Here’s another Blog by a Mississauga Chiropractor…
A lot of the patients who visit our clinic complain of neck pain and stiffness. A majority of these same patients also claim that they spend long hours sitting in front of a computer, or fiddling around with their Blackberry or iPhone.
After I observed these patient’s neck postures, I noticed that most of them exhibited an anterior head carriage (where the neck is slightly jutting forward). When I would test the strength of the deep neck flexor muscles (the muscles at the front of the neck, which are responsible for keeping the head posture straight), I would notice that normaly these muscles are very weak.
When the deep neck flexor muscles are weak, the suboccipitals (the muscles behind the neck) attempt to help out. Thus, the suboccipitals end up doing extra work which causes them to fatigue and stiffen up. This neck stiffness intensifies at the end of a long day at the computer, or after long ours of studying where a student’s head is buried in a textbook.
By strengthening the deep neck flexor muscles, a patient will alleviate the extra work that the suboccipitals are doing. The suboccipitals can then perform the functions that they are meant to do such as turning and tilting the head.
A great beginner exercise to start strengthening the deep neck flexor muscles is the Chin Tuck.
Here is a video demonstrating the Chin Tuck Exercise.
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