Your 6 packs and that neck pain

With the gyms finally, open I see dozens of urban fitness freaks frequenting them again. Every month parallelly I see a considerable number of patients who are gym regulars and confused about their every present neck pain. Memory foam ergonomic pillows rolled towel to no pillows they seem to have done it all with little or no relief. 

May the forces be with you

I am a strong believer in the power of forces within you and outside you to shape you. And let me tell you why

Our  urban forced abs

Abdominals aka abs are a flexible connection between 2 cages. The ribs and the pelvis. As they are functionally so strategic we have them oriented in different directions and functioning as a cohesive unit. This brings me to the most adored and photographed muscle of all “ Rectus abdominis” aka the Six-packs

Your neck and the six-packs

We have 2 recti abdominis muscles one on either side of the midline structure called the linea alba. They are long strip-like muscles connecting the lower ribs and the sternum or the breast bone to the pelvis. When contracted they bring the rib cage and the pelvis closer as in a curl up position. Optimal length and tension in these are important to keep the ribs, shoulder, and pelvis in neutral, maintain the normal curves and function of the spine and allow the diaphragm which is the main respiratory muscle to move fully. This in turn keeps the shoulders and neck relaxed. PS( for more details on these mechanics please read my previous blog  Breathing our immunity booster section Stress breathing ).

Dominoes effect

Those crunches, sit-ups, and roll-ups done to give definition only pull the ribs and pelvis closer, curl us up more, and flatten out normal curves. This curled spine shortens the pectorals which are our chest muscles. These in turn pull the shoulders forward and inwards. . To maintain a normal gaze the neck has to overarch and poke the chin forwards. 

Over a period this inefficient position sensitizes the neck, fatigues the stability muscle, and here we are The persistent pain, stiffness, and discomfort. 

So does it really matter what props you use when you sleep as long as you don’t correct how you use your body at rest and during movements?

Enough with the heavy nerdy part… My suggestion for a happy neck is to Do the unthinkable “ let go of your abs “ …I Will be putting up my next blog on how-to and till then Belly breathe and let go

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