If you suffer from headaches, neck pain, or back pain, it may be due to forward head posture. Forward head posture is extremely common and can be caused by a number of factors, including sitting at a desk all day, long hours commuting, or looking down at your phone for long periods. Luckily, it can easily be corrected in most cases.
This graphic is showing how much stress you are adding to your spine as forward head posture becomes more severe.
There are a few different ways to fix forward head posture. One is to improve your posture in general. This means sitting up straight and keeping your shoulders back. Another way is to do specific exercises that target the muscles in your neck and shoulders. And finally, you can use a device called a cervical traction device, which gently pulls your head and neck back into alignment.
Whichever method you choose, correcting your forward posture is very important as it doesn’t just result in stiff muscles but research shows a connection to fatigue, anxiety, and depression. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your overall health, correcting your posture is a great place to start.
The reason so many people have forward posture, in general, is because we live in a world that constantly has us looking down. Whether we’re looking at our phones, working on a computer, or even just reading a book, this position puts a strain on our necks and shoulders. For every inch of forward head posture, our head will feel 10lbs heavier. Over time, these muscles become weaker, exhausted, and compensate in various ways, and the head begins to drift forward. This means sitting up straight and keeping your shoulders back and down. It may also mean holding your phone at eye level rather than looking down at it. But we can’t always maintain optimal postural positioning, and because gravity is constantly having an effect on our spines you need to counteract the physical strain you are putting on your spine. Just like if you ate more sugary sweets in a day (or maybe even regularly) you’d want to take extra care to brush and floss your teeth to keep them in their best health, right?!
In this video, I show some active and passive ways to help improve forward head posture and anterior head translation which will help reduce or even completely eliminate tension headaches, shoulder, neck, and midback stiffness, and pain. There are many more exercises and stretches that can be added to a daily routine for spinal health (many of my Spinal Hygiene videos can be watched here). If you practice these exercises regularly and they make the problem worse or it’s just not getting better I encourage you to schedule a consultation and Neuro-structural Testing so we can take time to dive deeper and find the root cause of the problem. Your spine, body, and brain will thank you!