Sunday, August 5, 2012

Have you ever heard of the 42 lb. head?


To quote Eric Dalton, “According to research, every inch the head moves forward of the shoulders, weight is amplified by 10 pounds. As a result, a 12 pound head held 3 inches forward causes the cervical extensors to isometrically battle 42 pounds against the relentless force of gravity.”

You can see an article that he wrote about this here, complete with a few pictures that you can reference.

When you think about it, it is pretty crazy to think that just a small amount of movement forward, can cause such strain for your neck muscles. These muscles are meant to hold up your head in an upright position quite easily. They are not meant to carry such a heavy load, or force. If you have been having a lot of headaches lately and your neck has been bothering you, you may have what is called upper-crossed syndrome. (More about upper-crossed syndrome in a future post)

What causes you to have a 42 pound head?
Technology isn't helping. If you have a smart-phone, a tablet, or an mp3 player, you may be constantly holding these items down as you look at them.

The same goes for reading too. Watch the way you hold your newspaper, books, magazines, or e-reader. If you are keeping your head held down for a long period of time, you are straining your neck muscles.

What can you do to reverse the damage done?
Raise your electronics up so that they are at your eye level instead of holding them in a way that forces you to look down. This will greatly reduce the strain in your neck muscles.

Get a massage. Actually, get a few of them. This will help remind your muscles how to relax, and this benefit will compound each time you receive bodywork.

If you are having headaches and/or neck pain, make some changes to your daily habits, and make an appointment with us.