How far should I be able to turn my head?
Turn your head all the way to the right and then all the way to the left. Do have any idea of what the ideal range of movement should be?
Between 160 to 180 degrees; i.e. you should be able to rotate your neck to the right and to the left, so that your nose is in line with your shoulder (or near enough).
The neck moves a heavy 4 to 5kg weight, around several axes of movement. It also has the big job of aiding in the position of the eyes which helps us see the world around us. The nervous system supplies our neck muscles and joints so that we can accurately position our eyes and visual specific objects, whether moving or static. This incredibly complicated system gives us the opportunity to act fast if we spot signs of danger or require an immediate action.
For instance, imagine you decided to go for a cooling swim in the river Nile. Suddenly you catch a glimpse of a crocodile’s snout poking out of the water. Your brain would need to identify exactly where the predator is, so it can then decide which direction you should swim and run before you become this croc’s next meal!
The same system allows us to calculate the position of an incoming tennis ball so the brain can activate certain muscles in our arms and legs to strike the ball accurately.
Signs of the system under strain can be a simple as reduction in the range of movement i.e less than 160 degrees. Dysfunction to the joints and muscles of your neck can wreak havoc on the complex pathways our neck has with our brain. An array of conditions can result as a consequence of this. Such conditions include certain types of headache, jaw pain, “mental fog” and dizziness.
Although whiplash, trauma and wear and tear maybe common sources, research is showing that poor posture and the increasingly sedentary lifestyles we are living maybe the biggest cause.
If you’re not getting your 160-180 degrees; if you’re struggling to turn your head when driving out of a junction, or if you’re fed up of relying on pain killers for your headaches,consider coming to see us and getting your neck get checked.