I see time and time again people who complain about painful necks, painful shoulders, painful backs, and they do not realise that their poor posture is the ultimate contributor to their discomfort.
When you consistently sit or stand with poor posture, you end up developing muscle imbalances and muscle weakness. Let me give you an example:
You sit at a desk all day working on the computer and you are constantly slouching. You develop a “forward head posture”. This is where your chest caves in, your upper back hunches over, your shoulders become rounded, and your chin pokes out.
As your head moves forwards, the front neck muscles (your deep neck flexors) elongate whilst the muscles at the back of the neck shorten. This leads to your neck muscles at the back (your extensor muscles) having to work extremely hard to keep your head supported as it gets heavier with every inch it moves forwards. These muscles become over active as they try to support the head’s weight, causing spasms and pain!
The positive side to this is that the pain can improve with correct guidance by your physiotherapist to strengthen specific muscles. If you are finding that the pain in your neck is causing you grief, think about improving your posture.
Written by Hily Perpinyal, Chartered Physiotherapist