5 Simple Strategies to Improve Neck Pain
The posture of the majority of the population right now is getting worse and worse due to modern technology and lifestyle habits. Most people each day are working in front of their body. This is leading to a posture pattern where the shoulders are rounded forward and the neck is forward so the ears are no longer aligned above the shoulders.
You may not realise that for every 2.5cm that your neck is forward it is requiring an extra 4.5kgs of force from the muscles from the back of the neck and shoulders to hold you in this posture. This pull overtime may have a detrimental effect to the neck and shoulder area and eventually effect pain in the area. This may eventually lead to problems affecting the head and neck area of the body such as headaches, sleep problems, breathing issues etc.
To relieve this stress on the neck and shoulder area, it is important to do exercises to draw the posture back into a neutral pattern. This neutral pattern is where the head is back so as the ears are above the shoulders and the chest is lifted as well as the head is up tall like a string lifting the head up towards the sky from the centre of the head.
Below are 5 simple strategies to incorporate in your life to combat the effects of forward head posture:-
- Posture breaks throughout the day – it is important that we reverse the effects of forward head posture by reminding ourselves at least every hour to stand up right, even for 30 seconds. This upright posture is easy to do up against a wall. Stand up against a wall with your shoulders relaxed, while you press the shoulder blades and head against the wall. It is important that you focus on your eyes looking straight ahead at the horizon. You will actually get a double chin when you are doing this correctly. This may feel a little uncomfortable to start with however it should ease as your body gets use to this new posture. It shouldn’t cause a lot of discomfort though if so this may be an indicator that your body needs some help to achieve ideal alignment and you may require the assistance of a Wellness Chiropractor to achieve this. Please call our team if this is you!
- At night or at the end of your working day, instead of sitting on the couch or in the chair, where it is possible for you to slouch and have poor posture, lie on the floor with your knees bent. Having your knees bent will help to relieve the pressure on your lower back. Lying on the floor will help to relax your shoulders and neck after a day of work where they are usually stressed out.
- Strengthening exercise – You can do this either standing or sitting up against a wall with your neck and shoulders relaxed. Sit or stand up straight with your hands behind your head and exhale as you push your head back into your hands. Remember to keep your eyes looking straight ahead and you will have a double chin when you are doing this correctly. This exercise is an isometric contraction exercise to strengthen the muscles at the base of the skull. These muscle need to be switched on to support the upper neck when maintaining ideal posture.
- Take your neck through a full range of movement every hour. Turn your head to the right as your left arm is extended out to the side and slightly behind you to increase the stretch in your neck on that side. The second phase of this is to hold your chest up and then allow your chin to go forward towards your chest, allowing gravity to move your head forward.
- Seeing a Wellness Chiropractor to remove stress from your nervous system. When there is interference to your nervous system this can eventually lead to pain and symptom. Pain is usually the tip of the iceberg so if you are in symptom chances are there are layers of damage and interference to your nervous system under the surface.
If you have been suffering from pain in the neck and it is not subsiding it is a good indicator that you may do well being assessed by a Wellness Chiropractor to find the true cause to your symptoms. Please call our office so we can assist you if you are suffering from neck pain and would love to get to the true cause of your problems!
Dr. Deanne Esposito (Chiropractor)