KRON 4 | Here’s Why You May Be Carrying a 40-lb Head

Occupational and recreational habits have led to real pains in the neck. Tension and poor posture rank high as the most common pain generators. KRON 4 Morning News anchor, Marty Gonzalez, helps me demonstrate the effects of poor posture and how to fight the aching forces of gravity.

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Forward Head Posture (FHP)

One of the most common postural problems is forward head posture — for both young and old. Forward head posture is also known as:

    • Text neck, computer/notebook neck
    • Sofa neck
    • Book or reader’s neck
    • Driver’s neck

KRON 4 PosturePain1Your head should sit directly on your neck and shoulders. Think of a golf ball on a tee. But the head is more like a bowling ball (weighing about 10 to 11 lbs) than a golf ball. Your neck and shoulders have to carry the burden of this “bowling ball” all day. Supporting and moving the human head is a challenging and tiring task.

Carrying your head is an isometric contraction — you’re actually “strength training”. An isometric exercise is a static hold where the joint angle and muscle length does not change during the muscle contraction. 

Posture_AdobeStock_113073952_croppedCorrect posture: Your ears line up over your shoulder blades.

Incorrect posture: Along with forward head posture, your shoulders also “round” and roll forward.

Causes of Forward Head Posture

Repetitive use of computers, TV, video games, trauma, and even backpacks/laptop bags have forced the body forward. Also, general muscle weakness from illness or aging can cause FHP —  that is, you’re too weak to hold your own head up anymore.

KRON 4 PosturePain2

When you’re holding your head forward (out of alignment), you are putting additional strain on your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. The result? Muscle fatigue and an aching neck and back. Here’s why…    Continue reading “KRON 4 | Here’s Why You May Be Carrying a 40-lb Head”

Basic Training for Boomers (Senior Fitness)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three ‘Beyond Boomers’ (seniors 65 years and older) fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults. In 2010, direct medical costs of falls totaled over $28 billion. By urging Baby Boomers to get back to the basics of proper walking and posture, this problem can be prevented.

The Classic “Old Man’s Walk”

If you’ve ever noticed how many seniors walk, their heads are jetted forward, shoulders are rounded, eyes pointed down, and they’re bent forward at the waist. Walking this way shifts their center of gravity forward making them doubly prone to toppling over. Worse yet, they walk flat-footed (rather than walk heel to toe), so they never shift their weight from one leg to the other. ‘Shuffling’ the feet in this way diminishes balance and lower leg strength.   Continue reading “Basic Training for Boomers (Senior Fitness)”