Consider the side view of a person with good posture. His ear is going to be aligned perfectly with the middle of his shoulder. Someone with poor posture will have the head in a forward position, which causes the vertebrae in the neck and upper back to be out of line. Undue pressure is exerted against nerves in that area causing the spine to be in an incorrect position.
The suboccipital muscles keep the chin from dropping forward to lie against the chest. If these muscles are contracted continuously, there will be pressure on the three suboccipital nerves. Headaches at the base of the skull or in the sinus cavities can result.
Research indicates that such a forward position of the head adds leverage on the cervical spine. This can force the entire spinal column out of alignment. Breathing can be affected by this position. Some people develop a dowagers hump in the back between the shoulder blades.
The way to correct this misalignment is to realign the upper cervical vertebrae with the skull. A chiropractor uses manual adjustments to gradually ease these small bones into the optimal position. First an evaluation must be done to identify the exact location of the problem.
When you go to your first appointment, a medical history will be compiled. You will be questioned about the pain, when it started and how intense it has grown to be. A physical exam of your spine is done. An x-ray will confirm the evaluation to be correct.
Following that, a care plan can be devised. It may begin with spinal adjustments administered over a series of office visits. There will be exercises to be used in conjunction with these. Your chiropractor will instruct you in how to stand, sit and walk in a way that will promote good posture. It is this training that will enable you to maintain the correct positioning of the spine.