This week, we are talking about the importance of proper head and neck posture. The position of our head and neck is something we may rarely pay attention to, but it has a tremendous impact on our overall posture and wellness.
Forward head posture comes with a variety of negative effects, including:
Decreased blood flow to the brain
Decreased breathing efficiency due to decreased airflow and diaphragmatic movement
Increased tension in the jaw and neck leading to neck pain and headaches
Increased wear and tear on cervical joints and ligaments
Increased strain on shoulder joints and the rotator cuff
Decreased balance and increased risk of falling
Increased pain and tension at trigger points in connective tissues
With so many potential debilitating outcomes, it’s easy to see why spending hours at the computer (called computer posture) or staring at our cell phones can seriously impact our overall health.
Luckily, there is a solution! To counteract these various ill effects, you can actively practice reversing forward head posture. To do so, try standing with your back against a wall and allowing the back of your head to gently touch the wall and your tongue to gently touch the roof of your mouth. Now take four or five deep breaths, being mindful of your overall body position and differences in your posture. In particular, you may sense that your neck has lengthened and your jaw has relaxed. Now that you have a sense of how proper posture feels, try walking away from the wall while maintaining your tall posture and healthy alignment. The beauty of this exercise is that it can be easily accessed in a variety of settings when poor alignment symptoms arise, and it pairs well with other stress management techniques, such as mindful meditation.
As one of my professors once said, your posture is your attitude towards life.
Given the variety of negative outcomes that result from poor head and neck posture, I must say that truer words have never been spoken! However, by taking a few minutes out of your day to practice counteracting forward head posture, you can easily prevent a variety of potential ailments and attack the day with greater energy and positivity.
To learn more about preventative treatment options for head and neck pain, contact us today for a consultation.