Do you have headaches? Pain in your neck, shoulders and / or back? Do you activate the stabilisers in your neck correctly, to support your head?
Just like the lower back has spinal stabilisers, the neck has spinal stabilisers that perform the function of stabilising the vertebrae in the neck. This is to ensure the vertebra do not “jam” on each other and impinge the discs and nerves between each vertebra. It also allows the bigger mover muscles the opportunity to do their job, i.e. move the head, while the stabilisers do their job, i.e. provide spinal stability.
If our head is in the wrong position, it reduces the ability of the spinal stabilisers to activate correctly. Once this happens, the bigger muscles that are responsible for moving the head try to do the job of stabilising the neck as well as moving the head. This can cause headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain and even pain down the arms.
It is recommended everyone learn how to activate their deep neck flexors to help ensure the correct muscles are performing their roles at all times.
We should all try to assess and reassess our posture intermittently throughout each day to ensure we are in ideal posture, just so we don’t put unnecessary stress and load on muscles. We should also all know how to activate our deep neck flexors, to help ensure these muscles are doing their job i.e. stabilising the neck and helping to maintain ideal neck and head posture.
Everyone should know how to activate these muscles and do regular checkups on themselves to ensure correct technique.
By Kerrie Hains
Fitness Inside Out – Mobile Personal Trainer