In the latest episode of Get The Big Idea, Dr. Groover and I discuss the pandemic, yes PANDEMIC, of Forward Head Posture.
It has become so UNCOMMON to see someone come through my doors that doesn’t have Foward Head Posture, I have to assume that nearly anyone with neck pain, low back pain, headaches, migraines, sciatica, and more have at least Forward Head Posture if not worse spinal health conditions. I do see people with good posture, but they typically are much more active with their hobbies, exercise regularly, and make active efforts to not be sedentary and sit during work.
Identifying, and correcting Forward Head Posture as soon as possible is what is most beneficial to anyone’s spinal health throughout their life. We’ve all seen the little old lady or man at the grocery store who can’t even look up properly because their posture is so bad, and their spines have gotten so stiff and rigid. Aside from some rarer spinal conditions and trauma, that is in fact a process that takes time and can be corrected or reversed if not too far progressed. Even when things have progressed, a concerted effort can help at least manage and slow or stop the progression.
What is Forward Head Posture?
Forward Head Posture is when your head moves beyond the center of gravity, translating your cervical vertebrae forward, moving your upper cervical spine into extension, possibly with a cervical kyphosis as well. The upper back rounds (Thoracic hyper kyphosis) and the shoulders roll forward. From there the body can compensate in several ways short term with postural adaptations, that long term leads to degeneration of the spine and discs due to abnormal biomechanical forces. See the photo below to get an idea of how heavy your head FEELS if it’s forward.
How do you know if you have forward head posture?
Ideally, you use a plumb bob (the weighted string that hangs from the ceiling), or a posture grid, but you can have a family member or friend take a picture from the side too. Essentially if you drew a vertical line it would go through the hole of your ear, then it would also go down over the front of your shoulder, through your hip joint, and the front of your ankle joint.
What are the symptoms of Forward Head Posture? Because of the abnormal biomechanics, and additional stress and compressive forces from gravity, pain is a common outcome for people who suffer from Forward Head Posture.
- Neck discomfort and stiffness
- Midback pain
- Shoulder pain and tension, both in the traps, scapula, and glenohumeral joint (the main shoulder joint)
- chest pain and breathing difficulties, like shortness of breath or asthma
- numbness and tingling into the arms and hands
How do I fix Forward Head Posture? I’ve created a series of Spinal Hygiene Exercise videos with a combination of stretches, exercises, activation, and some more explanation. You can find them for FREE here!
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