Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Snorkeling, Posture, and Neck Pains

So we're a couple of weeks into 2013 - how are those New Year's resolutions holding up?

On vacation this past week I was recharging for the coming year, and snorkeling provided a great lesson to be shared with others. No, not that more fish hang out near you, (almost follow you) if you wear the natural sunscreen, but that it’s easy to lose sight of our Movement Rx activities in the “busy-ness” of life.   Personally this hit home when I noticed neck pain after spending time chasing fish around the reef.

Pictured: My nemesis!

Now I know you are thinking, “Well I ain’t snorkeling, I’m working at my computer, hoping I don’t have to shovel, so I can stop reading." Not so fast. The positions are functionally very similar, and when we sit, drive or eat we tend to slouch (Movement Rx- Sit, Slide, & Lean) bringing our head forward, or into flexion.  In order to keep our eyes up on the screen, we raise our upper neck, extending the upper cervical spine.  This overloads the upper neck muscles & joints as well as the upper thoracic region. We need to consistently remind ourselves to avoid overloading this area to avoid both neck pain and headaches. 

So as we prepare for our day, we have to prepare our bodies for the activities that we are going to do repeatedly, such as sit, look forward and do things in front of us.  Instead of focusing on toast and coffee, I encourage to revise your resolutions and recommit to your Movement Rx for 2013. For me this includes heavy doses (3 sets x10 reps) of the neck exercise, the Glory V and the reverse lunge. 2-5 minutes out of your day and you're done. If you can’t recall your Movement Rx stop in to review them.  In the meantime I've posted a pic of the neck exercise below. Happy New Year!