Anterior Head Syndrome and Low Back Pain
Everything we do at Align Chiropractic has a purpose and reason. Today we want to shed some light on why we always analyze the entire spine for structural shifts, and address the shifts wherever they occur, even if some regions of the spine are pain-free.
Anterior Head Syndrome (AHS) is a growing problem in the modern world. A syndrome is classified as “a group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.” (1) AHS is a set of symptoms associated with anterior or “forward” displacement of the head relative to the rest of the spinal column. This is a common result of a structural shift in the cervical spine (the neck). While there are many aspects of this syndrome that we could explore today we are going to explore a less commonly explored aspect, which is LOW back pain.
The average head weighs between 8-12 pounds. (2) When the structure of the cervical spine is altered, and there is a reduction or reversal of the cervical lordosis (normal curve), the weight of the head gets shifted. This leads to a number of biomechanical changes in the spine. These changes actually compound dysfunction in the low back. Correction of the structural shifts which cause AHS have been shown to actually improve low back pain and lumbosacral radiculopathy (radiating leg pain). Research indicates that addressing AHS, when present, in conjunction with lumbar spine correction leads to improved outcomes.(3)
As you can see, it isn’t always just the low back that is structurally shifted, when you are suffering from low back pain. Maybe if you have unresolved low back pain, it is because you haven’t address the entire issue.
TL;DR – Having a structural neck issue can be a factor in low back pain, even if your neck is pain free.
2) Goldstein, Jonathan P. Goldstein Helmet Study. Biker’s Rights. May-June 2006.