Neck pain in a general umbrella term used to describe many neck related problems. In the modern-day our most common neck related issue is text neck.
Firstly lets consider the human anatomy and how it naturally wants the neck to sit, this is referred to as the Neutral neck position. A Neutral neck is when the ears are positioned directly in line with the shoulders, the chest open and the shoulders back. This position ensures the heads weight is naturally balanced on the cervical spine.
“For every inch of Forward Head Posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.” -Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3
In the modern day we often find ourselves adopting the text neck posture. The head in a forward position staring at our phones. This position is not our natural position, the forward tilt places a huge amount of extra pressure on the spine, the muscles around the neck and shoulders. Every degree that our head tilts forward out of neutral position we increase the load on our cervical spine. The muscles surrounding the neck are required to work extra to counterbalance the weight of the head, this leading to stiffness through the joints of the mid and upper back coupled with tight, tense bands of muscle around both the neck and shoulders contributing to pain and dysfunction.
As physiotherapists there are 3 exercises often recommend to our clients to relieve stiff muscles around the neck and upper back. Download exercises here
While these exercises are beneficial in relieving the neck and upper back muscle ache and tightness, it is important to know that neck pain has different underlying causes, if you suffer from neck pain and forward head posture related issues, we recommend you to see our physiotherapist and chiropractor for a consultation.
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