’re Looking Forward to Helping You at Our NJ Chiropractic Offices!

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere. 

Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on debunking common chiropractic myths!

References

  1. “5 Universal Myths about Chiropractic Medicine.” National University Of Health Sciences, 17 Jan. 2023, www.nuhs.edu/5-universal-myths-about-chiropractic-medicine/. Accessed 7 Nov. 2023.
  2. “Chiropractic Myths and Facts.” Keith Clinic, 14 June 2019, keithclinic.com/patient-health/chiropractic-care/chiropractic-myths-and-facts/. Accessed 7 Nov. 2023.
  3. “Chiropractic Myths and Facts.” Lake Health and Chiropractic – Chiropractor in Grove, OK, www.lakehealthandchiropractic.com/articles/dear_doctor_chiro/592927-chiropractic-myths-and-facts. Accessed 7 Nov. 2023.
  4. “Debunking the Top 9 Chiropractic Myths.” Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine, 23 Sept. 2022, www.northeastspineandsports.com/blog/debunking-the-top-9-chiropractic-myths/. Accessed 7 Nov. 2023.
  5. “Myths & Facts.” Pure Family Chiropractic, 8 May 2023, www.purefamilychiro.com/myths-and-facts/. Accessed 7 Nov. 2023.
How Long after Chiropractic Care Can I Exercise?

How Long after Chiropractic Care Can I Exercise?

So, you’ve just had a chiropractic adjustment, and you’re feeling better than ever.

You might think, “Is it time to jump back into my exercise routine?” or “How soon can I hit the gym?”

Regular exercise after a chiropractic adjustment benefits both the body and the mind, but you must do it the right way.

In this article, we will dive into the do’s and don’ts of post-adjustment workout routines so you can make the most of your newfound flexibility and alignment!

Should I Exercise before or after My Chiropractic Visit?

Hitting the gym or going for a run before your chiropractic appointment will significantly benefit your treatment. A light exercise routine will warm up your muscles and add to their flexibility. This means your body will be more relaxed and easier to manipulate when you visit your chiropractor.

But what about working out after a chiropractic appointment? Exercising immediately after might not be the best move. Your body has just been adjusted, and it’s now settling into a new groove. 

Give your body some time to relax and get used to the adjustments. Rushing into a workout could mess with the excellent work your chiropractor just did.

A healthy rule of thumb is to take it easy for at least a few hours after your appointment. Limit your workout to light stretches or a gentle walk. After that, you can slowly get back into your routine.

4 Benefits of Exercising after a Chiropractic Adjustment

4 Benefits of Exercising after a Chiropractic Adjustment

First off, light exercise boosts your blood flow. And more blood flow means your body gets more fuel to heal and do its job appropriately!

Next, light workouts keep your muscles flexible. After a chiropractic session, your muscles might feel a bit tight or stiff. That is why gentle stretches or a light walk will ease that feeling of tightness and help you feel more nimble and loose.

Let’s remember the mood boost. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals in your brain. Not only are you helping your body heal, but you’re also giving yourself a mini happiness boost!

Lastly, working out lightly after a chiropractic adjustment will help your body settle into its new alignment. Think of it like practicing a new dance move you just learned so you don’t forget it!

Focus on Stretches and Cardio after Chiropractic Care

What can you do to keep the party going? We’ve got two words for you: stretching and cardio.

First up, stretching.

After your chiropractic session, your muscles might feel like they’ve had a workout, even if they haven’t. That’s because they’re adjusting to the changes from the manipulation.

Here are some stretches that will boost the healing process after a chiropractic appointment:

  1. Neck Tilt: Gently tilt your head to one side, like you’re trying to touch your ear to your shoulder. Hold the pose briefly, then switch to the other side.
  2. Shoulder Roll: Lift your shoulders towards your ears, then roll them back and down. It’s like a mini massage for your upper back!
  3. Cat-Cow Stretch: On all fours, arch your back up like an angry cat, then dip it down while looking up. It’s a great way to stretch the entire spine!

3 ideal stretches after chiropractic care

Now, let’s talk cardio.

We recommend sticking to light cardio, like a brisk walk or a gentle bike ride, after a chiropractic adjustment. It gets your heart rate up and increases blood flow, giving your body a fresh dose of healing energy. It’s also a solid way to keep your body moving and grooving with your chiropractic adjustments.

After your chiropractic manipulation, listen to what your body is telling you. If it says, “I’m good to go,” then go for a light workout. But if it’s saying, “Let’s take it easy today,” that’s understandable.

How about Weight Training after Chiropractic Adjustments?

Weight training is incredible for building strength and muscle.

But right after chiropractic treatment? You might want to play it safe.

Think of your body as a newly built tower of blocks. If you put too much pressure on it too quickly, it might wobble or even fall.

Instead, consider using light weights for a while to continue working out without putting too much stress on your freshly adjusted body.

Now, “light weights” doesn’t mean you’re taking the easy way out. It’s all about being smart and letting your body adjust. You will still get a fantastic workout by doing more reps with those lighter weights. As time passes and you feel more stable, you may gradually increase the weight.

So, after chiropractic care, treat your body with kindness, go for lighter weights, and keep rocking your fitness journey safely!

How Long Should I Wait Before Exercising after Chiropractic Adjustments?

Jumping into vigorous exercises too soon may potentially worsen any issues you went to the chiropractor for in the first place.

The general recommendation is to wait at least 24 hours before doing high-impact or strenuous workouts. This time frame lets your body settle into its new, improved alignment.

However, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. The exact wait time varies based on what your chiropractor did during your session and how your body reacts to the treatment.

Be patient, give your body time to adjust, and return to your exercise routine when the time is right!

Feeling Pain during Exercise after Chiropractic Adjustments

feeling pain during exercise after chiropractic adjustments

You’ve just had chiropractic care, and you’re feeling all refreshed and good. You decide it’s time to get moving and start exercising again. But then, as you get into the groove of your workout, you experience sudden spine pain!

First things first: stop whatever you’re doing—no heroics here. If you’re feeling pain, especially back pain, listening to your body before things get worse is essential.

Take a moment to assess the pain. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “barely noticeable” and 10 being “worst pain ever,” how would you rate it? If it’s on the higher end—7 or above—reach out to your chiropractor or a medical professional. They will provide guidance on the next step toward recovery.

Even if the pain is on the lower end of the pain scale, don’t ignore it. It’s still beneficial to rest and give your body a break.

Finally, track any pain you’re experiencing—when it started, how it feels, and any activities that might have triggered it. Such details will help your chiropractor determine if it’s related to your recent adjustment or something else entirely.

Boost Your Workout Routine with Chiropractic Care!

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere. 

Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic care!

References

  1. Banks, Dr. Rachel. “Can I Exercise after Visiting the Chiropractor?” Same Day Chiropractor, Chiropractic Education for Injuries, 1 Sept. 2021, www.arrowheadclinic.com/category/blog/exercise-after-visiting-the-chiropractor?hs_amp=true. Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
  2. Lloyd, Ryan Todd, and Marshall Luck. “Is It OK to Exercise after an Adjustment?” Rincon Chiropractic, 26 Apr. 2023, rinconchiro.com/exercise-after-an-adjustment/. Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
  3. “Scheduling Workouts around Your Chiropractic Adjustment.” Petett Chiropractic, 12 Nov. 2019, petettchiropractic.com/workouts-around-chiropractic-adjustment/. Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
  4. “Should I Exercise after a Chiropractic Adjustment?” Chiropractor, Florida Spine and Injury Blog, 31 Aug. 2020, www.flspineandinjury.com/blog/should-i-exercise-after-a-chiropractic-adjustment?hs_amp=true. Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
  5. “Should You Work out after a Chiropractic Adjustment?” AICA Orthopedics, 25 Oct. 2021, aica.com/should-you-work-out-after-a-chiropractic-adjustment/. Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
  6. “Should You Wait to Work out after a Chiropractic Adjustment.” Effective Integrative Healthcare LLC, 4 Oct. 2022, www.eihmd.com/2022/06/15/should-you-wait-to-work-out-after-a-chiropractic-adjustment/. Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
  7. “What You Should – and Shouldn’t – Do after Your Chiropractic Adjustment.” Swift Health Chiropractic, www.swifthealthchiropractic.com/what-you-should-and-shouldnt-do-after-your-chiropractic-adjustment/. Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
Can a Chiropractor Fix Forward Head Posture?

Can a Chiropractor Fix Forward Head Posture?

Have you noticed that your head is leaning forward too much lately?

You’re not alone.

Numerous people deal with forward head posture—a consistent source of annoying aches and pains.

But here’s the good news: chiropractic care offers a real solution!

In this article, we’ll dive into how Dr. Doerr addresses forward head posture and will help you stand tall again!

What Is Forward Head Posture?

You’re sitting at your desk, looking down at your phone or computer for hours. Without realizing it, your head inches forward. This repeated motion, day after day, will leave you with a specific type of poor posture, where your head sticks out in front of your body. That’s what we call “forward head posture.”

Forward head posture puts extra weight and strain on your neck and upper back, causing discomfort and future spine and muscle issues.

4 Causes of Forward Head Posture

4 causes of forward head posture

Excessive Computer Screen Time

When looking at a computer screen, especially one not at eye level, you end up leaning forward without even noticing. Over time, the leaning motion stresses your neck and back muscles as they support your head’s extra weight.

Too Much Driving

When driving, especially for long periods, there’s a good chance you’re leaning slightly forward to see the road better or to reach the pedals and steering wheel comfortably.

But this repeated movement will shift your head forward from its ideal position over the shoulders.

Now, the body is pretty adaptable. Your body will settle into this new alignment if you’re constantly leaning forward while driving. And just like that, you could find yourself with a forward head posture even when you’re not at the wheel.

Carrying a Heavy Backpack

When carrying a heavy load on your back, your body will try to balance itself by leaning forward. Your head must shift forward to compensate for this forward lean. This is your body’s way of keeping you from toppling over.

Over time, if you’re always sporting a backpack on your shoulders, your head may settle into this forward spot even when you’re not carrying anything.

That’s when forward head posture occurs.

Rounding of the Spinal Column (Kyphosis)

Kyphosis is a spinal condition that describes an exaggerated curve in the upper part of your back, making it look hunched or rounded.

When your upper back starts to round more than it should, your head and neck jut forward to keep things balanced. Dealing with a rounded upper back and a forward head may lead to neck pain, migraines, and muscle overexertion.

4 Forward Head Posture Symptoms

4 forward head posture symptoms

First up, we’ve got intense pain. When your head is constantly forward, it puts a lot of extra strain on the neck and upper back muscles.

Next, there’s soreness—like when you’ve carried a super heavy backpack for too long, and your shoulders start feeling it. That’s what the muscles in your neck and shoulders feel like—constantly sore, constantly reminding you they’re unhappy.

Then, we’ve got fatigue. Your neck and back muscles are exhausted from working extra hard to keep that forward head in place.

Last but not least: headaches. The forward head posture stresses out your muscles, leading to tension headaches and making it almost impossible to focus on anything else.

How Does Forward Head Posture Affect the Spine?

spine anatomy

Forward head posture isn’t just about looking a little funny; it can actually do a number on your spine.

The spine isn’t just one long bone; it’s a series of smaller bones stacked together.

The upper part of your spine, right at the back of your neck, is called the “upper C spine.” When your head tilts forward, this part of the spine feels the pressure. It’s like if you held a heavy book way out in front of yourself—your arms would get tired pretty fast.

Now, let’s move to the “lower C spine.” This part of your spine also responds to the pressure of the forward head posture by keeping your head balanced.

Finally, there’s the “thoracic spine“—the part of the spine in your upper back. With the head pushing forward and the upper and lower C spines doing their best to keep things balanced, the thoracic spine can get pulled and strained, too. It leads to even more pain, and because it’s connected to your ribs, it will make proper breathing harder.

On top of all this, the forward head position causes fatigue. Your muscles are working extra hard to keep things in place—it’s like running a marathon without a finish line in sight!

Am I Likely to Develop a Forward Head Posture?

Am I Likely to Develop a Forward Head Posture?

First up, desk workers! If you spend hours at a computer, hunched over, tapping away at those keys, you might be leaning your head forward without even realizing it.

Now, what about the younger crowd? Hauling around heavy backpacks full of books will make you lean slightly forward to balance the weight.

Gamers and tech lovers are up next. If you’re deep into a video game or endlessly scrolling on your phone or tablet, your head will end up tilting forward. It’s easy to lose track of time and posture when caught up in the digital world.

Lastly, we can’t forget book lovers. Diving into a riveting story for hours will make you forget all about sitting up straight.

Which Muscles Are Affected by Forward Head Posture?

the muscles affected by forward head posture

When your head leans forward a lot, specific muscles work overtime, and some get plain lazy, especially around the neck area:

  • The suboccipital muscles (the tiny muscles at the base of your skull) are the primary muscle group feeling the brunt of the work. When your head pushes forward, they tighten up and work overtime to hold it up—a lot of heavy lifting for such small muscles!
  • The sternocleidomastoid and scalene muscles (on the side and front of your neck) are tiny helpers balancing everything when your head leans forward. But instead of helping, they add to the problem when tense.
  • The upper trapezius and levator scapulae (the muscles on the back of your neck and upper back) get pulled too much because of the forward position of the head.
  • The deep cervical flexors (the muscles deep inside the neck) don’t get the workout they need when your head tilts forward all the time. So, they end up becoming weak neck muscles.

6 Side Effects of Forward Head Posture

6 side effects of forward head posture

While forward head posture might seem trivial, it will lead to a domino effect of not-so-fun side effects:

  • Extra pressure on the neck and spine: Every inch of your head moving forward adds 10 extra pounds of weight to your neck—like carrying around a bowling ball all day!
  • Pain in the neck and upper back
  • Tension headaches
  • Muscle overstretching and tightness: When muscles are unhappy, they cause pain, soreness, and fatigue.
  • Improper jaw alignment and breathing issues: When your head tilts forward, it strains your jaw joint, leading to jaw pain and popping sounds when you open and close your mouth. And because your head tilts forward, it might be harder for you to breathe deeply since your chest and lungs don’t have enough space to expand.
  • Poor aesthetic: A forward head posture will make you look like you’re slouching all the time, even if the rest of your body is standing tall.

Will Chiropractic Care Address My Forward Head Posture?

5 chiropractic treatments for forward head posture

You’ve probably seen someone, or maybe even caught yourself, with the head jutting forward while walking, sitting, or even standing. Forward head posture is a common alignment issue, but the encouraging news is that chiropractic care offers a whole toolbox of methods to help you stand tall and proud—without that forward head lean!

First up, we’ve got spinal manipulation. This is what many patients think of when they hear “chiropractic adjustment.” It’s where a chiropractor uses their hands or an instrument to apply controlled force to a spinal joint. The goal is to improve the movement and position of your spine, thus helping pull your head back into a more natural position.

Next on the list are posture correction exercises for your neck and back. A chiropractor will show you specific exercises to strengthen all the weak muscles and stretch out the tight ones.

Then, there’s soft tissue therapy. This collection of chiropractic treatment techniques is all about massaging and working on the muscles and ligaments around your neck and spine. Getting these areas to relax lowers pain and improves your posture.

Kinesio taping involves applying special tape to support your muscles and joints, guiding them correctly. It’s like having a little posture coach stuck to your back, reminding you to sit or stand up straight.

Lastly, we have heat and cold therapy. It uses warmth or coldness to treat pain and swelling. Your chiropractor will suggest using a warm towel or an ice pack on your neck or back to help soothe discomfort.

3 DIY Remedies for Forward Head Posture

3 diy remedies for forward head posture

First, let’s talk about your workspace.

If you’re spending a lot of time on a computer or at a desk, you want everything to be just right. 

This is where ergonomic adjustments come in:

  • Adjust your computer screen so it’s at eye level.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle.

Now, about bedtime.

The pillow you use can make a huge difference.

Consider changing your sleeping pillow to one that supports your neck but doesn’t prop your head up too much. It’s all about finding that Goldilocks spot—not too flat, not too puffy, just right.

Finally, let’s tackle your backpack situation.

Carrying a heavy bag around all day, especially on one shoulder, can throw your balance off.

Instead of using a single-strap bag, switch to a two-strap backpack. This adjustment will help distribute the weight evenly on both shoulders. Also, make sure you’re not stuffing it too much. A heavy bag will pull you backward, causing you to lean your head forward to compensate.

Discover the Benefits of Practicing Good Posture with Dr. Doerr!

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere. 

Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on ways to correct forward head posture!

References

  1. “6 Symptoms Forward Head Posture How Chiropractic Helps.” New You Chiropractic, 25 July 2023, newyouchiropractic.com.au/blog/forward-head-posture/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.
  2. Benevida. “The Best Ways to Fix Forward Head Posture (Nerd Neck).” Benevida Health & Wellness Center – Kyle & Buda Texas, 5 Aug. 2023, www.benevidawellness.com/how-to-fix-forward-head-posture/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.
  3. “Correcting Forward Head Posture with Chiropractic Care.” Accident Care Chiropractic Chiropractor, 7 Aug. 2023, accidentcarechiropractic.com/correcting-forward-head-posture-with-chiropractic-care/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.
  4. “Everything You Need to Know about Forward Head Posture: Symptoms, Treatment, and How Chiropractors Help.” Https://Www.Renew-Chiropractic.Com/, www.renew-chiropractic.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-forward-head-posture-symptoms-treatment-and-how-chiropractors-help/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.
  5. “Forward Head Posture: Can Chiropractic Care Help?” Awaken Chiropractic & Sports Medicine, Awaken Chiropractic & Sports Medicine, 7 Jan. 2022, awakenchiroco.com/forward-head-posture-can-chiropractic-care-help/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.
  6. “Forward Head Posture: How Chiropractic Care Helps You Look up and Feel Better! – Re:Chiropractic.” Singapore Pain Solutions, 1 Oct. 2023, www.sgpainsolutions.com/general-health-tips/forward-head-posture/. Accessed 25 Oct. 2023.