More reasons to keep your head up.

We’ve heard for years about the dangers of text neck and bending our heads forward. Symptoms from this poor posture include things like neck, shoulder, and upper back pain but new research is showing a new reason to keep your head up.

Anatomy and the problem

vertebral artery

The path of the vertebral arteries run vertically through the cervical spine in the transverse foramen.

Blood supply to the brain comes from four different arteries, 2 internal carotid and 2 vertebral arteries. The vertebral arteries are exceptionally unique as they ascend to the brain through openings in the sides of the cervical vertebrae called transverse foramen.

Normal cervical curve

In a normal cervical curve, the vertebral artery runs in its’s neutral position through the transverse foramen.

straight cervical curve

When the neck straightens, stretching of the vertebral artery occurs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In normal anatomy, the cervical spine has a backwards curve, called a lordosis. A forward head posture can lead to a straightening or loss of this normal curve. When this happens, the vertebral artery is stretched and causes decreased vertebral artery hemodynamics. That means less flow of blood to the brain! Now, this is unlikely to cause immediate, major damage thanks to the blood supply from the other arteries. But this may be responsible for symptoms like headaches, brain fog, and other subtle neurologic problems.

Keep your head up

Keeping your head up takes a conscious effort to hold your phone at a proper height and dedication to regular exercises to help maintain your posture.  Friends and family are great teammates to help keep you in check and your chiropractor can be a great resource for additional exercises and adjustments to help align your spine.