When interacting with a mobile device, chances are your posture is less than perfect. Unless you have the perfect ergonomic set up at all times of the day, you are likely to slip into a position where you are slumped forward or craning down over a cell phone. This behavior conditions the muscles of our neck into a forward head posture, away from its center of gravity, the spine.
Now consider that many people we see are walking around with their heads forward 2-3 inches without even realizing and you begin to see how pervasive the problem is in our society. If you carry this kind of weight around, you are also carrying a greater likelihood for degenerative spinal conditions and painful muscle strain.
Do you have forward head posture? Perform the wall test by standing straight up against a wall with heels shoulder-width apart and shoulder blades touching the wall. Does the back of your head touch the wall? Be honest. If not, this is a good indicator that you are carrying your head forward throughout the day. If this is the case, don't freak out! It is a reversible problem; the sooner you start the better!
Because you have repetitively trained your neck muscles into holding your head forward, we need to train them differently. There is a likelihood that certain muscles such as the occipitals and sternocleidomastoid are overly-tight. We focus on releasing these muscles from tension and strengthening the muscles that matter for holding your head centered atop the spine. Behavior and awareness are equally important- if you notice your head creeping forward throughout the day, make a correction. Soon enough your head will naturally rest where it is supposed to be-atop your body!
Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C.