If you have ever experienced ongoing pain in the neck or back, you know just how much this type of discomfort can undermine your day. A lot of the time, this pain is being caused by poor head posture putting added pressure on the spine. Correcting your forward head posture can help to relieve this pain.
Correct posture properly aligns the spine, neck and head, while poor posture places additional stress on these areas. This stress can then lead to inflamed and pinched nerves that can trigger severe neck and back pain. Also, the muscles are more likely to carry more tension, with the result being ongoing pain that makes everything harder to manage. If this poor posture is allowed to continue it can result in numbness in the arms and hands, difficulty breathing, and herniated, bulging, or degenerated discs in the spine.
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To determine if your head posture is correct, follow these steps:
- Stand with your back against the wall, with your shoulder blades and rear end against the wall. You may need to throw your shoulders back slightly. Also make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart.
- Once you are standing like this, notice the position of your head. If it is touching the wall naturally and comfortably, then your head posture is good. If not, your posture is poor and needs some improvement.
If your head posture is poor, there is a good chance that correcting it will alleviate a lot of the pain in the back and neck that you may be experiencing. A key element in achieving correct head posture is by strengthening the neck muscles, which can be done with simple exercises that specifically target those muscles. One of the most basic is known as a chin retraction, or nose nod, which is very simple:
Lay on your back and move your head forward without moving your neck. You will feel some tension on the neck muscles, which means that those muscles are being strengthened. Return to a resting position, then repeat 10 times. Do this daily for a week, then increase to 20 repetitions. Then increase the number of sessions per day, with a few hours between each session.
Correct head posture can make a huge difference in the level of back and neck pain you experience, and by trying this method it won't be long before you notice the pain going away and not coming back!
At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate everyone as much as possible about their back pain and sciatica, because it is proven that the more people know about their problem the more likely they are to eliminate it!
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