OpenRoad Driver Volume 13 Issue 1 - Page 86

86 » OpenRoad Driver Soon you are uncomfortable lying on your back in bed without that pillow. But simple discomfort is not the only issue that a forward head can cause. As Paul Chek states, “For every inch that the head’s centre of gravity is shifted forward, the lower cervical spine is subsequently subjected to compressive forces equivalent to a one-time additional weight of the head.” Most heads weigh between 12 and 20 pounds, so if your head were even three inches forward, that would put between 36 and 60 pounds of extra weight on the lower cervical neck spine, which is extremely fatiguing to the back of your neck. The pull on the back of the head is also known to cause chronic headaches. These muscles that must deal with this constant load become exhausted, and their blood flow proportionally diminishes as muscle contraction increases. This lack of blood flow is often the primary source of muscle pain in the neck region. Over time, the pain may migrate lower as more muscles become involved. As certain muscles tighten under the strain, their opposites lengthen and weaken, extending the problem further into the body. For example, as your shoulder blades are pulled up to support the forward head, the muscles that pull your shoulder blades down weaken.