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Monday, August 8, 2011

Taking Care of Your Neck

The key to taking care of your neck is good posture of the neck always! The correct posture for you neck is when looking at the neck from the side you should have a slight inward "C" curve called the cervical lordosis. Your head should be directly over your shoulders.

Forward head posture is one of the most common cervical alignment problems. Your head should not be forward of your shoulders, tilted to one side and your chin should not be tilted up.

Here are a few tips to taking care of your neck:

- Computer/desk: The monitor should be directly in front of you witout you having to look down or up to see it. You should sit with your back against the back of the chair with support for your low back. Your forearms should be supported on armrests and your feet should touch the ground. Your keyboard should be at an appropriate height to maintain good alignment with your forearms. Standing up every 30 to 60 minutes to stretch is good for your entire body. Set up a pop up reminder on your computer to help you remember!

- Telephone: Do not talk on the phone with your head bent to one side and your shoulder elevated to hold the phone. A headset or speaker phone is a better alternative.

- Driving: The back rest should allow you to sit up straight. The back of your head should be 2 to 4 inches from the back of the head rest. The top of the head rest should be as high as the top of your head.

- Reading: Sit in a chair that promotes good alignment of the entire spine. Keep your forearms supported on armrests or pillows at an appropriate height to avoid slouching. Hold the book so you do not have to lean your head forward. Place a pillow in your lap if needed. If you like to read in bed sit with your back supported with pillows, place another pillow in your lap to support the book and another pillow under your knees. It is ok to read in a sidelying postion as long as your head and neck are level and not tilted to one side.

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