How far should your neck turn?
Test your NECK rotation?
If you experience neck pain and stiffness after spending long hours of your day sitting, the you may want to take this test your neck mobility.
Why is full neck movement important:
Neck mobility is important for maintain flexibility, range of motion and minimising neck tightness, pain, and stiffness, as well as enabling us to support and move our head how we want.
What causes stiff neck:
Modern lifestyle activities that can contribute to neck pain and stiffness include:
- sitting too long
- looking down at mobile phones and computer devices
- poor posture
- driving for extended periods of time
- poor sleeping posture/unsupportive pillow
- carrying a shoulder bag/backpack over one shoulder
These lifestyle factors over a period of time can restrict our movement in our neck and could result in symptoms such neck pain and stiffness, headaches and jaw pain.
Test how far you can turn:
- Sit in an upright posture
- With slow and controlled movements turn your head all the way to the righ
- Then turn your head all the way to the left
- Did you notice you can go further on one side than the other?
You should be able to rotate your head so that your nose is in line with your shoulder, approximately 70-90 degrees.
Where does the problem lie:
If you can’t rotate your head to reach your shoulder you may have some underlying joint dysfunction or muscle tightness causing this restriction which may be contributing to your neck pain symptoms.
Try to help by doing the following:
To start improving your neck mobility there are plenty of things you can do at home including:
- improving your posture
- taking regular breaks while sitting at a desk
- adjusting your computer screen so it is at eye level
- reduce the time spent on your mobile phone or adjust the position so you are holding the phone at eye level
If you are looking for ways to stretch and loosen your neck muscles and reduce the dysfunction in your joints, consider asking your local chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist for help!
Lisa Smycz, chiropractor