Forward Head Posture
DID YOU KNOW THAT FOR EVERY INCH YOUR HEAD PROTRUDES FORWARD FROM ITS NEUTRAL ALIGNMENT, YOU ADD ~10 EXTRA POUNDS OF FORCE ON YOUR NECK?
That’s a lot of pressure on your neck muscles and joints!
This information would help you with the following.
As you can tell, the head position is forward in relation to your shoulder joint. This is common in people who sit at a computer
for most of the day, drive a lot, or have weak or tight muscles that hold the head and upper back in a poorly aligned position.
Not only does FHP give your upper back a crouched-over look… it also causes much deeper, serious problems including:
If left untreated, your symptoms can worsen over time and your head continues to poke forward resulting in an unflattering hunched appearance. It can also lead to muscular imbalances and tightness, premature joint arthritis and nerve impingement – all of which are more difficult to reverse once in its advanced stages.
A quick test to tell you have it.
Easy… Stand up and place your back towards a wall with your bottom, lower back and shoulder blade area completely flat against the wall. Are you up against the wall? Good. If not, stop reading this and get into position!
Whilst standing against the wall, does the back of your head come in contact with the wall? (Do not cheat by looking up or overarching your back).
If you are like most patients I see, the chances are the back of your head is not touching the wall and you have FHP.
What causes the head forward posture?
Many things can cause forward Head Posture. Here is a list of 5 common culprits:
If your neck has been moved forward for too long, it needs re-alignment. Using awareness, these exercises re-educate your muscles to put your head in a better position again.
The more your head moves forward, the more your joints seize up. Mobility movements are used to “unlock” the joints in your spine to decrease the stress and damage from your head being forward.
Tightness of neck and chest muscles and weakness in upper back and deep neck muscles contribute to your head being forward. Recent research has shown that re-training the muscle balance is the key to restoring balance of your head.
This technique loosens and lengthen muscles that have become shortened and helps to relieve trigger points that have built up.
In conjunction with massage, stretching targets shortened muscles in order to elongate them. A self-management technique that is portable and can be done anywhere. Done correctly static stretching is effective.
Once we have unraveled the head, neck and upper body by targeting muscles and joints affected by FHP, you need to work on keeping things in that new, ideal beneficial posture. It can involve adding better ergonomics to our day, breaks from sitting and improving our level of general fitness.
When sleeping on your back: Do not use thick pillows to support the neck as this will push your head forward. Keep a neutral neck alignment while lying down.
When walking: Pretend that the top of your head is being floated or pulled lightly upward towards the sky and you can relax your shoulders back and down. This will help you not to lead with your chin
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