Have you ever been asked this by a family member? Have you ever seen a photo of yourself from the side and wonder, "why is my head so far forward?"
Have you ever seen someone on the computer and noticed their head is about 10cm in front of their shoulders?
It's called "Forward Head Posture" for a reason. Looking at your posture from the side, your ear should be right above your shoulder, not 5 or 10 cm in front of it.
Forward Head Posture (FHP) causes many problems including headaches, TMJ pain (jaw pain), neck pain, disc herniations, muscle strain, arthritis, and pinched nerves (Mayo Clinic, volume 18 #3, 2000). FHP also puts stress and strain on the joints and discs of the neck and spine.
Your head weighs roughly as much as a bowling ball, 4 or 5 kilos, and the proper spinal curve in your neck helps hold this weight upright under gravity all day long. The muscles of your neck assist this process, fighting gravity as well.
But if you have lost the curve of your neck, or if you hold your head forward (FHP), the muscles have to work much, much harder, just to keep your head upright. And after 16 hours a day, this becomes exhausting for the muscles and is a tremendous waste of energy.
Using the bowling ball analogy for your head, consider this:
If you had to hold a bowling ball with your hands all day, every day, would it be easier to hold the ball:
1) close to your chest, or
2) at arm's length, with elbows straightened?
(Try this experiment at home with a container of milk in your kitchen. Can you hold it for 1 minute more easily against you, or at arm's length?)
It is much, much easier to hold it close to your body, and your sore neck muscles know this from holding your head (bowling ball) forward all day long.
Research shows that for every 3cm of Forward Head Posture, it is as if your head weighs 5 kilos more, as your neck muscles strain to hold it in place.
Laptops, mobile phones, and even everyday jobs like dishes and laundry cause Forward Head Posture, and anyone with children also knows that most activities with kids causes FHP as well.
Forward Head Posture (FHP) is one of the most prevalent, detrimental postures that we treat and correct at Geelong Spine Centre. Our CBP Spinal Rehab Program specifically targets Forward Head Posture to achieve proper spinal alignment, and to relieve pain and symptoms associated with FHP. Many of our patients have careers with poor ergonomics such as computer programmers, graphic designers, dental hygienists, students, and many others.
Contact Geelong Spine Centre at 5229 9888 to see if Forward Head Posture is causing your pain and symptoms. We have your pain relief!
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