The Posture Problem
You look older and less fit when you have poor posture. Poor posture also can produce physical problems. You lose vertical height and appear shorter than you were made to be. Headaches can result. You lose proper jaw alignment, and as a result you develop an annoying “click” in your temporomandibular joint.
How Can My Jaw be Affected by My Poor Posture?
Your lower jaw juts forward ever-so-slightly when your head is poked forward. As a result, when you open your mouth, your lower jaw “clicks” when it runs into certain bump on your skull. Your jaw “clicks” to the point where your friends and family members may socially distance themselves at the dinner table to escape your noisy jaw click.
Can My Jaw Click Get Better When I Correct My Posture?
When you sit up straight and pull your head back over your trunk you may hear your jaw click become softer. Your jaw no longer rubs on the same point on your skull and pressure is relieved. However, posture correction may have no effect on your jaw disorder. Use other physical therapy treatments to directly target your jaw mechanics in that event. Use posture correction techniques often when they do work.
What About Posture and My Headaches?
Poor posture tightens up two main headache muscles, which are the sternocleidomastoid and the occipital muscles. Several muscles in the front of neck, the longus colli and longus capitis muscles, are designed to counteract this tightness. However, these muscles become weak when you have poor posture. Strengthen the longus colli and capitis muscles with the theraband chin tuck exercise displayed above. As a result, you will force the headache-producing occipital and sternocleidomastoid muscles to stretch out. As a result of stretching these muscles, headaches frequently go away.
Check out these three muscles in my previous blogs. Look at the beautiful illustrations to get a better vision as to what is “under the hood” in your neck. Balance these muscles into a proper posture position to get your headaches and jaw disorder feeling better.
How Does the Theraband Exercise Chin Tuck Exercise Work?
Do the theraband chin tuck exercise to improve your posture. We spend much of our day slumped over at our computers or watching TV. It may be too much to ask for you to constantly keep an upright posture. Occasionally perform the theraband chin tuck to stop your slumped back and forward head position from getting locked in.
First, get your head into a proper posture position. Secondly, place the theraband against the back part of you head. Thirdly, pull forward with the theraband while keeping your neck still. Feel the muscles in the back of your head and neck stretch out. Finally, do NOT let your head pull forward as you pull the theraband forward.. Do not let your neck flop forward out of its proper posture position!
Stretch Tight Chest Muscles
In addition, when you find the position of comfort for your arms you may feel a stretch in the front of your chest. People often have rounded, forward shoulders as part of their slouched posture position. This exercise can have the secondary benefit of stretching these tight chest muscles out. Do not cause any pain in your shoulders when you do this exercise. Support your elbows on a kitchen table if your arms become fatigued quickly.
How Long Do I Need to Use the Theraband to Get Results?
Activate the longus colli and capitis muscles with the theraband for five minute sessions to get a better posture. Pull the theraband forward while it is on the back of your head, increase the tension, and then relax it in time with your breathing.
You may prefer to hold the theraband in place for several minutes without the pull and release technique. Above all, remember that the muscles in the back of the neck and head are sensitive. You must not overload them. They did not tighten down overnight, and they will take time to stretch out.
Do the theraband exercise daily for an ingrained problem. Exercise only once a week to keep your postural muscles in shape if you just need a posture reminder now and then. Consult you therapist about the specifics.
What If I Cannot Keep the Theraband on My Head?
Worry not. Use a scarf instead of theraband if you find the theraband slipping. You can put a washcloth on the back of your head to hold the theraband into position on your head. Substitute a pillow or rubber ball behind your head if you have a shoulder problem which prevents you from holding your arms up. Do not use your arms at all.
Push into a solid object rather than thin air. You will get better muscle feedback about your posture position this way. Always check with your doctor or therapist before starting a new exercise technique.
Natural Techniques Can Work Wonders
You may have been stuck in the forward head position for so long that your poor, abnormal posture feels normal to you. Use the theraband exercise and other strategies so that normal posture begins to feel normal and your slump starts to feel unnatural.
Poor posture becomes harder to correct as you get older. Start posture correction when you are young so that you do not slump over when you are old. However, whether you are young or old, remember poor posture is not etched in stone. Stand tall and feel and look better!
-You understand that if not done properly, some techniques and exercises described in this blog could harm you. Any activities you perform are at your own risk, and you expressly agree to waive any claims against the author for any harm that may arise from your own actions. By reading this blog and conducting these exercises, you accept this risk. This blog provides content related to physical and/or mental health issues. As such, your use of techniques described acts as your acceptance of this disclaimer. Consult Chapter 2 in my book, “Calming the Headache Storm” to make sure the headache is not the sign of a more serious problem. The techniques, advice and strategies contained in this blog may not be suitable for every individual and should be abandoned if your headache increases. Seek the advice of your physician.