If you’re wondering what could be causing your neck and shoulder muscles to feel sore, it could be because of your wrong posture. Yes, posture can affect people at all stages of life.
Posture is defined as a state of muscle and skeletal balance or alignment that protects the body’s supporting structures from progressive strain and deformity. Whether you are sitting, standing, or lying down, your muscles are able to function with least strain and maximum efficiency as long as you have good posture.
On the other hand, when you have incorrect posture, you’ll have a higher risk of having strained bones, muscles, and ligaments that can also cause pain and injury. Eventually, your soft tissues and muscles will adapt either by lengthening or shortening. As a result, they can become imbalanced, and this is what causes stiffness, fatigue, and pain.
Why Does Incorrect Neck Posture Hurt So Much?
Incorrect neck posture often leads to a Forward Head Position, which is a common cause of head, shoulder and neck tension and pain. When left unaddressed, incorrect neck posture can lead to the straining of muscles, arthritis, disc herniations, instability and pinched nerves.
The added pressure on the neck caused by altered posture makes the normal curve of the cervical spine to flatten. This results in abnormal strain of ligaments, muscles, joints and bones of the neck. Eventually, this can lead to the deterioration of the joints that may end in degenerative joint disease or spondylosis of the cervical spine.
What Are the Effects of Incorrect Neck Posture?
As mentioned earlier, posture plays a very important role in one’s health, balance, and wellness. Numerous postural factors are actually involved in causing muscle spasms on the neck, back and shoulders; weakening soft tissues; and decreasing bio-mechanical function.
Forward head posture, in particular, is mainly due to the following:
● Frequent use of the computer
● Prolonged sitting at a desk
● Sitting on chairs that aren’t appropriate for one’s body type
● Using a non-supportive mattress that sustains improper posture during sleep
● Lack of exercise or physical activity
Neck Posture Solutions
The good news is that you don’t need to have any surgery to correct your wrong neck posture. What’s important is for you to develop a healthier lifestyle and the right habits to correct your posture.
One very important part of correcting wrong neck posture would be the retraction and nodding neck exercises. These exercises will enable you to gain control over your postural neck muscles, which have become fatigued and weak over time. These postural neck muscles are deep muscles that are responsible for keeping good posture. However, these muscles are frequently overlooked in stretching and exercise programs.
If you have to use the computer for several hours everyday, it’s recommended that you place your computer monitor on a higher surface so that the screen will be even with your eyes. Make sure also that the screen is 18 to 24 inches away from your face.
Taking frequent breaks is also important if you sit for long periods. Get up even for just 30 seconds and do some neck exercises. Try pulling your head over your shoulders, and squeeze your shoulder blades in the back.
If your car seats are not designed to support the spine properly, you should use a back support pillow when you’re driving or sitting for a long time. When your back is properly supported, your neck and head will move back over your shoulders, reducing the stress on your neck and lower back.
Can Meditation Help Correct Neck Posture?
When it comes to the right position for meditation, having a tall vertical spine is ideal. This position may seem unnatural for you at first because it might not be the way you normally stand or sit, but it’s actually the healthiest position for the body, which can also help avoid neck and upper back pain.
Stretches that allow your body to be in reverse of the slouching position are highly recommended. You should also do exercises that will place your neck and upper back in the position described previously. Another good exercise is standing forward bends in which your spine is kept straight through the back of your neck while your chest is kept open. If you’re not sure how to do these poses on your own, you can learn them from a physical therapist or a yoga teacher.
Another reason for neck pain and strain is lack of support for the weight of the arms and hands while sitting. The correct meditation posture will have you rest your forearms and hands on something in order for all their weight to be supported. This way also, your neck and upper back muscles will be allowed to rest.
By getting your body and your muscles warm through certain exercises, gentle stretches, or by practicing calm yoga postures, you can experience good meditation practice, which is beneficial for your overall health. Pay attention to releasing tension in your upper back, chest, hips, and shoulders. Make sure you do not overstretch your neck.
Correct Posture Means Good Health
Correct posture means you have bones that are properly aligned, and you have joints, ligaments, and muscles that are working as nature intended. Maintaining good posture also allows your vital organs to stay in the right position so they can function efficiently. In short, good posture plays a vital role in the normal functioning of your nervous system.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to undergo any medical surgery to develop better posture. All it takes is commitment and discipline so that you may change your habits that are affecting the condition of your body. In short, you need to seriously consider having a lifestyle change to make it easier for you to form good habits that will lead to your better health and overall wellness.
As it turns out, maintaining the correct neck posture can touch various aspects of your life, from your appearance, productivity, health, as well as your mood. These are more than enough reasons for you to continue to strive to correct your posture.