Your posture influences the function and movement of your spine dramatically. Some postural variations are genetic but the majority are caused by what we do all day. The biggest problem, by far, is being seated in a bent-over position with your head forward all day.
When you are slouched forward—in front of the computer, reading, using your mobile phone, looking down at something, or even leaning back against a couch or bed-head—the head sits forward of the body for too long, and the back is too rounded. When you do this for several hours a day, many days a week, the joints, muscles, and ligaments get used to being in this position. The joints start to seize up in this posture, and the soft tissue adapts to this position. It becomes harder to keep yourself nice and straight.
When the joints of the base of the neck sit in this flexed position, they don’t sit on each other as neatly. This predisposes them to becoming jammed or restricted. In this position there is more irritation, which can cause adhesions to form in the joints and inflammation to build up. The muscles have too much work harder in this position and they become strained, knotted, tight and painful. The result is pain and tension at the base of the neck between the neck and the shoulder blade. This is the most common problem we see. Massage in the area only gives short term relief because there is joint restriction underlying the problem that needs to be corrected. The solution is to rehabilitate the muscles and release the underlying joint restriction and nerve irritation. This is the only treatment that gives lasting results.
The slouched position also affects the lower back and hip areas in two ways:
(i) The flexor muscles of the hip become shorter over time, and the lower mid-back (dorsal) spine can seize up in a flexed position. Both of these lead to too much arch in the lower back, causing lower back problems, and/or resultant gluteal problems.
(ii) The lower lumbar joints (usually lumbo-sacral joint or sometimes the sacro-iliac joint) can become jammed up and restricted, causing back pain, gluteal spasm, and/or sciatica.
The problems that result from our modern lifestyle of sitting with the head forward need a combination of soft tissue and joint correction. If you do not correct both problems, the issues will reoccur.