Advice from a Physiotherapist on Neck and Shoulder Pain caused by Chin ‘Poking’



Stop Leading with your Chin and it doesn’t look good either!

Is your Head always leading the way….?

Brought to you by Christina Foch – Certified Physiotherapist, RN, Bsc

Key Causes of Chin Poking

  • Poking chin forward to see computer screen
  • Poking chin forward when driving
  • Poking chin forward to see television
  • Poking chin forward as a habit caused by slouching back into ‘C’ shape and dropping shoulders forward

What Chin Poking Does to the Body

  • Lengthens muscles in front of neck which causes strain
  • Shortens muscles in back of neck and compresses cervical spine vertabrae (neck portion of spine) which can lead to arthritis in the neck
  • When head is forward from ‘neutral’ position it doubles the weight of the head on the neck and shoulders – ie – 11 lb head stretched forward = 22lbs on neck and shoulders = stress and strain to neck and shoulder region

The Gist of What Christine the Physiotherapist says..Instructions to Correct ‘Chin Poking’

  • Draw head back so that ears are over shoulders – Chin is parallel to the floor
  • This balances the weight of the head over the shoulders and on the neck
  • The front muscles of neck and back muscles of neck are also in balance without strain to either side
  • When the head is in balance over the shoulders there is no compression to the vertabrae in the neck area (cervical spine). This is important. Think about slightly lengthening the vertabrae in the neck allowing for optimum blood and nerve movement – this is done with a softness in the neck (never strain)

Consider This…

  • When you are in the process of correcting a bad habit with the body alignment, the body is familiar with the incorrect way and it will take time for the muscles to support the correct way. If neck has been lengthened in front and shortened in back, it may feel a little strained with this correction until the muscles balance out. Be patient. It’s worth it to your health. Just keep correcting yourself everytime you think of it.

Important Considerations of physiotherapy advice

  • This advice is general and should be viewed with the intent that this will not support every case. Christina advises based on a general experience. If you are in this situation you may want to see your Doctor or health care provider. This advice is something that you may try to support you in your effort

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