The semispinalis capitis is a posterior neck muscle with a long moment arm that functions as a main head and neck extensor. Acting unilaterally the semispinalis capitis rotates the neck to the opposite side. When we sit at our laptop computer or gaze at our cell phones there is lower activity in this muscle due to forward head posture. Over time as this flexed position persists we lose power and thickness in this important extensor and rotator.
Forward head posture is not only a cause of muscular weakness but is associated with headaches, carpel tunnel syndrome, balance, neck range of motion, shoulder pain, chronic nonspecific neck pain and more. It is estimated the average person checks their cell phone 35-75 per day and this does not include other electronic device use, which can mean from 2 to 5 hours per day we are in a ‘text neck’ position. To counteract this atrophy of tissue a neck extension movement should be commonplace in all exercise programs.
Neck Extension on the Pendulum 5 Way Head and Neck Machine