Holding your head forward, or forward head posture (FHP), is unhealthy and unfortunately, a lot people hold their head this way. At my chiropractic office in Ann Arbor we see people with FHP everyday. Studies have shown that holding your head forward can put 30 pounds of additional abnormal pressure on the bones of your neck (cervical spine). Imagine your head as having the approximate weight of a bowling ball (the head weighs a little less then a bowling ball) and that might give you a better picture of why holding the head forward is bad for you. The pressure FHP exerts on the cervical spine will likely cause the neck to degenerate faster then it should and possibly causing neck pain, upper back pain, headaches and may likely throw off the alignment of your entire spine.
Correct neck posture is achieved when your ears are positioned above your shoulders and your chin is parallel to the ground. A lot of people don't come close to this position and because they've had FHP for so long it's no easy task to hold their head in the proper position. There are ways to work towards improving the position of you head. Here are some suggestions I give out at my chiropractic office in Ann Arbor:
For ten minutes a day make a concerted effort to hold your head in proper head posture. After you feel comfortable with this, add another five minutes to maintaining proper head posture, and continue to add time to the effort until you can maintain proper head posture without thinking about it.
Chin retraction exercises can be helpful. That is, holding your chin parallel to the ground bring your head and neck backwards until end range of motion and hold for ten seconds. Repeat 6 times twice a day.
Make sure the arraignment of your computer set-up is such that you must use correct head posture while using the computer. This also goes for when you are using your cell phone.
Stretch the muscles of your neck, chest, upper and mid back.
If none of the above seem to help with your FHP, you should come see me at my chiropractic office in Ann Arbor or another chiropractor as chiropractors are well versed in helping people correct poor head posture.
If you have any questions about this blog post, chiropractic, back pain, neck pain or headaches feel free to contact me at my Ann Arbor office at [email protected]