Saturday, April 7, 2018

Healthy Habit: A Gentle Tilt Can Double Spine Forces

Internationally Best-Selling Author and Spinal Surgeon Dr. Ken Hansraj ( is working on a book that will describe how our posture and what we carry affects our body, including race and gender specific data.

It's pretty amazing - tilting the head down 15 degrees doubles the forces on the neck. A 20 degree tilt significantly increases the effect of breasts on the spine. A typical woman with a 36D breast size experiences 28 pounds of force on the spine, and at 20 degrees forward the force becomes 40 pounds.

Good posture is essential

Many of us simply don't maintain good posture, which is critical for a healthy spine.

Good posture means as ears are aligned with the shoulders and the shoulder blades are retracted (demonstrated at right by Dr. Marcia Griffin-Hansraj, relaxed with a smile).This is the most efficient position to achieve the best posture possible and leads to a taller appearance, deeper breathing, improved well-being and increased energy with enhanced human performance. Many experts believe stooping and slouching could be associated with depression, weight gain, heartburn, migraines, anxiety and respiratory conditions. 

Text Neck: A World Problem: Billions of people are using smart phones and electronic devices throughout the world, essentially in poor posture. People spend an average of two to four hours a day with their heads tilted over reading and texting on their smart phones and devices. Cumulatively this is 700 to 1,400 hours a year of excess stresses seen around the cervical spine. It is possible that a high school student today may spend an extra 5,000 hours in poor posture in the four years of high school. People of all ages are “heads down.” Walking, driving, working and especially when spending time with their friends and family.

The Solution: KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!! When you are on your smart device, just keep your head up!! Your eyeballs have a range of motion as well. Look down with your eyes and raise the device up a bit!! While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over. Good posture is when you bring your ears above your shoulders and open up your chest by retracting your angel wings = your scapula. Take home message: be mindful of where your head is in space.

Breast Forces: A Women’s Health Problem: Women have complained about the pain caused by big breasts since the dawn of humanity. Large breasts have been associated with physical complaints of back pain and neck pain, yet many insurance companies question the truthfulness of women suffering with this kind of discomfort.

World Solution: It is crucial for women to maintain good posture, wear a bra that fits, and understand the impact increasing the bust size can have on physical health; an increase by a mere letter size, for instance, using an average 36 cup, can mean as much as 10 extra pounds of weight on the spine.

Often women seeking plastic surgery do not give consideration as to how the added weight of implants will affect their spines. On the other hand, a breast reduction of a naturally fuller bust can often help to alleviate pressure off the spine. 

It is important for women to maintain a healthy weight, strong core, and good posture along with wearing a well-fitted bra in order to help combat spine strain.

About Dr. Ken Hansraj:

Kenneth K. Hansraj, M.D. is a spinal and orthopedic surgeon specializing in cervical, thoracic and lumbar procedures, bloodless spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery, laminectomies and spinal fusions. He believes in whole body wellness, preventative care and that the spine is a principal indicator of general health impacted by “human software and hardware.” Dr. Ken is the author of the internationally bestselling book, Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine, which he was inspired to write based on this concept. Dr. Hansraj is also the author of Bloodless Spine Surgery: Pictures and Explanations. His goal with each of his books is to bring years of accumulated expert medical knowledge to the public at-large in an easy-to digest format and to help countless individuals with ongoing spinal and health issues.
Dr. Ken Hansraj is TV and media trained and has extensive experience with national outlets such as CNN, HLN, CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, NPR and has been featured globally. Cision® estimates his current media impressions at 5.5 Billion.

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