Photo Credit ( Hernán Piñera )

Photo Credit (Hernán Piñera)

Paying attention to their side profile could help women avoid neck and back problems, and improve their quality of life in many other areas, according to new research. New research published by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), suggests that women whose heads lean forward are most likely to be currently suffering from back or neck pain (58%), followed by those with an excessively arched lower back (56%) (read more here).

Whether you stand like a spoon or a leaning tower, a bridge or a flat back may indicate problems ahead.  Women whose heads lean forward are also the most likely to suffer from back or neck pain 'every day' (29%). Those with a flat back were the least likely to have experienced pain, with 21 percent having remained pain free.

Whether a woman has an apple or hourglass figure appears to be less important than their side profiles as far as back and neck pain triggers go. Just over 25 percent of women told the British researchers that a bout of back or neck pain can last for one to three days at a time, so we do need to do all we can to prevent problems.


What many people don’t realise, is that bad posture is often a sign of an underlying Structural Shift.  We may improve our posture by sitting straight or doing particular exercises, but it does little to improve the underlying Structural Shift.  Like everything there is normal, normal body temperature, normal blood pressure, there is also normal spinal structure.  We don’t expect anyone to be perfect, but when your side profile features a forward lean of your head by more than 10 mm, then this is an indicator of a Structural Shift.  Correct the Structural Shift and it will improve your posture more than just exercises and trying to remember to sit or stand straight. 

Posture has also been shown to have an effect on many other areas of health and wellbeing beyond Secondary Conditions of pain such as mood, energy levels, self confidence, mobility, and change in the release of stress hormones (read more here and here). Poor posture can also negatively impact on job prospects, decision-making, work productivity and other areas of life (read more here, here and here).

The BCA research reveals that the average age women start to suffer from back or neck pain is 34 years, meaning that your twenties are a key time for poor posture to really take hold and cause issues. The New Zealand Chiropractors Association is concerned that women especially are suffering unnecessarily, with poor posture now appearing to have taken over from large breasts and overall weight issues as the most common cause of spinal problems.

The BCA researchers asked women which side-shape they are, with four broad categories of altered posture compared to the ideal.

• Spoon - flat back, rounded shoulders

• Leaning tower - head leans forward

• Bridge - arched back

• Flat pack – flat back

As we mentioned before, there is such a thing as Normal Structure.  From a side profile normal would be standing in a relaxed stance with your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles in line. Imagine you have a plumb line hanging straight from your ears to ankles with everything in the middle sitting on the same line. If this isn’t you then you may have a Structural Issue.

Think of your spine as the foundation for a building.  If a building was unbalanced on its foundation and an earthquake comes by, you might expect to get a big crack in one of your walls, now, which was the problem, the earthquake or the unstable structure?

Now you can spend time patching all the damage, but you would be doing so with the expectation that in a short time the problems will have to be…..?

….Repaired Again….and Again….

And suddenly instead of achieving a true correction, we’re relying on chiropractic like a natural (and sometimes expensive) aspirin. 

Get Back to Normal!

Rather than constantly repairing damage, we’ve chosen to correct the underlying Foundation and help your spine reach Normal Structure.

Of course our services aren’t for everyone.  However, if you are tired of constantly patching the problem and you’re looking for a long term solution that you can both feel AND see for yourself, then we may be the right place for you.  Once your foundation has been corrected, then we’ll teach you how to keep it that way through customized recommendations designed for your spIf you are in the Hawkes Bay area, contact our office to set up a Complimentary Consultation to meet with Dr. Ryno Tope to review your case. To book your Complimentary Consultation CLICK HERE