Forward Head Posture Correction (FHP)
Forward Head Posture, or FHP, is when the head develops a forward positioning on the shoulders. You may have heard it called “Reading Neck” or “Scholar’s Neck.” Probably more apt now would be “Smartphone Syndrome” or “Text Neck.” In today’s culture of texting, scrolling through our phones, and leaning over devices, it’s really easy to begin leaning too far forward, too frequently.
Causes can include:
- Extended periods of time on smartphones
- Extended periods of time looking at computers
- Extended periods of time playing video games
- Sleeping with the head too high
- Lack of nutrients
- Lack of toning in the back muscles
The average adult head weighs around 10-11 pounds, around the weight of a bowling ball. Now, imagine holding a bowling ball with your hand, elbow bent and comfortably at your side, forearm in a vertical line towards the ceiling - it should be pretty effortless to maintain the ball upright. Now, imagine holding that same ball 2-3 inches forward. It becomes much heavier and difficult to keep up, very quickly, correct?
This is what happens with the weight of your head. As we lean farther forward, it taxes your spine exponentially more. With every inch the head is forward, it adds 10 pounds to the workload of your neck and back. Two inches forward, and you’re constantly holding up 20 extra pounds, all the time. No wonder it feels so good to put your head on the pillow at night.
Physical symptoms of Forward Head Posture could include:
- Neck pain
- Pain between the shoulder blades (usually burning)
- Numbness and tingling in the arms
- Elevated blood pressure
- Tension headaches
- Pinched nerves
- Herniated discs
- TMJ (jaw pain)
- Fibromyalgia-like symptoms
The good news about forward head posture?
FHP is a fixable issue. Chiropractic adjustments, joint mobilizations, as well as some simple exercises to strengthen the mid-back, shoulders and neck, can really help.
Looking at the habits that got you into the position and correcting those will also help. Some of these may be using a flatter pillow, holding your phone up, not falling asleep on the arm of the couch, raising your computer screen at work, and other lifestyle adjustments.
We’re happy to help troubleshoot and reverse the forward head posture process. Contact us if you’d like to feel more ease in your neck, shoulders, and back.