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Acute pain in neck of a young woman
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My name is Dr Mark Walles and I am a chiropractor in Woking, Surrey.

Recently I stumbled upon this fascinating study from the University of Leeds which I want to share with you. It is a MUST READ for chiropractors or anyone with poor posture, or poor cardiovascular health. Researchers in Leeds have found link between tight muscles in the neck, and increased blood pressure. This could be a really significant finding for you, however, the link between posture and health is one that has been recognised by some health experts for many years:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12457-bad-posture-could-raise-your-blood-pressure.html

Your mother was right. Minding your posture is about more than just looking pretty!

Picture this. A horse is grazing on the grass, with its mouth chomping low down in the weeds. The horse is “hanging 10”. Blood pressure is low and the muscles in the back of its neck are lengthened and relaxed. If through its nervous system the horse was to suddenly detect a potential threat (such as a dog running over the brow of a hill), its nostrils might flare, eyes will widen and neck muscles contract to lift the neck to assess or defend from the potential threat. Hey presto, the horse is in a heightened state of alert. This is also known as the “freeze response”. This response also has direct effects on functions such as blood pressure and heart rate.

We go to our desk job each day, sit with a poor posture for nine hours, deadlines looming and have clients or a red faced boss breathing down our neck. Inevitably we end up stressed with tight neck muscles and after many years, blood pressure through the roof.

We all know that stress and poor posture cause muscle tightness. The amazing thing is that the above study finds they have a direct effect on your nervous system and health – through the posture of your neck! Obviously there are many other causes of high blood pressure, but this is a fine example of how a musculoskeletal problem can contribute to a decline in your health.

So, look after your posture. There are more benefits to a healthy spine than you might expect!

Dr Mark Walles is a chiropractor in Woking, Surrey, who is passionate about your health. Call 01483 722388 now if you have any questions.