Listen or Read Dr. Rubinstein’s Monthly Podcast Interview!
Topic: Forward Head Posture – Are You At Risk?
Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Gregg Rubinstein’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast. You can click the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!
RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the United States.
In today’s episode we are speaking with chiropractor, Dr. Gregg Rubinstein. Dr. Rubinstein is the founder of 57th Street Chiropractic located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan where he has been practicing since 1993. He specializes in pediatric & family care and Dr. Rubinstein is a long standing member of the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association. He also serves as a board member of Friends of Fresh and Green Academy, a non-profit organization that does extensive charity work in education in Ethiopia.
Dr. Rubinstein is widely considered to be one of the top chiropractors in the U.S. and is also a contributing member of our national network of razorcast™ professionals.
Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Forward Head Posture – Are You At Risk?
RC: Hi Dr. Rubinstein, how are you today?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: I’m doing great Liz, thanks for having me on again.
RC: Well thanks for joining us!
Question 1: Forward head posture just sounds wrong! Can you describe it and how you would diagnose it in someone?
RC: This is a really interesting topic so let’s see. We all know good posture is really important and we’re always told to stand up straight and hold our head high. Forward head posture just sounds wrong! Can you describe it and how you would diagnose it in someone?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well it’s actually one of the easiest things to diagnose and it’s one of the things that a lot of older women are always concerned about. They always say, “Oh I don’t want to get that little hump – that hunchback at the base of the neck.” As the head starts to move forward, it’s literally the very definition of forward head posture. It is when your head starts to move forward on your spine or actually ahead of your body. The problem with that is that it overworks the muscle because now the muscles have to work twice as hard at keeping your head up. It’s so easy to diagnose. You basically look at someone from the side and if their earlobes are in front of their shoulders, they’re getting forward head posture.
Question 2: What are some of the causes of Forward Head Posture? Are people born with it or is it a result of our actions over time?
RC: Alright, so what are some of the causes of forward head posture? Are people born with it or is it a result of our actions over time?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: I would definitely say it’s more the latter. It’s definitely developmental. I’ve seen a huge increase of forward head posture over the past decade in my office. I’ll tell you, when I first started out (you know), we could take some x-rays of people’s necks and there might be some straightening of the curve but now almost every person I x-ray has forward head posture and a loss of the cervical curve. And I truly believe it’s from the advent of computers and cell phones. I see people on the train, sitting in my office, with their heads dropped completely forward staring down at their thing texting or sitting for hours in front of the computer with their head dropping forward. That dropping forward loads a lot of weight forward and then the muscles are constantly trying to pull it back like I described before.
So it’s really changed in the past two decades. I see so much more of it now and I’ve been in practice twenty years. Easily the incidence has gone up maybe 100 to 200%. So it’s really something that we see now when we take x-rays. It’s much more common and we’re seeing it in kids as young as twenty and thirty.
RC: Wow okay.
Question 3: What are some warning signs that people might be at risk for getting forward head posture?
RC: So what are some warning signs that people might be at risk for getting forward head posture?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well (you know) just look around and look at the kids today. They’re playing video games, they’re playing on their cell phone and they’re in front of their ipads. I mean ipads are like the new babysitters now. You know it’s funny – my nephew who is very young had an ipad before I did. He’s now eight but I think he’s had it for like four years. So he’s had it for a long time so these kids are growing up with that. Basically the signs and symptoms that you’re going to start to see is they will start to get neck pain. They will get headaches. They will get shoulder pain as the shift forward of their head starts to go and then the muscles start to pull even harder and then when they pull hard, that will irritate the nerves as they exit through the skull and exit through the spine. It’s relatively easy to detect and relatively easy to see but you’ll start to see all these symptoms start to creep up. Headaches, neck pain, stiffness through the shoulders and you can just see that people are just bending down and their heads are always forward.
So we’re always yelling in our office when people are in our office in the waiting room and I see them texting with their head down. We’re always like, “Heads up, heads up!” You could hear my staff saying it to remind people that the heads up posture is really where it’s at. And it’s so funny because mom and dad were always right. Sit up straight, pick your head up, you know. It’s something so simple that our parents always taught us but it couldn’t be more true and more appropriate today.
Question 4: How can chiropractic care help people avoid getting forward head posture and how can it help people suffering from it?
RC: So how can chiropractic care help people avoid getting forward head posture and how can it help people suffering from it? I know you just said ways to avoid getting forward head posture but is there something you can do as a chiropractor with patients to really prevent it from setting in?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Absolutely and the main thing is education. ‘Doctor’ literally means teacher. I am a doctor of chiropractic and I’m here to teach. So you need to educate parents to make sure that they educate their kids. We see kids running around with these huge backpacks carrying heavy loads and they’re spending all this time on the computer. It’s really education. It’s about prevention because once you develop forward head posture, it’s a lot harder to get rid of it. It’s a lot easier to prevent something from happening in the first place – as long as there is some awareness.
Great things that we can do is have an ergonomic setup at your desk. Ergonomics is the study of the position of your body as it relates to your computer. So studying ergonomics, every company should have an ergonomics specialist come in and actually assess these people or just have someone take a picture of you at your work station and see what it looks like. Then have someone really make the corrections. There’s tons of guidelines. You can go on the internet and look up ergonomic setup of my desk and it will give you lots of tips. Making sure that your elbows are parallel, your feet are touching the floor, that your head is eye level looking at your documents, that your screen isn’t ninety degrees to your right while your keyboard is directly in front of you. So setting up your desks the right way are hugely important things.
Then doing simple stretches and exercises during the day. You know people sit at their desks for hours and hours without changing their posture. There’s some really cool simple exercises, my buddy actually put some of it on YouTube and if anyone really wants to get ahold of those videos to show you how to do those exercises, they can just reach out to me. Call the office, shoot me an email, go on our website and I’ll be happy to hook you up with a link to those really cool exercises.
So it’s something that is really important but you’ve just got to look at yourself and just be more proactive and getting your alignment checked because again periodically enough stress and tension will build and it can knock some of the bones out of alignment in the neck and that can cause problems going forward. So it’s truly about prevention and then getting checked periodically because if you maintain your alignment just like you maintain it on the car, it’s going to be better for you and that’s the key. You don’t want to wait until the alignment problem is so set up that it takes years to try and correct it or there’s already been irreversible damage done in the form of like osteoarthritis of the neck.
Question 5: Lastly, what actions should we avoid doing and what exercises can we do at home to help eliminate our risk of getting forward head posture?
RC: Okay and lastly, what actions should we avoid doing and what exercises can we do at home to help eliminate our risk of getting forward head posture?
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: Well I guess I accidently jumped ahead and answered part of that question but in reality it’s really develop some great exercise habits at your desk. That YouTube video that he posted I think is absolutely awesome and anyone can do it at their desk. But really the best thing that other people can do is regular chiropractic care. Getting your spine checked periodically just like you bring your car in periodically to get the alignment checked and change the oil rather than waiting for it to break down. It’s the same thing.
The other thing is using those special cervical pillows. You’ve probably seen them advertised on the TV. They have these little cut outs and they help bring your neck into extension or back up and when you lift your head up to look at the sky, that’s extension. These special pillows are really designed to help support that curve and neck and help bring that back by just using gravity assist. So, in essence, doing stretching and staying physically fit, exercises, seeing a chiropractor with some regularity and getting good support and using good sleep posture and great ergonomics at your desk are really going to be the best things you can do to really prevent this onset and manage it if it is a problem for you in your life.
RC: Okay, well thank you so much Dr. Rubinstein! We know you’re really busy so I just want to thank you for your all your help today.
Dr. Gregg Rubinstein: It’s my honor, please I’m really glad to be here and share my information with the rest of the world.
RC: Thanks and for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Gregg Rubinstein, you can either go online at www.chiropractormidtown.com or call (917) 534-6484 to schedule an appointment.
On behalf of our entire team at razorcast™, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading industry experts.
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