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The Impact of the "I" Hunch on Your Spine: 3 Effects You Should Know

I hunchEvery day, our spines endure continuous stress as they fulfill two crucial functions: protecting the central nervous system and withstanding the forces of gravity. However, in today’s world, one major stressor poses a significant threat to our spinal health—the excessive use of gadgets. Whether it’s cellphones, iPads, or Kindles, constantly looking down at these devices places immense strain on our spinal structure. In this article, we’ll explore three effects of the “I” hunch posture and its impact on your spine.

Effect #1: The Reverse Neck Curve Emerges

This postural deviation that goes unnoticed and uncorrected during childhood can lead to more significant issues in adulthood. As children increasingly spend time looking down at gadgets, the cervical curve—the natural curvature of the neck—begins to change, usually for the worse. These alterations in the neck curve have long-term consequences.

As the abnormal amount of pressure begins to build into the central nerve system it may result in many headaches, neck pain, anxiety, congestion and poor sleep.

Effect #2: Your Spine Overcompensates

Adopting a forward head posture can exert abnormal leverage of up to thirty pounds on the cervical spine. While the immediate focus may be on the cervical spine, the entire spine is forced to work overtime to maintain balance. Consequently, constant muscle tension, knots, and irritation may manifest throughout the spine due to the imbalances originating in the neck area. Resulting in people feeling wound up and wore out constantly!

Effect #3: Unnecessary Stress on Your Spine

Consistently leaning the head forward places automatic stress on the central nervous system (CNS). Repetitive stress leading to alterations in spinal curvature can result in various health issues. Without proper support, the spinal bones create tension (up to 60 pounds of pressure) and stress on the spinal cord. As this pressure increases, your brain must now decide its next function: are we going to protect against this or rest and digest this? The brain becomes fight/flight dominant and we begin to perform as if we are constantly being chased by a bear.

Are you going to eat, sleep, or poop when you are being chased by a bear!? Those functions are put to the way side as you become consumed protecting yourself against this unrelating stress.

Taking Action for Better Spinal Health

While poor posture is a common occurrence, it becomes problematic when left unaddressed. Monitoring your posture and having your spine checked for subluxations—the misalignments of spinal vertebrae—allow your body to adapt to the constant stress it faces. By taking proactive steps to maintain proper spinal alignment, you can mitigate the harmful effects of the “I” hunch and promote long-term spinal health.

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