Not a lot of people think about it, but head posture can be the root cause of neck pain. The way you sit and stand matters. I think about this stuff because I’m a chiropractor, but if people would be more attentive to their posture, they wouldn’t need to come and see me so often.
So, is your head posture to blame for neck pain? I can tell you that, but there’s a very good chance that’s the case, especially if your neck pain is accompanied by headaches and fatigue.
The Infamous Poking Chin
Poking chin is a common head posture problem. While it’s usually found in older people, due to disc deterioration in the cervical vertebrae, much younger people can suffer from it.
Correcting poking chin eases posture-based neck pain. When the head inclines from the neck, your head (which weighs at least 10 pounds) is basically dangling there. Imagine sticking your arm straight out in front of you, as a 10-pound ball hung from it. Tiring, right? Now imagine that you’re going to do that all day.
Your poor neck is doing the same with your head when your posture models poking chin. The stress you’re placing on the structures of the neck are bound to lead to pain. It’s a physically unnatural posture because the head is intended to be supported by the neck, aligning with the rest of your spine, right over your shoulders.
The Modern World
The modern world and the technology it’s gifted us with can be a dangerous place for your neck. Sitting at computers all day, our heads craning toward desk-mounted screens, is one modern reality that brings a lot of people to my office, clutching their sore necks.
Another gift of the modern world is the mobile device. But it’s our addiction to this technology which has given rise to “text neck”. So, are mobile phones are a pain in the neck? Sure, if you’re not careful about your posture and your head is always bent over that phone.
But there are some key ways you can ease the pain. Paying attention to your head posture is one of them.
Being aware of the way you hold your head is the best thing you can do. At all times, your head should be in alignment with your spine. When sitting at a computer, your eyes should be in a direct line with the center of the screen. Shoulders are down, with your rear end against the back of the chair.
For texting, hold your mobile device up to your face, instead of looking down at it. Your neck will thank you.
But the best way to improve your head posture is coming to see me. Regular adjustments can encourage a more natural head posture and re-align spinal structures which may have been compromised by long term poking chin.
If you’re suffering from neck pain and need support, contact me. We’ll talk about posture fixes to help you lead a life free of neck pain.