Does the picture above look familiar? I know it doesn’t look very pretty and just writing about this, makes me very conscious of the curve in my back so I am working very hard not to get into that position.
The average person head weighs 6 to 9 lbs so it doesn’t seem like it but it is pretty heavy, if your head is forward it can create a lot of tension and strain in your neck. This is knownas a postural distortion the cause muscular imbalances of the head, neck/shoulders and back (faulty head and shoulder position).
Your head is forward, a curved back and depressed chest. Your shoulders curved forward and usually elevated. You can attribute it to years of working long hours on the computer, It leads to neck stiffness, headaches impingement of neurovascular structures or loss of range of cervical rotation, such as looking over your shoulder.
According to www.painneck.com Chronic neck pain is commonly defined as pain in the neck continuing more than 3-6 months and unlike acute neck pain which may simply disappear with adequate rest or corrective treatment, in some cases, however, it can persist, with chronic neck pain being a common problem for many people.
How does therapeutic massage like neuromuscular re-education help you?
Your muscles are analyze and treated:
Your therapist will analyze tissue texture, restriction of normal motion, tenderness or pain. Shorten muscles will be treated and therapy would be applied to tone “weakened muscles”, the forward head position is usually the result of your upper back curved posture.
If your back neck muscles are not tight, the head position will usually correct as the upper back is corrected.
Self help tip:
Neck pain caused by stress or muscle strain can often be prevented by using good posture, getting regular exercise, and avoiding long periods in positions that stress the neck, such as prolonged computer work
If your neck pain is worse at the end of the day, evaluate your posture and body mechanics.
Avoid slouching or a head-forward posture. Sit straight in your chair with your lower back supported, feet flat on the floor, and shoulders relaxed. Avoid sitting for long periods without getting up or changing positions. Take short breaks several times an hour to stretch your neck muscles.
Because of your depressed chest, it changes the way you should breath, which is deeply through your stomach but instead you end up being a “shallow breather”.
I recommend deep breathing exercises to help stretch the muscles that run between your rib cage and upper parts of the abdominal muscles. I found some breathing techniques by Dr. Andrew Weil on his website.
Your comments are welcomed, what has been your experience with faulty head and shoulder position? Have you found ways to help improve your posture and give you relief?
References: Clinical Application of Neuormuscular Techniques Volume 1, Leon Chaitow and Judith Walker Delany