The deep neck flexors (DNF) are deep muscles that sit in the front of your neck and are important neck stabilisers. They help to keep to maintain head posture. There are a few things that can cause these neck flexors to weaken and possibly turn off.

Here are 3 reasons that can cause the DNF to switch off: 

1. Pain in the neck

Especially a long history of pain or as is also known, chronic pain can turn the DNF off

2 .Injury 

 Such as a motor vehicle accident or a sports injury.

3. Poor Posture                                                                                                                                                 

Prolonged sitting at the desk or standing with head forward will over time cause an elongation of the DNF and cause them to fatigue. This will eventually lead to the DNF being weakened.

The above factors, will ultimately cause more pain and create further poor posture because those DNF are so weak. This, in turn, will make that neck more susceptible to injury and damage. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle and the best way to deal with it is to avoid poor posture and also strengthen the muscles at the front of the neck.

The Exercise to strengthen DNF:

It is important that you give this exercise two weeks of a daily routine and any signs of aggravation you need to stop and speak to your chiropractor. Keep mouth closed while doing this exercise.

Start by lying on the floor on a yoga mat or on carpet with knees bent and arms out by the side, palms facing forward. Place a soft ball in the curve of your neck, as the video demonstrates. This will help to maintain the normal forward neck curve.

1.Gently, but firmly scoop skull back and up, so your in effect trying to push the ball into the ground. Hold this position for 45-60 seconds.

2.Break for 30-60 seconds and repeat for a total of 5 times.

3.After a week or so, when you feel the DNF getting a bit stronger you can attempt to do these standing. Have feet at shoulder width apart, bottom and mid back touching the wall. Engage core by pulling belly button to lower back and tightening gluteal (bottom) muscles. Relax shoulders back. Repeat 1.- 3. above.

Remember, any problems consult your neck chiropractor.