Just like the Multifidus in the back (discussed in the previous blog) is responsible for balance, body awareness, spinal health, and proprioception.…the deep neck muscles are responsible for proprioception of the head and neck. For discussion in this blog I am just going to call the group of muscles, the deep neck muscles. It isn’t necessary for you to know all the names of these small muscles in order to appreciate their valuable role in your health. You can look at the photo to see them.
Furthermore, I learned from Positive Health Online that the deep neck muscles are so closely related to vision that you can feel them activating just by moving your eyes. You need sensitive fingers to feel this but give it a try… “Close your eyes and then turn your eyes to the right and left while your other fingers keep your head from moving. You will feel those little muscles changing tone under your thumbs (MBs note: fingers work better because your thumb’s pulse can interfere with feeling these muscles slight movements)even though your head is not moving. These little primary muscles are responding to your eye movements. Look up and down and you will feel other muscles within this set engage in a similar way. Try to move your eyes without these muscles moving and you will find that it is impossible. They are so fundamentally connected that any eye movement will produce a change in tone in these sub occipitals.It appears that the hearing and vision senses are intimately affected by the state of these deep sub occipital muscles.” (positive health online).
It is so vitally important as we age and at any age that we train the deep neck muscles, but also the bigger neck muscles so that we can have a balance of good proprioception and strength to keep our senses strong and alert and our head and neck in good posture.
I fear that young people are getting “old” too quickly because of “text neck” and “desk neck”. That is why at Marlborough Pilates Studio Plus our tag line is “more than just a workout”.