What is Forward Head Posture?
Forward head posture is defined as when a patient is standing or sitting in a neutral position, their ear canal lies in front of there shoulder. This position is also associated with a loss of normal cervical curve.
How Does Forward Head Posture Affect You?
Forward head posture has several symptoms. The most common are neck pain and tension headaches, but other more serious symptoms are:
- Cervical disc herniation’s
- Nerve root impingement
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Even up to 30% loss in vital lung capacity.
As your head moves forward over your shoulders it creates increased pressure on the structures of your neck and upper back. To demonstrate how this happens imagine your head as a bowling ball weighing about 10 to 15 pounds. A bowling ball would be easier to support when held close to your body. As you extend your arms out, the amount of pressure increases. This is very similar to how your head moves and stretches. In fact for every one inch forward your head goes over your shoulders, it doubles the force that is required to hold your head up. This leads to the breakdown of your spinal joints and can lead to the conditions listed above.
If you are experiencing any of the above, it is vital that you contact your chiropractor Woodstock today. Waiting can prolong your symptoms and create further damage in the future.
How Do I Develop Forward Head Posture?
Forward head posture is generally developed slowly and over time. Today we are seeing more people with this condition than ever before. This is because of the advent of computers and even more recently smart phones and tablets. Next time you see co-worker or friend at their desk or on there smart phone take a look at their posture. Likely you will see that they are hunched over looking at their phone or sticking their neck out to get closer to that computer screen. This activity produced for hours a day over years of time will change the structure of your spine and soon become normal. People that work at a desk, spend a lot of time on their smart phone or tablet device, and people who are on the road for a living are at an increased risk for forwardhead posture.
Forward head posture can also develop suddenly. A traumatic injury such as a whiplash injury in a car crash can have the forces to deform a normal cervical spine cause forward head translations. People involved in auto accidents and athletes who experience high-speed collisions such as football, rugby, and hockey players are at greater risk for this condition.
For additional information regarding auto accident injuries, contact us at our Woodstock location today.
How Do I Prevent Forward Head Posture?
Making small changes in daily life can go a long way in preventing forward head posture and even improving issues. First thing you should do is to evaluate your workspace. Your computer screen should be at eye level if not a little above eye level. Also a chair with good lumbar support will prevent you from slouching. If possible a standing workstation is even better and has several other health benefits. Second it is important to be conscious of your posture when you are using smart phones or tablets. Bring the phone to you by raising it to eye level as apposed to bringing your head to your phone.
If you feel tightness setting in where your neck meets your upper back, arch your head back for 10 to 15 second bringing the back of your head straight towards your shoulder blades.
How is Forward Head Posture Fixed?
Once you have developed forward head posture it can be very difficult to fix. As you head creeps forward, gravity acts upon it and makes this problem worse. This means to correct the problem, it takes a lot of work and effort, but it can be done under the supervision of a professional Woodstock chiropractor.
At Advance Pain and Spine Center– Woodstock, GA, Dr. Matt Cleary specializes in correcting forward head posture, using a variety of techniques and stretches. We utilize state of the art research and technology to not only stop the problem in its tracts, but to reverse the issue and significantly slow down the degeneration process. We utilize gentle chiropractic adjustments along with exercise and traction to properly correct this condition.
For additional information on how to correct this increasingly common condition, give us a call today! Our friendly staff is always here to help and assist you with any questions you may have prior to your visit.