I’m on a campaign to stamp out slumping in my lifetime!
(Just joking – one can only hope – along with prayers for world peace and a collective wish for the eradication of the coronavirus).
In this blog and video series, I’ve put together a routine of 8 exercises you can do anytime, anywhere to correct your posture to release upper back and neck pain and tension.
- Decreased neck pain
- Correct kyphosis, a.k.a. slumping
- Fewer problems with forward head posture
- Less shoulder pain
- Improved energy from better breathing because forward head posture may decrease your lung capacity by 30 percent
- Released tension after sitting in front of a computer
- Decreased eye strain because constant slumping can affect your eyes
- Reduced likelihood of painful wedge fractures to your vertebrae as you age
- Increases your longevity because a recent study found hyperkyphotic posture was associated with a 1.44 greater rate of mortality
The way you sit, stand and carry your body may be causing you to feel uncomfortable now but here’s what could happen.
I don’t like to be scary, but if you do not change your evil ways of sitting, standing and bending forward to squint at your cell phone, you could literally break your neck or your back.
Kyphosis – a.k.a. slumping, which technically occurs when the curvature of your thoracic spine exceeds 35 degrees – is bad enough.
But things could get much worse, believe me.
A wedge fracture occurs when the front of your vertebrae collapse, leaving the back of the bone unchanged, resulting in a painful condition where your vertebrae become wedge shaped.
Simply put, when you spend hours and hours every day bending over your computer, desk, cell phone and/or steering wheel, your spine literally changes shape.
Your head juts forward.
Although the average weight of a head is roughly 10 to 12 pounds, that means if you slump badly enough the forces on your neck and upper back are increased to where your head would feel like it weighs 42 pounds.
Your chest rounds, your upper back muscles weaken and the extra curve in your thoracic spine places a crushing pressure onto your vertebrae.
The range of motion in your shoulder joint changes, making it harder for you to play golf, tennis or even raise your arms over your head.
And over time, the weight of your upper body places terrific stress on your vertebrae, which are more likely to fracture should you suffer from bone degeneration such as osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Do I have your attention yet?
I put together this simple, easy routine for a client whose neck and upper back pain failed to be alleviated by regular visits to her chiropractor.
In fact, even though she would get adjusted regularly, her pain would return before she even left the chiropractor’s office while she was bending over to write her check.
If you don’t know what it looks like to sit or stand properly, you can download this free handout of photographs one of my very diligent clients put together so you can see for yourself. To learn how to stand and sit properly, please visit this link.
Here’s why the neck and shoulder stretches you’ve been doing may have made little difference in your neck, shoulder and upper back pain.
My yoga students love restorative fish pose so much I start virtually every yoga class I teach with my students in this asana.
Learn what it feels back to roll your shoulders back, open your chest and create the space for your lungs to breathe.
You may think you stand up straight.
What if you used a wall not just to check your posture but to train yourself to press your shoulders back and spread your chest?
This exercise is harder than it looks for most people.
Your rhomboid muscles are not your only upper back muscles that may experience knots, tightness and discomfort.
From 26 years teaching yoga I’ve found one of the best ways to release tension in this area is to use a chair.
The bonus is you can do this exercise anytime you find yourself sitting for hours on end.
Whenever you have pain anywhere in your body, you have compression.
Wide Leg Forward Fold with your hands on a chair, counter top or bed is one of the best ways to lengthen your spine, release compression and get out of pain.
Scissor twist on a wall gets every vertebrae in your spine moving and is also a great way to open your tight chest muscles.
Many people have never even heard of your levator scapulae muscles but if you have ever felt tightness in the back of your neck you’ve suffered from an imbalance here.
Release tension in your neck, shoulders and upper back with eagle arms.
Wheel pose is one of the most powerful asanas for correcting kyphosis.
However, many people are too weak and tight to push themselves up into the classical yoga pose.
You can use a Swiss ball to achieve many of the same benefits with less effort.
To learn more, please read or listen to the audiobook version of my Amazon number 1 bestselling book The Difference Between Pain and Suffering.
The Difference Between Pain and Suffering is a complete handbook for hope and healing for pain relief without drugs.
Written by medical intuitive healer Catherine Carrigan, this book outlines tips you can follow to restore your health naturally.
Drug overdose is now the No. 1 cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.
Learn how to feel good without opioids or over-the-counter medication.
Your Physical Body: Learn how to heal pain through nutrition, yoga, posture exercise, restorative movement, juices and smoothies and food healing.
Your Energy Body: Take advantage of the hidden secrets of your chakras, energy healing, Reiki, balancing your acupuncture meridians and breathing exercises.
Your Emotional Body: Release the emotional stress behind your suffering, overcome your broken heart, understand the messages from your body and let go of the payoffs for chronic pain.
Your Mental Body: Change your story to think like a rich and healthy person.
Your Spiritual Body: Raise your vibration past pain and suffering and learn how to comfort others when all you have to give is love.
This book includes an appendix with 41 therapeutic yoga exercises, charts and directions on how to balance your own acupuncture meridians and recipes for radiant health.
I’ve now taught yoga for 26 years. At age 62, I still teach eight yoga classes every week. You can join my four Zoom classes every week which meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings 7:30 to 9 p.m. EST, Thursday mornings 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST and Saturday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon p.m. EST.
To set up an appointment for a medical intuitive reading or healing work, please email catherine@catherinecarrigan or call 678-612-8816. If you are calling internationally, please call me at the same number through WhatsApp so I can return your call toll free!