Tight necks, shoulders and back are par for the course with modern living leading to shortened chest, neck & anterior shoulder muscles & can result in and/or exacerbate a forward head posture as well as restrict correct breathing strategies.
This diagram shows how the fascia connects along the Arms Lines (pic A. Superficial Arm Lines on the left arm & Deep Arm Lines shown on the right arm) & the top of the Deep Front Line (pic B.) The posture of looking down whilst holding a baby will involve & place all these tissues into a shortened, tightened position – add this to our modern lives where most people have a forward head posture anyway from screen watching & it’s going to be a real pain in the neck (sorry)!!
Regularly stretching & de-fuzzing your neck will help relieve tension & prevent the build up of poor alignment adaptations. Head placement is key to having a tension free neck but tissues that are locked long or short will create pain & discomfort so try these 3 stretches to help stick your head back on top of your body where it belongs!
- Anterior neck release by the lovely Jenny Burrell!: Watch this video http://youtu.be/WwVykNkcyVs
- Lateral neck & arm lines stretch: Standing or sitting with a neutral pelvis, extend one arm with your palm up and then tip the opposite ear to shoulder. Try to keep your chin tucked and if you want to increase the stretch then place your palm flat against the wall (fingers back) as you do it.
- Posterior neck stretch – head nods: Lying on your back with your knees bent, as you exhale nod your head and gently press the back of your head down into the floor to feel the stretch – then inhale to relax. Make sure that you don’t push down so much that you can’t maintain your chest position – if you notice your ribs lifting up then lessen the movement to control it. Also to optimise the stretch draw your shoulders down and away from your ears – think about reaching your fingers toward your toes throughout the nods. You should feel a lengthening on the back of the neck and remember this is just a small movement!
Try these 2 or 3 times a day to feel a difference.