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Neck Pain Is Optional

By Dr. Alice Sexton

Stand up straight! Stop hunching! I cannot tell you how many times I heard my mother tell me that as I was growing up. Unfortunately, this is another thing I have to admit that my mother was right about.

Good posture makes us look taller, more self assured, and overall just more good-looking, and so mother had good reason to be on my case. But good posture is also important for our good health.

Our bodies are strongest when they are in neutral alignment, that is, our bodies can function best when they are aligned as intended.

Most of us include computer work, TV watching and driving into our daily lives, and often this leads us to crane our necks forward. This forward position of our heads can be to blame for the neck pain, shoulder pain and even headaches that we feel.

Our heads weigh as much as the average bowling ball, and the position of the heaviest part of our body in vitally important.

If we tried to hold a bowling ball close to our bodies for a short period, most of us could do it, but continuing to hold it even slightly away from our bodies significantly increases the load and effort.

The desired neutral position for your head is aligned over your neck between your shoulders and any variation from this naturally neutral position creates stress and strain on your neck muscles.

A neutral head position allows our body parts, such as the vertebrae and spinal discs to do their jobs optimally, but moving the weight out of alignment can lead to disc herniations from the abnormally placed pressure. This misalignment causes overworking the muscles in the front of the neck, and stretching and straining those in the back.

Avoiding this kind of pain is achievable.

With some understanding of your situation , simple actions can alleviate your pain.

Evaluation of your situation is the initial step to reduce the neck, shoulder, or upper back discomfort that you are experiencing.

So before you start doing any exercises, buy that special chair, back support or whatever ? before you spend any money on eliminating your problem ? get a professional assessment of your situation. Chiropractors are specialists by training in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system ? a fancy way of saying that they know a thing or two about posture.

So find a Chiropractor that knows their stuff to check your posture. This is the FIRST STEP.

Before you go to see your chosen chiropractor, a easy posture check can pinpoint your posture issues. Follow this simple test. Place yourself about six inches from a wall, back up and observe which body part touches the wall first.

1) Head

2) shoulders

3) Behind

4) Heels

If all body parts did not touch the wall at the same time, your posture could use some fine tuning.

Your muscles are responsible for your posture and some simple stretching and strengthening can help these muscles begin functioning optimally again.

For example, if your shoulders did not touch at the same time as the others (i.e., they are rounded and slumped forward) then you need to work on stretching out your chest muscles. Stand in a doorway and hold one arm up, with your elbow against the door frame. Slowly step forward while keeping your elbow against the door frame.

If your posture includes significant forward head position, your head will not have touched first. This can be corrected by lengthening the muscles in the front of your neck and strengthening the ones in the back with a simple chin tuck. Start by standing or sitting straight up and pull your chin back towards your body using your neck muscles, and hold for 5-15 seconds and return to the preliminary location.

Step one was to identify the issue, and the second step is to perform the correct exercises for your problem.

By identifying and addressing the problem and doing the easy exercises is often enough to diminish neck pain for most, some lengthy issues need further personalized treatment by your chiropractor.

Over time, muscles develop scar tissue that can hinder healing, and stretching and strengthening are not enough. Fortunately there have been methods developed that can address this issue and when used, can remove the scar tissue. Your skilled chiropractor will be able to tell you if the Active Release or Graston technique is right for you.

Your quest for wellbeing includes your chiropractor who can offer suggestions regarding straightforward exercises and stretches to accomplish optimal spinal alignment that can have a significant positive impact on your life.

Let Dr. Sexton help eliminate your neck pain. She is a renowned Houston Clear Lake chiropractor helping many people just like you. As a special offer, Dr. Sexton is offering 50% off your first appointment with a copy of this article. Call 281-286-2229 to set your consultation today.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Sexton, Dr. A. "Neck Pain Is Optional." Neck Pain Is Optional. 24 Jul. 2010. 1 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Sexton, D (2010, July 24). Neck Pain Is Optional. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Sexton, Dr. A. "Neck Pain Is Optional"

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