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poor posture neck pain

How Does Poor Posture Contribute to Neck Pain?

If you have poor posture, neck pain is likely a part of your life. The United States reports roughly one-fifth of adults experiencing neck or shoulder discomfort, typically starting as mild discomfort and becoming more severe when untreated. Pain then advances downward toward the upper back and becomes a chronic issue that drastically diminishes a person’s quality of life without professional intervention.

The good news is that pain is an indication of a problem, and chiropractic solutions are well worth considering for neck and back-related pain. Ribley Chiropractic fields many questions about poor posture, neck pain, and related conditions from our patients in Georgia. If neck pain is making life more difficult, here are a few facts that may help you find a solution:

Is There a Noticeable Difference Between Good and Bad Posture?

Pain has complex roots, but neck pain is almost always related to poor posture. Diseases and physical impact may also cause neck pain, and poor posture only exacerbates these incidences. Most people do not consciously notice their spinal or head posture throughout the day, and slight adjustments to improve your posture can have instantly noticeable effects. 

Posture affects all aspects of day-to-day life, from sitting at a desk for work to lounging on the couch at home. However, proper posture is not only sitting with an upright spine, and professionals like Ribley’s Chiropractic work with several spinal positioning techniques to address these imbalances naturally.

What is the Correct Neck Posture?

One of the leading causes of pain stemming from poor posture is improper head placement. For example, using a computer for prolonged periods of time tends to push the head forward, known as ‘forward head posture.’ Holding the head in this position causes a significant amount of neck pain, which is why correct sitting looks like:

  • placing the ears directly above the shoulders
  • aligning the shoulders with the hips,
  • aligning the head and cervical spine to minimize pressure to the neck.

Leaning forward for too long causes muscle imbalances that increase stress and highlight poor posture; neck pain solutions almost always require an adjusted sitting position.

Do the Shoulders and Elbows Play a Role in Neck Pain?

Yes. Proper shoulder and elbow positioning is vital to correct head, neck, and general posture. The first step is to keep the shoulders relaxed and aligned with the hips while sitting. Hunched shoulders (either forward or pulled back) will strain both the neck and cervical spine. It is also best to position the elbows close to the body at a relaxed 90- or 120-degree angle.

Why Does Poor Posture Cause Neck Pain?

Poor posture causes neck pain because of improper positioning that forces the body to work harder. When a shoulder, spine, and neck posture do not align well, muscles take the strain, and the position is difficult to sustain. Slight muscle strain might not sound serious, but prolonged bouts of poor posture lead to pain and weaken those areas to be more susceptible to injury.

Ribley’s Chiropractic sees three common problems of poor posture (neck pain included):

Increased Head Weight

The average human head weighs ten to twelve pounds, and the primary job of the cervical spine is to support the head. The human body carries that much weight around comfortably, but only when sitting with perfect posture. Leaning the head forward past the shoulders by even one inch can exponentially increase the pressure on the spine and cause persistent neck pain.

Strained Muscles

When it comes to poor posture, neck pain often arises from the simple stress added to the cervical spine. However, overworking the muscles (including sitting with the head too far forward or hunched shoulders) could add to the discomfort. The muscles in the neck and upper back are not made to hold a person’s head in place while fighting excess forces of gravity through misaligned structures. 

The increased burden can lead to muscle imbalances that lead to:

  • stiffness,
  • strains, and
  • spasms.

Stretched Spinal Cord

Sitting with poor posture for too long can damage the upper and lower cervical spine. Even leaning forward with just the lower back portion will not readjust the neck and upper cervical spine enough to counteract this pressure. The human brain keeps the head upright so that the eyes can look forward, and vertebrae will not correctly align while sitting for a long time; the result is typically an unnatural spinal curve that stretches the spine and nearby nerves.

Are There Other Common Causes of Neck Pain?

A common cause of pain is poor posture; neck pain does have many other causes, though. Common diagnoses that we see at Ribley’s Chiropractic include several issues, like car accidents and osteoarthritis. This pain makes it potentially more difficult to fix than adjusting posture, but relief is still possible.

Car Accidents

Severe car accidents often result in whiplash, an injury where the collision forces a person’s head back and forth vigorously enough to damage the soft tissues in the neck. Unlike poor posture, neck pain from whiplash needs careful therapy and plenty of time to heal.


As a degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis tends to wear down bone cartilage. It is a common cause of neck pain in those with this type of condition, and treatments vary according to the extent of the damage and the progression of the disease.

Call The Ribley Chiropractic Professionals For Neck Pain Solutions

Ribley’s Chiropractic is happy to answer any questions you have about how chiropractors can assist with neck pain and the various options for neck pa treatment and solutions in Woodstock, GA. Our team has been helping clients in Georgia find solutions for pain and injury for years—we would love to help you explore your options for a pain-free life. 

Call Ribley Chiropractic’s Woodstock chiropractic care team at (770) 592-2505 today to find out how you can address poor posture, neck pain, or anything else detracting from your quality of life.