What Does the Leaning Tower of Pisa Have to Do With Solving Neck Pain?

Hey, guys! It’s Trupti here at Manual Medicine Spine & Sports PT. I wanted to go over a quick question that I got the other day from a client of mine.

She came in and her head was very, very forward and looking down. She came with neck pain and wants to work on her posture and get her head back in place. She wants to have better control of her head. So we started working on strengthening her core, okay?

Her question was “Why are we strengthening my lower back and pelvis when I’m here for a problem in my head and neck?”

So, then I went on to explain to her with using my skeleton and using a stick, which I said is her spine and the skull is her head. What I mentioned is that for every inch that the head goes forward, it pulls the spine and there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on the upper back. But what happened with her, with that 15-pound bowling ball that we call our head, is it was looking down and then leaning forward…

So what I then went into is the discussion of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, all right? And what I said with that is if we only address her head and neck, we’re going to get some results. But if we get her low back down at the base of the spine, her foundation in a good place, we can actually get her to lean back in a good position and then we have a much better chance for the head to look straight ahead instead of down.

Now, if we only focus on the neck and shoulders, that’s really hard to create without the stability in the low back, okay? So with that said in her appointment that day, we went over how to strengthen the transversus, how to strengthen the pelvic floor, how to strengthen the diaphragm. And with that, we’re working on creating a stable base of support to help her foundation. So that she is not leaning forward like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

And when we’re done, she stood up and she says “Wow!” “I can hold my head back.”

We did nothing to strengthen her neck that day. We did no chin retractions, we did no shoulder stability. All we worked on was her pelvis and her abdominals. And with that, we saw improvement in her ability to hold her head where we want her to hold her head.

So, the answer to the question “Why are we working on the core when our issue is the head and neck?” Is it is all connected and it always has been and always will be. And the reality is if we only address the neck and head and shoulders we’re not really doing justice for what you need. So with that said, if your healthcare practitioner is only focused on your head and neck for your neck pain and not looking down the chain and not strengthening your entire trunk… then it might be time to give us a call and let us take a look at you.

If you want more tips to ease neck and shoulder pain, ask for my my FREE report that shows you ways to ease neck and shoulder pain naturally – it has some helpful exercises inside too which you can use on your vacation. Just email me at trupti@mmsspt.com and your digital copy will be on it’s way to you, right away.

Trupti Mehta, PT, MS, OCS

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