The KEY to Good Neck Posture

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Written by: Jason Smith, Registered Physiotherapist, MSc(PT), CSEP-CPT, CIDN, FCAMPT

Most of us have heard of forward head posture. And most of us have tried “neck stretches” to reduce our pain to no avail, or with only short term relief.  The missing key for a lot of us is likely THORACIC SPINE MOBILITY.

Ensuring full t-spine extension mobility allows us to maintain neutral cervical (neck) posture with far less effort.

Sure, the research may be inconclusive on the relationship between posture and pain, but you try sitting like this all day and tell me how you feel! The reality we find is that pain is correlated to extremes of forward head posture, especially when subjected to this position for prolonged periods of time over many years.  If we become so immobile that we can’t access the mobility needed for daily or athletic activities, then our posture can become a BIG problem.

Try these movements to restore your thoracic spine mobility, and leave your neck feeling happy.

  1. Pectoral stretch on wall
  2. Thoracic spine foam rolling combo:
    A. Paraspinal release
    B. T-spine extension mobilization
  3. Latissimus Dorsi Stretch/ Tspine Mobilization
    *bias hands wider than elbows for lats, hands narrower than elbows for t-spine
  4. Front Squat/ Goblet Squat
    *the key is the load is in front to isometrically load the thoracic paraspinals. Front squats with a barbell in the rack position are great too!

Jason Smith GRSM Kitchener-South Physiotherapist
Registered Physiotherapist

Jay graduated from McMaster University in 2011 with a Masters of Physiotherapy. His previous education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology in 2009 from Western University. Jason has obtained his FCAMPT (Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy) designation. This designation is internationally recognized, and follows a comprehensive post-graduate training program that solidifies manual therapy skills, teaches advanced clinical reasoning, and allows him to perform spinal manipulation. Jay is also certified in Integrative Dry Needling, which he uses to release muscular restrictions throughout in the body. Jay is also a Certified Personal Trainer with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP-CPT). He enjoys working with high level athletes, especially towards the later stages of their rehab as they approach return to sport. In addition to this, Jay is a certified Sport First Responder, and former team physiotherapist for the Guelph Gryphon’s Men’s Varsity Rugby team. Jay is also certified in ImPACT Concussion Management, and is a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Specialist.

In his spare time, Jay enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, camping, and spending time with friends and family.

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