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As in, having a neck posture of slightly over 90 degrees?

For the lower back, it seems that a 135 degree sitting posture is optimal.

And we definitely do know that a neck posture of less than 90 degrees is definitely bad for the neck

Most of the standard advice ( ) definitely advises against hunching. They do advise a certain exercise:

Head retraction exercises: One way to reduce forward head posture is to perform cervical retraction exercises. Take your right index finger and middle finger together and push on your chin in the backward direction. Pretend for a moment that your head is like a bowling ball- that slides back and forth. Now slide your fingers back and hold for 15 seconds. Release and then do this again 2-3 times. Do these cervical repetitions every day until you can work up to 10-12 a day.

But is it possible to take this exercise a bit too far? Could it be ideal to, say, have a posture of over 90 degrees between C3 and C4, rather than at, say, C6 and C7

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Any form of exercise can be taken too far, if you don't have experience then don't overdo it. – Tom Wijsman Oct 12 '11 at 11:58

I spoke with an orthopedic doctor here in Japan who gave me a pamphlet on good posture and went over it with me in English (thank God). He described good posture to me and helped me to create good posture in several different positions, multiple times. He told me that it was important to tuck my chin, as the article suggested. He also told me that looking straight up was very bad for my neck. Finally, he told me not to pull back too far.

Unfortunately, the good doctor didn't tell me why I needed to keep from pulling back too hard. Fortunately, I have some other resources. When I saw this question this morning, I stored it in my memory and asked my martial arts instructor who is a physical therapist in his on hours. He speculated that the orthopedist had told me not to push too hard because the neck muscles aren't very strong, and they're easy to hyper extend and tear....

I always try to get a second opinion before I share information, so I spoke with a doctor friend of mine over the phone (no, not Dr. Dre, InquilineKea). Isn't it just a shame that he disagreed with the martial arts instructor's opinion? He said that the muscles in the neck that are often hyper-extended and torn run up the side of the neck, and that the muscles in the front of the neck don't suffer from a stretch like tucking the chin straight back, hard. He said that there's great support, and a lack of support is the reason people strain their necks along the sides when they hyper extend, and that it increases breathing to tuck the chin, hard. He went on to say caution: "under-used muscles atrophy, so build up to it".

My perspective, now, is that it's fine to exercise, but don't take it to contortion because you may lose the support your shoulders naturally offer and find yourself back at square one.

--Additional details--

If you're wondering why it's not good to look straight up, it's because as you recline your head backwards, your cervical spine grinds against your atlas and skull. It can create different problems for people if it results in calcium deposits, weakened bones, nerve damage, or what-have-you.

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