Jun 162015

Computer Neck
Do you suffer from computer neck? Have you ever heard of computer neck? What the heck is computer neck anyway?
Computer neck, also known as anterior head carriage, is a postural distortion. If you look at a person from the side, and you see their head is in front of their shoulders, they have computer neck.
Ideally, we carry our head squarely over our shoulders where it can be supported by our spinal column, with very little effort by our muscles.
In anterior head carriage, or computer neck, we carry our head out in front of our shoulders. As our head moves forward, gravity tries to pull it down. In order to keep our head off our chest, our posterior neck and upper back muscles must work hard to hold it up. With gravity exerting its’ pull, our head can weigh as much as 42 pounds!42lbhead-page-001
Increasingly, many of our activities put us into an anterior head carriage. Examples include siting at a desk to write or type. We move our head forward to see the paper we are writing on, or to look at the keyboard we are typing on. When we sit down to eat, our head moves forward as we bring food to our mouth. The headrests in our cars push our head forward. Our recliner chairs push our head forward. The list gets longer, but I think you get the idea.
So what’s wrong with our heads in a forward position?
With our heads carried in a forward position, the posterior neck and upper back muscles must work extra hard against the pull of gravity. In time these muscles become fatigued and symptoms may develop, such as tight achy muscles, headache, and restricted range of motion. After prolonged periods held in this position, our brain thinks we want to keep our head forward, and will shorten the anterior neck and upper chest wall muscles to keep our head in this forward position. At that point, we are unable to adopt correct posture.
Of course, anytime a muscle or group of muscles changes its length and tone, the rest of the body must accommodate the change and compensate. Just as when you squeeze on end of an inflated balloon, the shape of the whole balloon changes. Over time, this leads to more postural distortions and complications, compromising body functions and our overall comfort.
So, what can be done about computer neck?
If you have computer neck, or know someone with computer neck, don’t despair.
Myoskeletal Alignment Technique offers help and relief from symptoms with specific techniques to address and correct anterior head carriage, or computer neck. Shortened muscles are lengthened, inhibited muscles, or those muscles that are stretched tight, are returned to their correct length and tone, and the head and neck are brought back over the shoulders where they belong.
I am a certified Level 4 Myoskeletal Alignment Technique therapist. If you suffer from computer neck, or think you may have computer neck, why not call for an appointment, or for a free consultation?


Nov 232013

Torqued Pelvis Symptoms

A torqued pelvis can cause not only lower back, hip and leg pain, but also upper body pain as the body tries to accommodate and adjust to the pelvic imbalance. Common complaints include, “I feel like my lower body is facing a different direction than my upper body.” or “When I look in the mirror, my body looks crooked.”

Am I Susceptible?

A torqued pelvis is common and occurs in people of all ages and all occupations. No one is exempt. Is your pelvis torqued?

Visual Signs of Pelvis Torque

One of the first things I look at when working on a client is their pelvic balance. The pelvis is formed by five bones. The two largest are the ilium bones (what most people think of as their hip bones). The ilium bones are joined in the back by our sacrum, which is rather triangular in shape. The Pelvic-Anatomyother two bones in the pelvis are the ishium bones, the bones we sit on.

With the client in a prone position (face down),  I check to see if the pelvis is level or torqued. A torqued pelvis has one ilium bone anteriorly rotated and the other ilium bone posteriorly rotated. You can get an idea of what this looks like by closing your hands into fists and holding them side by side in front of you. Rotate one fist forward and the other fist backward. This is what a torqued pelvis looks like.

Pelvic Anatomony

Our ligaments are the structures responsible for holding our bones together in correct alignment. When ligaments fail to do their job, either from damage, such as sprains, or because the are overpowered by our muscles, bones move into incorrect alignment

Leg Seems Shorter

A torqued pelvis is accompanied by a short leg on the side where the ilium bone is posteriorly rotated. When the ilium rotates backward, the attached leg is pulled in a cephalid direction (towards the head), resulting in a shorter leg on that side. This does not mean the leg bone is actually shorter than the other leg (known as an anatomically shorter leg), only that the leg measures  shorter because its’ point of attachment to the pelvis has moved.

Re-balancing the Pelvis to Eliminate Pain

In order to level, or rebalance the pelvis, I use a two-pronged approach. First, I shim the pelvis with pelvic blocks. These are wedge shaped blocks that and placed under the pelvis at the appropriate place. With the blocks in place, gravity will cause the ilium bones to rotate back to the correct position. Secondly, using muscle control techniques, I address the hypertonic (short and tight) muscles holding the pelvis out of balance. This relieves the muscles pull on the pelvic bones, allowing the ilium bones to stay in the proper place.

What Should I Do?

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned or think you might have a torqued pelvis, call 603-537-9767 and ask for a free consultation.