Neck pain can persist for many reasons, but one of the most common is that the relationship between your eye and neck muscles has changed.
Do you feel like your head is crooked when you look straight ahead? This could be a sign that it is influencing your neck pain.
The neck has receptors that tell you where your head is and whether it is straight or crooked. These receptors can be damaged through injury or wear and tear. Studies have found this to be a particular problem after a whiplash injury or if you have arthritis. Balance is an essential part of treating ankle and knee injuries, but is often overlooked in other parts of the body!
Try this simple test of balance and position of your head:
1. Sit down and focus on a small spot in front of you (eg. a spot on the wall, or a part of the pattern on a curtain.)
2. Close your eyes and turn your head as far as you can to the left.
3. Keeping your eyes closed, turn your head back to where you started.
4. Open your eyes.
How did you go? Are your eyes focused exactly on the same small spot? Are you a little to the left or right? Are you a little above or below?
Next, try this test on your right side.
Is the result any different?
If your head is in balance, you should be able to return to your starting position, open your eyes and be looking exactly at the same spot.
Studies have found that some people are consistently off the spot by an average of 4cm. Often, they are off focus in one specific direction, but perfect in others. Computer work often requires you to quickly turn your head away from the screen, and then return to the part of the screen you were working on. Without realising, you may be constantly correcting your head position. This is often a contributing factor in neck and shoulder pain or stiffness.
The good news is that this can improve and be corrected with practice. By using head-mounted laser equipment, we are able to show you how to correct your head balance, and provide the specific exercises for you to improve your balance and also relieve your neck pain.