Did you know that for every inch that the head moves forward in posture, it increases the weight of the head on the neck by 10 pounds? So if your head is forward 3 inches from the correct position, there will be 30 pounds of extra weight on your neck and shoulders. The symptoms of forward head posture can be varied and can include, neck pain, headaches, breathing difficulties, muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders and pain between the shoulders blades.
Poor posture can lead to changes in the neck over time. This can be as a result of injuries such as sprains, strains to the neck, weak neck muscles, poor sleeping positions using too many pillows, reading with your neck flexed downwards or poor driving posture.
The changes brought by prolonged forward head posture will bring about a flattening of the normal curve in your neck. This can led the joints deteriorating at a faster rate resulting in degenerative joint disease. Correction of poor neck posture is key to stopping the progressive decay.
Be aware of your posture and try to improve. For example, if you use a laptop at home you will tend to hunch over the keyboard with your head flexed down looking at the screen. Try to use a wireless keyboard to enable you to reposition the screen at a higher level. Ideally you would want the top third of the screen at eye level. If you sleep on your back, avoid using too many pillows as this will push your head forward.
To check if you have forward head posture, it is best to ask a friend to help so they can observe you from the side. Stand up right, close your eyes and nod your head deeply a couple of times bringing it back to a position which feels comfortable to you. Then draw an imaginary vertical line down from the hole in your ear and this should line it up with the midpoint of your shoulder. Whatever the difference in measurement is from the midpoint of the shoulder, to the imaginary vertical line down from the ear equals the measurement of your forward head posture. At The London Chiropractic Clinic we can help you identify and start to take steps with the correct form of treatment, stretches and exercises to help correct forward head posture.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask our friendly team at The London Chiropractic Clinic.