Prolonged sitting with a poor posture whereby your head is poking forward, in front of your centre of gravity can cause your muscles to be on constant contraction to stop your 6-8kg head from dropping off.
As well as this, the joints at the back of your neck can be jammed up causing irritation to soft tissue and nerves.
TOP TIP 1
Ensure you sit up tall and straight at your lumbar which is the foundation of how your thoracic and cervical position will be positioned. This will reduce your cervical spine from protracting forward.
A. Poor lumbar posture sets the neck up to be in a poor position
B. Lumbar lordosis improves neck posture
TOP TIP 2
Neck Posture: Reduce Protracted Position.
Gently Tuck chin in. Position your head as if you were being pulled tall by the hair.
Upright neck retraction: Draw chin slowly backwards and hold (10 seconds: 5 reps)
TOP TIP 3
Sit up straight in a chair.
To improve your rotation to the left, place your left hand around the back of your neck.
Turn your head to the left, whilst simultaneously pulling with your middle finger around the joints in your neck to help the movement.
Oscillate the movement on and off, continuing to pull simultaneously with the finger. You may also perform this technique with your left hand. This can work wonders and save you money on physio.
Self Mobilise your neck with a technique called a Snag.
TOP TIP 4
Strengthen your neck muscles:
Studies have shown that increasing your neck strength will reduce pain in short and long term neck pain sufferers.
Position yourself on all fours with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
- Gently pull in your pelvic floor and lift your lower stomach up and back in toward your spine.
- Then gently draw your shoulder blades together.
- Keep your eyes looking between your hands and gently lift your head away from the floor, so your neck and back are in line.
- You are activating the correct neck muscles when you can still gently nod your head on your neck without your whole neck moving.
- Hold for the required duration using the muscles at the back of your neck and then relax.
Neck Strength Progressions with Theraband.
A. Isometric neck flexion: Neutral head position. Keep head still while stepping forward with Theraband. [Reps 10; Sets 3]
B. Isometric neck side flexion: Neutral head position. Keep head still and step out to the side [Reps 10; Sets 3]
C. Isometric neck extension: Neutral head position. Keep head still and step backwards [Reps 10; Sets 3]
So there you have 4 tips to help your posture to prevent neck pain, a self mobilisation to limit the amount you need to visit the physio or chiro and strengthening techniques to ensure you definitely stay out of our clinic at Perth Sports Physio.