Many of my patients hate to hear these words because they bring up a very negative emotional response. Unfortunately, their mothers nagged them with the same words I am now using when I have them stand with their backs against the wall, trying to keep their buttocks, upper back and head lined up. Most of them cannot keep their heads against the wall, and even if I use a rolled up towel they can’t push the roll into the wall. Their chins point upward as their necks extend towards the wall with a hunchback look. Not only does this make you look old, but it reduces your balance, decreases how much air gets into your lungs, causes neck and back pain, shoulder limitations, and possibly even jaw disorders.
When you sit or stand up straight, try to align your ears with the shoulders. The shoulders should line up with the hips which, if you are standing, should line up with the ankles from a side profile. Start looking at people and see how much their heads go forward. Even a small distance forward can put a big increase in pressure in your lower back disks. Gravity will pull a forward head down, causing more effort by the neck muscles to keep the head from falling forward. This can explain constant soreness and hardness in many people’s neck and shoulders. When the head is aligned and balanced on the neck, almost no muscle power is needed to keep the head perched on the spine.