Good Health To You! #7
Bits of healthful information to easily incorporate into your life
Tip, Tuck & Roll… a simple tweak to help combat a forward head posture
How do you know if you have a forward head posture?
With your feet shoulder width apart, press your butt and shoulders against a wall. Is the back of your head resting against the wall or is it jutting forward?
If it isn’t resting against the wall, then you have forward head posture. Or, have a friend take a side view picture of your shoulders, neck and head. What do you see?
A forward head posture is a consequence of the improper body mechanics we unconsciously use all throughout the day. Some examples are:
Looking down at your phone or what ever else you may be doing
Hunching forward while working at your computer
Driving with your head forward, away from the headrest
Carrying a back pack that is positioned improperly or is so heavy that you have to lean forward to keep from falling backwards
Anything that bends your head forward for extended periods of time
Unfortunately, besides not being a very attractive posture, it can cause problems such as:
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, pain in your jaw
Pain and lack of mobility in your neck and shoulders
Potential disc herniation and/or pinched nerves
Numbness and tingling in your arms and/or hands
Many other kinds of problems!
Developing and maintaining good posture has several elements to it. Many years of poor posture may require help from professionals such as a physical therapist, a personal trainer or (my favorite) a massage therapist. The following simple exercise can help you along your way :)
Firstly, your job is to put your mind to ways you can alter the way you hold your head while doing the things you do. Such as bringing your phone or reading material up level with your eyes rather than looking down at it. Bringing the spoon to your mouth rather than the other way around. Be conscious of everything that my tempt you to bend your head forward.
Secondly, apply the Tip,Tuck & Roll technique to help improve your posture. You will mainly feel stretches in the back of your neck, down each side of your spine and the tops of your shoulders. DO NOT do this exercise if you feel pain or dizziness.
1- Sit or stand up straight
2- Without bending your neck forward Tip your head, with your mouth closed, slightly downward.
3- Tuck your chin back as if you are trying to touch your chin to the back of your neck.
4- Roll your shoulders back, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
5- Hold this position for 10 seconds, relax, take a deep breath, repeat 3 times.
Develop a habit of doing this several times a day. Make it easy to remember to do this by *pairing it with something else you do often during the day…such as, do this every time you stop at a red light while driving or immediately as you sit down or every time you stand up. Think, what will help you remember to do it?
Also helpful, is to review my blog #2 about proper pillow placement and #4 about proper laptop placement. And as always, loosen those muscles with undulation as described in #1.
So remember…Tip, Tuck & Roll!
Good health to you!
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*Read about the concept of “pairing” in order to form new habits in the best selling book entitled Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. This is an excellent book on the theme of making and breaking habits.