Poor Posture Often Causes Neck
Most of us will suffer from neck pain at one point or another in our lives. In fact, 20% of the adults in the United States suffer from chronic or persistent neck pain. Previously, I wrote about common causes of neck pain in my blog Neck Pain Relief. Poor posture is the most common cause of neck pain. Everyday most of us spend hours sitting in front of the computer or driving in traffic. This leads to muscle imbalances, weakness, and poor flexibility. The good news is that there is something you can do to correct these issues caused by poor posture that is fun and exciting. Yoga can be quite beneficial in helping you with postural awareness and correct many of these issues related to poor posture. Forward head posture is one of the most common postural problems that I see that is due to an imbalance between the front and back of the body.
Forward Head Posture
Forward head posture is where the head is not aligned with the neck and shoulders. The head is actually protruding in front of the shoulders causing the back to round out. This causes the muscles of the neck, shoulders, upper back and chest to alter how they work. The result is the muscle in the front of the body becoming tight and the muscles in the upper back/neck becoming overstretched and weak. These changes have an adverse effect on your body. The increased pressure being placed on the nerves and blood vessels in the arms can lead to a thoracic outlet syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. The poor alignment of the shoulders and shoulder blades can lead to shoulder impingement, pain, and rotator cuff issues. The increased stress in the neck and back of the head can lead to headaches and TMJ issue. In addition, the poor alignment of the chest can limit expansion of the lungs causing breathing, circulation, and digestion issues.
How Do You Know If You Have Forward Head Posture?
This simple test can help you determine is you have forward head posture. Stand with your back and heels against the wall and if the back of your head does not easily touch the wall you may have forward head posture. That is where regular participation in yoga can be helpful. As a physical therapist with over 18 years of experience, I have found yoga to be quite effective in teaching you proper postural awareness through improving your postural habits, body mechanics, thoughts, and emotions. It also stretches the tight muscles and strengthens the weak ones in an effective and safe manner. One of the effective poses is the Wall Clock Pose. You can watch the Wall Clock Yoga Pose Here.
Wall Clock Yoga Pose
The Wall Clock Pose is an excellent way to stretch and open up the tight chest muscles. It reduces the tension in the neck and shoulders as well as strengthens the upper back. No special equipment is required other than a wall. Regular use of the Wall Clock Pose over time can reverse the adverse effects of poor postural habits. For lasting relief of neck pain, it is necessary to bring your postural awareness and yoga practice into daily life.
Good posture is not just something for yoga class or during your home sessions. Yoga can offer profound healing when practiced in daily life. Try integrating yoga into your daily routine by taking note of what’s happening physically, energetically, mentally, and emotionally throughout the day. While you are working at your desk, take a 1 minute break every hour to check your posture. After a restroom break, try a few Wall Clock Poses. Persistent awareness and practice can provide significant relief from neck pain and cultivate lasting balance.
Creating the proper balance in all aspects of your life is critical to your body’s ability to heal. Yoga has been shown time and again to be an effective way to promote that balance between the body, mind and spirit. Yoga has also been shown to effectively improve chronic pain/injuries. A condition becomes chronic when has been present for more than 3 weeks. Chronic pain is directly linked to increased rates of cancer and depression. Do not let your condition become chronic. At Flex Physical Therapy, we offer regular yoga classes on Tuesday/Thursday nights and Saturday mornings. Click Here for more information on our Yoga classes. We also offer massage therapy and wellness services. Our therapists are experts in helping you to live a healthier and more balanced life. Call us at 1-800-930-8803 today!