Neck & Shoulder Tension?

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Do you suffer from shoulder, neck or head tension? If so, you may have Forward Head Posture. Forward Head Posture is one of the most common causes of neck and shoulder tension as well as certain types of headaches. Forward Head Posture can be identified when the ear is positioned forward from the shoulder, rather than sitting directly over it (see picture).

For every one inch your head moves forward from its proper position, the head gains approximately 10 pounds in weight.  This forces the muscles in your upper back and neck to work much harder to keep the head from dropping forward. Fatigue is one of the most common causes of poor posture. Tired muscles cannot support the spine as it was designed to do.

Forward Head Posture can be a result of poor habits such as “slouching” at the computer, sitting awkwardly on the couch, or poor sleeping posture. These habits can be worsened if the neck muscles have been strained and or sprained in the past.

Awareness of proper neck and shoulder posture is the first step toward correction. One simple exercise you can do, at home or work, to alleviate neck and shoulder tension is the “double chin” exercise.

Start by standing or sitting up straight. Look straight ahead and make sure your chin is level with the floor. Pull your head back as far you can, keeping the chin level, until the skin under your neck bunches and looks like a double chin. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Do 10 repetitions. This exercise should be done at least once per day.

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