How tight is ‘normal’?

How tight is ‘normal’?

Patients often mention that they live with a tight neck and shoulders. But is there a normal amount of tightness?

Here’s a quick way to test your own movement to see how ‘normal’ you really are. Ask a friend or family member to help, or take a video on your phone to look at the quality and quantity of your movement. Is your movement jerky or smooth? Are there any clicks or grinding? Is the movement even on each side? Are you moving as far as you should be?

You can compare your own movements against the ranges of motion depicted above. Check with your chiropractor if you’re unsure of the results.

Flexion: Tuck your chin towards your chest. Healthy range is 50-60° (Fig. 2)

Extension: Arch your head backwards. Healthy range 60°. (Fig. 2)

Side-bend: Tilt your head to one side, dropping your ear towards your shoulder. Healthy range 45°. (Fig. 3)

Rotation: Look over each shoulder. Healthy range 80°. (Fig. 4)

Get checked by a chiropractor if your movement is jerky or falls behind the normal range, or if you experience pain or grinding noises. Advice or adjustments from a chiropractor can be a great way to increase your movement to a new ‘normal’.

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