Anytime the head is moved in front of the body, for instance when we are sitting in front of the computer, driving the car, texting (tech head posture) because we are focused on something in front of us, the force of the extra weight (10 – 14lb is the average head weight – about that of a large bowling ball) puts extra force on the neck and upper back.  Every inch the head comes forward is an extra 10lb of pressure that needs to be absorbed by those muscles and ligaments.  For most of us, the neck and shoulder muscles have been under such strain of this extra loading that we have sensory motor amnesia in this area as the brain has “forgotten” how to release the “always on” muscles in this area.

As a result, adhesions develop in the upper back muscles that are taking the load and tightening, specifically the suboccipital and elevator scapulae and pectorals minor muscles.

Whereas the back of the body becomes lax – in particular, those that are responsible for drawing the head (longs captious and longs Colli)

and shoulders back (trapezius and rhomboid) into a normal position and those that keep the spine erect (Erector Spinae)

become elongated and weak so that we are less easily able to hold an upright back position and become hunched and rounded in the upper back.

The result of all this pulling on the upper back is to cause the joints to degenerate and change over time (what we sometimes call “wear and tear”) often causing bulging discs through the abnormal load.

How do we fix this?

Try repeating some of the exercises you liked from this week’s class

 

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