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Neck Pain: Stop Doing THIS! Or Your Pain Won't Get Better

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in January of 2022. For the original video go to

Bob: Today we're going to talk about neck pain. You have to stop doing this thing, Brad.

Brad: Yeah, I know.

Bob: So a major non-trauma source of neck pain is when you put your neck in a bad position for a prolonged long period of time. Now you can get away with this for a while, especially if you're young. But it's going to catch up to you and eventually, you will feel pain. I guarantee you.

Brad: It's the big P, isn't it, Bob?

Bob: Right, the big P.

Brad: Posture, posture, and more posture.

Bob: Right. So here are four of the most common harmful postures. Now this one, I got my phone here, just pure neck flexion. Do you want to show one from the side, Brad?

Brad: Yeah, flexion is looking down.

Bob: All right. You could also have head forward and that's more common at the computer, I think. Especially a laptop. The laptop is down low and you're flexed with your head forward. And if you have bifocals.

Bob: Next one, the one I have, is left tilt. I don't know why I do this, but I keep my head to the left.

Brad: It probably started when you watched that "Forest Gump" movie. When you were a kid and they watched TV that way.

Bob: Yeah that's right. The other one, of course, is right tilt. And I don't do that one at all, but I think I did the left tilt a lot when I wrote notes.

Bob: It's all typing now. So, it happens when you're typing, phone use, tablet use and it could happen in bed too. You could have your head forward flexed in bed.

Brad: Oh, sure. You bet.

Bob: So really this is an issue where you just must be aware of it, and you must correct it with exercise. Let's take the first one. How about forward flexion like looking down at a phone? One of the best things to do, first off, if you have your phone, is to bring it up to you. Short little arms and bend your elbows.

Bob: But the other thing is you can actually work on cervical extensions, go the opposite direction because these muscles might tighten up on you. So, you work on doing extensions.

Brad: If you're at a computer, if your computer screen is low, get something underneath it. Get that screen up.

Bob: Absolutely. And you really need a separate keyboard.

Brad: Right. Wireless keyboard, get that low and the screen up.

Bob: If you have a laptop. So we kind of jumped ahead here with forward head. You're going want to make sure, one, we correct it. So we're going to do chin tucks. The opposite. We never talked about this before, have we?

Brad: Nah. Did we mention it? We could write a book on it forward and backward. So yeah, bring the chin in.

Bob: Now Brad's showing, and also you can do it with a little overpressure. You can take your fingers and push on your chin, or you can take the crux of your thumb and push back. This is really a handy thing. But the thing we like about chin tucks is they're a reminder too. If you are in that forward head position for a while then "Oh, that's where I should be." I chin-tuck and realize I should be back in this position.

Brad: Right. You know, along with that, the shoulders, the chest, and the whole thoracic posture remains as a unit and works together.

Bob: Right, it's very difficult to have good posture, if you keep your upper back rounded.

Brad: Yeah, it doesn't work.

Bob: You can do a chin tuck all you want but it's not going to help. All right. How about left and right tilt? It's very simple. You just have to be aware of it. I fall into this habit all the time. Even when I podcast. I realize I'm tilting to the left.

Brad: Doesn't Mike remind you?

Bob: Well, he leaves the room.

Brad: Oh, he does? He gets out of there?

Bob: Yeah, he does. He doesn’t listen to me.

Brad: He goes and reads a book I suppose.

Bob: Yeah he does something like that. But anyway, you know, a thing that works really well, if you have a left tilt, do a chin tuck and then do a right tilt. You're probably tight going to the right. And I am. So, I have plenty of motion to the left, but to the right, I can't move as far.

Bob: So, if you're the opposite and you're a right tilter, you would chin tuck and then go to the left.

Brad: And there's a very strong likelihood, you don't know if you're a right tilter or left tilter unless someone watches you and brings it to your attention.

Bob: You can use mirrors or, I don't know if you film yourself. Sometimes it's quite funny. A lot of people tell me that they see themselves on video and they didn't realize their posture was so bad.

Brad: Well, that's happened to both you and me, it's like, "Oh my goodness, who is that? That’s me!" And it just scares the posture back into you.

Bob: This seems so benign, this seems like a minor thing, these posture things, but it's amazing how much pain they cause. I mean really strikingly a lot of pain.

Brad: And also you just look better, you know when you're up tall and posture. You look good. You look confident, you breathe better. Everything works better mechanically.

Bob: It's going to help also to move a little bit.

Brad: Oh absolutely.

Bob: If you go ahead and go for a walk in between sessions of being at the computer.

Brad: Say no more.

Bob: Thanks for watching.

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