Forward Head Posture, What is it?

Forward Head PostureThe effects of posture on health is becoming more evident. “Spinal pain, headache, moo, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture. The corollary of these observations is that many symptoms, including pain, may be moderated or eliminated by improved posture”.

One of the most common postural problems is the forward head posture (FHP). Since we live in a forward facing world, the repetitive use of computers, TV, video games, trauma, and even back packs have forced the body to adapt to a forward head posture. Repetitive movements in a certain direction will strengthen nerve and muscle pathways to move that way more readily. An example would be the adaptation of the body to do gymnastics easily after repetitive practice. It is the repetitions of forward head movements combined with poor ergonomics postures and/or trauma that cause the body to adapt to a forward head posture.

fhp-bad Ideally, the head should sit directly on the neck and shoulders, like a golf ball sits on a tee. The weight of the head is more like a bowling ball than like a golf ball, so holding it forward, out of alignment, puts a strain on your neck and upper back muscles. The result can be muscle fatigue and, all too often, an aching neck. Because the neck and shoulders have to carry this weight all day in an isometric contradiction, this cause neck muscles to loose blood, get damaged, fatigued, strain, cause pain, burning and fibromyalgia. When spinal tissues are subject to a significant load for a sustained period of time, they deform and undergo remodeling changes that could become permanent. This is why it takes time to correct FHP. In addition, FHP has be shown to flatten the normal neck curve, resulting in disc compression, damage and early arthritis. This abnormal position is also responsible for many tension headaches, often termed carcinogenic headaches.

fhp-goodFHP is relatively easy to detect. Have the person you are checking look up at the ceiling, down at the floor, and then straight ahead. Find the center of the should and draw an imaginary line up. It should land through the middle of the ear’s holes. Any forward head posture should be checked by a chiropractor. Medical doctors can not fix these types of problems. “Despite considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians”. Remember long standing problems like FHP will cause spine and nerve damage, and symptoms are rarely present early on.

Dr. David H. Mruz
Eastside Chiropractic PA
3014 Wade Hampton Blvd.
Taylors, SC 29687
E-mail Dr. Mruz

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