Let’s talk about your neck
Supporting the weight of your head is the job of your spinal column. The human head weighs a little over 11 lb, that’s how much head weight your spine caries in close-to-neutral posture situations.
What happens with the weight of your head if you spend 30 min to an hour looking down and forward to your phone or tablet? And what happens to the weight of your head if you spend 8 hours working and looking down on your laptop? The New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine did research about how looking at the phone, tablet, or laptop impacts the stress on the spine and neck muscles. According to the study, a neutral head weighs about 11lb. A forward shift of the head to 30 degrees ads 29 lb to the weight of the head. A 60 degrees forward shift ads 49 lb to the weight of the head, meaning the weight of the head becomes 60 lb instead of the normal 11lb!
We can all relate to the feeling of heaviness of the head and shoulders. No wonder!
Symptoms associated with forwarded neck
- Neck pain
- Upper back and shoulders pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Pinched nerves of the cervical spine can lead to pain, numbness, and weakness along an arm down to the hand and fingers
- Muscular imbalances
- Breathing restrictions related to rib cage tightness
How to improve your neck
- Adjust your equipment according to your posture and not your posture according to your equipment. Bring your phone at your eyes level to keep your head supported by the spine and not looking down. Raise your laptop at your eyes level using books and boxes, to prevent your eyes from looking down and forward. Set up your desk ergonomically.
- Take breaks every 20-30min. Get up, stretch, and walk a little.
- Seek treatment for pain. Treatments like manual therapy, Feldenkrais, massage, myofascial manipulation involve a combination of skeletal, fascial, and muscular manipulation. At Rehoboth Massage and Alignment in Rehoboth Beach, DE, the Feldekrais practitioners Alina and George Tudor will discover together with you how your neck is connected to your whole spine, all the way down to your pelvis and feet. The practitioners will encourage you to counterbalance the movement of your head and pelvis that transfers all the way up to your neck. Also, you will learn how movements of your ribs can reduce strain or provide support. They will assist and teach you to coordinate your posture in sitting, walking, breathing, and how you use your arms – because all have an effect on neck pain.
- Personalized exercise like yoga or personal training includes stretching, strengthening the muscle groups for a better posture. Vinyasa yoga taught at Rehoboth Massage and Alignment with John Thurman will focus on the correct way to do the poses, verbally assisted by the teacher.
If you’re suffering from neck pain get in touch! Restore neck health!