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Eliminate The Head Duck

Don't pull the head forward in this position. Solution? Fingertips!

This is not about knocking out the lead honcho in a formation of migrating birds. This is a different Head Duck. It is about what may be a human tendency to “duck” one’s head and hunch the shoulders when raising the arms. I see this with many exercises being performed with my people, including jumping jacks, or even reaching above the head. If you mimic a jumping jack right now as you sit and read this, notice if your chin thrusts forward and your head ducks down. I suppose this is a “cover up” reflex when anything is going on over your head, like a weight bar or even a resistance band strap.

Solutions for the Head Duck “Automatic Reflex”

OK, so, let’s try and fix this. Eliminating the “head duck” will improve the function of your cervical spine, may reduce headaches, and make you less vulnerable to neck injuries including whiplash.  A very useful exercise is the Cervical Posterior Glide, which we teach most of our patients on the second or third session. The exercise goes like this – Cross the arms across the chest and  put the first two fingers of the outside hand on you chin. Look straight ahead. Now, leaving the hand where it is, slide the chin back like your jaw was a drawer sliding back into place. Notice the gap between the hand and the chin. Hold for a count of 5. Now let the neck muscles relax. Typically, your chin will remain “back”, and your posture will have improved. If there was no pain, repeat 5 times. If there was pain, come in and let’s talk about it! Either way, let’s talk about it at the next session and I can explain the theory behind the Posterior Glide. Another solution, referring to the picture above, would be to not lace the fingers behind the head on these exercises – use only your fingertips. Combining these two exercises is a good solution to the problem.

Here to Help

Blue Heron Chiropractic is a full service clinic featuring modern and effective chiropractic and chiropractic orthopedics, massage, exercise rehabilitation and natural medicines on Northeast (NE) Broadway in Portland, Oregon. Directed by Dr. Dana Sibilla, we treat new pain and persisting pain, auto or work injuries. Furthermore, we integrate well with almost all other providers. We manage wellness and treat a range of conditions, from back pain to whiplash to migraines to fibromyalgia, sciatica and joint pain. Finally, if you have questions about how Chiropractic can help you, or about exercise, pain or pain management, schedule an appointment today.  You can request one here. 


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