It’s interesting to think back over the past thirty years in practice and some of the upcoming and ongoing trends I've seen. One condition that has been growing in frequency over the past decade to the point it has been called an “epidemic” is forward head posture and all the symptoms that go with it. The trendy name for it is “tech neck” and as you’d guess, keeping your head down while using technology is to blame. Holding this posture for long periods of time promotes the forward carriage of the head. Just 2 inches of this forward migration doubles the weight of the head on the neck causing muscle tension and pain from the neck into the upper back. Another thing I’ve noticed is that eventually the muscles under the back of the head get tight trying to hold your head up so you can look forward, and these tight muscles tend to promote a lot of headaches.
It has been my experience that the pain in the neck and upper back, muscle tension and knots, as well as the headaches respond very well to a combination of therapy and spinal adjustments. Active Release Technique (ART) is also very effective at releasing the muscles from the shoulder blades up to the back of the head.
There are three things I recommend you do at home on your own to help combat tech neck:
1. Chin Tuck Exercise – Draw your head straight back like you are trying to make a double chin. Hold 5 seconds and repeat 5 times. Do this several times a day!
2. Foam Rolling – lay on your back over the foam roll with the roll shoulder to shoulder. Use your legs to slowly roll up and over the roll. As the roll moves down your mid back allow your head to relax towards the floor. Slowly return to starting position and repeat 5 times.
3. Be aware of your posture! If you feel your head drifting forward, do a few chin tucks and try to keep your ears over your shoulders.
If these techniques are helpful, but not supplementing enough - feel free to give us a call and schedule an appointment for an adjustment or muscle work!