Tuck, Tilt, Turn, and Lift is an excellent exercise to correct Forward-Head Posture. This exercise also relieves Thoracic Outlet problems like swollen hands in the morning. Also, this process will reveal stiffness and pain that will help you more accurately target your neck problems.
This series of stretches will help you sleep if you do them before bed. As well, they offer relief from tension after you’ve been working at a desk or driving for a while. If you do them 1-3 times a day, you’ll see steady progress in correcting your Forward-Head Posture. Focus on doing them gently, using the guidelines for AIS. The process is even faster and more effective if you use the Ice-and-Stretch approach.
Put your back against the wall. Make sure that your hips are against the wall as well.
Then, take note of the tension. It will almost always reveal a trigger point pattern just because you straightened up more than you do naturally. Look here if you’d like to find out which trigger point creates your pain and tension.
Trap your arms behind your back. Stabilize your shoulders and collar bones. Make sure that they are as close to level as possible.
There is a little bump at the base of your head, in the back, near your hairline. Lift it toward the ceiling so that your chin tucks and your head moves back. Lift and Tuck to touch the wall with the back of your head.
Lift and Tuck usually creates some tension in your neck. If you can’t touch the wall without great difficulty, use the AIS guidelines. In short, press up and back to the point of slight tension and holding it for 1.5 seconds. Then let your neck relax and head return. Then, repeat this motion ten times or more.
Ice-and-Stretch will make this easier, and you will progress much faster if you have some ice available. You can do this several times a day without getting sore, and you’ll make faster progress than being forceful and aggressive.
Again, take note of the change in pain or tension. Where does it pull? Where does it hurt? Use this to look through this collection of posts on Forward-Head Posture and target the problem.
If you are doing this in a chair, lift until your head is back over your hips. Using a mirror will help you balance your movement. Once they watch themselves, most people are surprised at how much they deviate.
Lift and Tuck
until you can touch the wall
with your chin down
before going to the next step.
Many self-care routines have you do this and hold it for 90 seconds or do it ten times, holding for 1.5 seconds each time. This approach uses reciprocal inhibition to release tight muscles in your neck and strengthen the weak ones. This process will be quicker and with less effort in correcting Forward-Head Posture if we do a few more things.
Tilt while Tucked. Gently tilt to one side until you feel lightly restricted. Lift your head up and away from your body as you tilt. It usually feels stiffer when you have tucked first.
Again, take note of the change in pain and tension.
Do the other side.
Turn while Tucked. Keeping your head close to the wall, turn as far as you can toward the shoulder without letting the other shoulder come off the wall. Do this to the point of slight tension.
As before, do this 20 times or use the Ice-and-Stretch method.
Again, take note of the change in pain or tension. Take a look at this collection of posts on a stiff neck to help target the specific muscle.
Do the other side.
With your head turned, lift your chin. This movement is usually much more restricted and makes it difficult to stay turned while lifting.
Keep your chin as close to the wall as possible, which is usually quite difficult.
Again, do this 20 times or use the Ice-and-Stretch method.
Take note of the change in pain and tension.
Do the other side.
If you’ve noticed any stiffness or pain that remains after this series of stretches, you can look them up for more specific treatment. You might also take a look at the post on headaches that come from your neck.
Look at the collection of posts on Forward-Head-Posture. It has a more comprehensive look at the syndrome and related patterns. This includes a post that has an overview that better defines the syndrome. It including a few variations on how it looks. This post contains more self-care ideas, including changes in posture, working space, and other self-care exercises.
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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.
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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.