You can say you have a forward head posture when you involuntarily maintain a protruding head.
The biggest issue is that this posture is very difficult to control, as it occurs involuntarily. Nonetheless, you have to become aware of it and work towards correcting it, because it affects your health.
The more you leave it; the bigger the damage.
What Are The Most Frequent Symptoms Caused By Forward Head Posture
As this is a syndrome that affects a lot of people, you shouldn’t be ashamed of or scared by it.
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All you need to do is carefully observe yourself, the purpose being to detect these most frequent symptoms that are associated with forward head posture.
Once you suspect you might be suffering from it, you can take corrective actions.
Headache is the most frequent symptom of forward head posture.
This is also the reason why this condition is also known as the upper crossed syndrome.
Killer Neck Pain
Your levator scapulae muscles are not the only ones that are heavily strained by the forward head posture.
Neck muscles are also in difficulty. In time, they become weakened, as a result of the permanent strain they have to endure.
The result is a terrifying neck pain that doesn’t go away, no matter what you do.
These are the two main symptoms that should make you suspect you suffer from the forward head posture syndrome.
Nonetheless, there are many other signs that should trigger an alarm in your head and make you schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Here are a few of these signs:
- Rounded shoulders: your body attempts to counteract the excess strain by rounding your shoulders
- Back pain: the excess strain that begins in the neck may go down the spine, causing back pain
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMJ or bruxism: this condition appears as consequence of the misalignment of your jawbone
- Teeth clenching: this condition is usually triggered by bruxism
- Fatigue: the fact that your body is under permanent strain can get you exhausted for no obvious reason
- Arthritis: this can be induced by years of muscle strain
- Pinched nerves: straining a nerve on long-term may trigger its pinching
- Decreased neck and back motion range: excess strain may restrict your movement range and flexibility
- Facial pain: jawbone misalignment may trigger aches in your facial muscles
- Height decrease: in its severe stages, this syndrome may determine height loss
- Arm numbness and tingling: these symptoms are the direct result of long-term tension
- Muscle spasms: weakened muscles have a difficult time in supporting your body weight
- Soreness in your chest muscles after long periods of sitting or after long walks
- Sleep apnea: this is a direct consequence of jawbone misalignment
Luckily, most of these symptoms are annoying, so you won’t be able to ignore them for too long.
This would make you go see your doctor sooner rather than later.
Please include attribution to http://www.ergonomichealthhq.com/ with this graphic.
Consequences of a Forward Head Posture
According to scientists, your whole body structure has to deal with the weight of your head. They say that one inch of moving your head forward adds 10 pounds to its weight.
All your muscles are going to have to deal with these additional 10 pounds.
Your neck and your shoulders are going to try to cope with the load, but they are eventually going to give up, so your whole body is going to be affected.
The result of ignoring this condition is that your head is going to move forward even further, thus adding 10 more pounds with each inch.
This chain reaction is going to be more and more difficult to stop and almost impossible to reverse. In addition, by ignoring your condition, you may need to deal with a series of additional health issues.
Bruxism is one of them, and it is severe enough to be a menace to your overall health and well-being.
Ignored for a very long time, bruxism can actually deform your face. In addition, it triggers excessive tooth wear, as your bite is going to become misaligned.
Eventually, all these may trigger cavities and tooth loss. You may not realize it, but this syndrome may diminish your lung vitality. According to an UCLA study, a certain amount of pressure applied on the cervical spine can reduce the vitality of the lungs by 30%.
Lung vitality is a measure of the amount of air you are able to breathe in and out.
Since it determines the oxygen intake, you can see that the lower it is, the less oxygen your cells are going to receive.
This study has found that 30 pounds of added pressure are enough to cause this 30% loss in lung vitality. These 30 pounds translate into only 3 inches of head misalignment.
This tiny amount may have a negative impact on your health and on your entire life. For instance, you may find it more difficult to exercise, as your lungs aren’t going to be able to cope with the effort.
The lower oxygen intake may have repercussions on the performance of various organs in your body.
According to some studies, the performance of the brain and the concentration power are directly influenced by the amount of oxygen that enters the body through breathing.
Main Forward Head Posture Causes
This syndrome may be triggered by an accident in the neck area. Nonetheless, there are many other insidious causes of this posture issue.
According to a study published in the “Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation”, heavy computer users have an increased risk of developing this condition.
This study included only subjects who worked with computers, and it revealed that 60.5% of people experiencing neck pain suffer from the forward head posture syndrome.
Using a computer is only one example of activity, but it can be assimilated to may others such as using a smartphone or a tablet, sewing and writing.
Everything that forces you to lean your neck forward can trigger this syndrome.
This is why you have to be self-conscious and try to correct your posture, in order to sit or stand straight for as much as possible.
Some Activities That Contribute to FHP
- Watching television from short distance
- Playing computer games
- Wearing a very heavy backpack
- Gardening, especially when you need to care for small plants
- Various professions such as hair styling, writing, painting and massage therapy
- Driving for long periods of time without observing your posture
NOTE: These activities aren't necessarily bad, but you just need to be conscious of your posture and the length of time involved.
Can Psychology Cause Forward Head Posture or Rolled Shoulders?
As hard to believe as it may be, this syndrome can be triggered by a series of psychological factors (download).
Bullying at school is one of the best examples. Bullied children are more prone to developing this syndrome as a subconscious way to stay away from bullies.
Depression may also trigger this issue, as it makes depressed individuals feel protected.
By dealing with these issues early on, you can prevent this syndrome from developing. If it is already too late, you should be aware that you should address this problem before it becomes worse.
What Actions Should You Take To Correct The Forward Head Posture Syndrome?
There are several exercises that can help you deal with this issue in a very effective manner.
Yoga is excellent for improving your balance and posture stability, thus being one of the first corrective activities you should consider.
Try to learn the Mountain Pose, as it is very effective. It requires standing straight and opening your chest as much as you can. The correct pose involves keeping your tailbone tucked in.
This is only one yoga exercise that can help you correct your posture.
Nonetheless, there are many others that could prove to be very useful.
Here are a few of them:
Some Yoga Poses For Your Posture
You can check out this great guide from our sister website Tansamai, about How to Start Yoga at Home For Beginners.
You can find lot of other details on all these yoga exercises online.
However, the best way to make sure you learn the correct way of doing them is to talk to a yoga instructor. In addition, you should know that yoga exercises are only one way of dealing with your issue.
There are many other types of workouts that can help you. Everything that focuses on strengthening your upper body and your core muscles is good for you.
You should also try to make changes in your environment.
Pay attention to the ergonomics in your office, car and home. Your desk and your chair should help you maintain a straight position while sitting.
There are lots of stores that offer a wide range of couches, chairs and desks that help you maintain the correct posture while working or while watching TV.
Hopefully, you realize by now how important it is to understand the implications of the forward head posture syndrome.
This article should determine you to deal with it as soon as you notice the first signs and symptoms.
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- Forward neck posture is a serious issue that can complicate your overall health.
- Without the and/ or fix, this syndrome will start to degrade your body and your well being.
- “How to fix forward head posture” is a common question that I get asked by readers of this post so I made a few extra updates to give you the correct information and recommend a product that many readers have had great success with.
- This article will help you to discover what the best neck and joint pain fix is.
Forward Head Posture Exercises
Check out a VERY highly recommended product that goes into detail about what exercises are best to rid you of this poor posture.
Forward head posture is a condition characterized by a protruding head and is also known by other names including text neck and FHP. This posture is usually involuntarily, which is one reason why it is hard to deal with or reverse.
It is important to resolve this issue because it can be very damaging to your health. Forward head posture could lead to lasting damage and could worsen as time goes by, so this post should help you to understand methods to get rid of your text neck and live a healthier, happier life.
Understand Forward Head Posture Syndrome & The Dangers it Poses
Common Forward Head Posture Symptoms
The first thing you should do is try to detect some of the symptoms that are usually associated with forward head posture.
There is no need to worry if you suspect you have this problem. This syndrome affects a lot of people in varying degrees, and it is not something to be ashamed of, though it is something that needs to be taken care of.
The Dreadful Headache
One of the most common symptoms associated with the forward head posture is a headache. Posture specialists have found that the reason most people with this problem experience a headache deals with the levator scapulae muscles that link the neck to the shoulder blades.
The levator scapulae are strained beyond capacity when one is suffering from the forward head posture syndrome (also known as the upper crossed syndrome).
Over-straining these muscles place tension on the suboccipital nerves, which is what ultimately triggers a headache.
Terrible Neck Pain
It comes to no surprise that pushing your head forward would add strain to your neck muscles, just as it will for your levator scapulae muscles.
At this point, what occurs is your upper-torso muscles become tense, and the muscles on your neck are weakened due to exhaustion. The combination of these two causes tension to the neck muscles and leads to neck pain.
These are just some of the symptoms associated with forward head posture syndrome, but there are more that you need to be aware of, like the following:
- Rounded shoulder, which is the result of the body shoulder attempting to offset excess strain
- Back pain due to excess strain that starts at the neck and goes down
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction or bruxism, which is caused by forcing your jawbone to misalign
- Bruxism usually leads to teeth-clenching
- Fatigue, due to excess stress you are putting on your body
- Arthritis after years of strain and possible muscle, joint, or nerve damage
- Pinched nerves if they are strained long enough
- Neck and back motion might be decreased due to the excess strain put upon them
- Facial pain due to jawbone misalignment
- Height loss, especially if you let the syndrome worsen
- Numbness or tingling in the arms due to the tension
- Muscle spasms when the muscles get too weak to sustain the tension
- Sore chest muscles after walking or sitting
- Sleep apnea because your jawbone is misaligned
These symptoms cannot be ignored, making the forward head syndrome something you need to address as soon as possible.
This Syndrome Can Lead to Other Problems
According to experts, the reason this syndrome is so vexing to the overall structure of the body deals with the weight of the head.
It seems that you add 10 pounds to your head’s weight for every inch you move forward. One should keep in mind that these 10 pounds will start a chain reaction because the neck, shoulders, and other muscles can only hold on for so long.
This means if the forward head posture is not addressed, then the 10 additional pounds will force the head to move forward another inch, and it will continue.
You may have to deal with other problems if you allow this issue to worsen.
Bruxism is one of the symptoms associated with this syndrome, which can lead to other issues. Bruxism has been known to deform the face if it goes untreated for enough time. It also causes excessive tooth wear due to the teeth clenching and a misaligned bite. This could lead to cavities or even tooth loss.
Perhaps one of the most undesirable outcomes of this syndrome is the fact that your lung vitality is diminished.
A study by numerous doctors, and some of the staff at UCLA, found that the vitality of the lungs was reduced by 30 percent if enough pressure was forced upon the cervical spine.
Lung vitality is referring to the amount of air that you can breathe in and out. The study showed that the added pressure needed to be around 30 pounds.
This means that the head only needs to be about 3 inches out of alignment. This problem could affect your health and life in several ways.
For one, it means that exercise and sports will be a lot harder because you will be unable to breathe in enough air. It should be noted that several organs in your body will function at less than optimal performance due to the lack of oxygen.
Studies have shown that the lack of oxygen could lead to problems related to the brain, such as poor concentration and loss of short-term memory.
Rectifying Rounded Shoulders In A Few Simple Steps
With an increase in the use of technology for social pleasure, accompanied by a rise in stationary jobs and office-based work, it is no wonder that back pain and neck pain are becoming so prevalent.
Not so long ago it was only the older generation who complained of such issues, now medical practitioners complain they are even treating young children for posture and technology-related problems!
Rounded shoulders rank pretty high on the list of such related problems. Surprisingly though, a significant improvement can be seen by following a simple set of rules.
1. Follow A Specific Exercise Plan
Your medical practitioner will likely be able to either show you a set of exercises to follow daily or refer you to a specialist such as an orthopedic team. The key point here is to strictly follow the exercise plan, making it as much a part of your routine as eating breakfast and brushing your teeth.
Some of the exercises the practitioner may give you are as follows:
- Wall Angel Exercise
- Banded Stretching (also known as band pull-aparts)
- Chest Stretch
- Scapular Push-ups
2. Correcting Forward Head Posture Through Exercise
Since rounded shoulders are often a result of weak back muscles accompanied with tight chest muscles, a moderate back, and core strengthening exercise session will also work to strengthen your back and all the muscles connected inside.
Strengthening your back makes good posture much easier, and good posture puts you well on the way to fixing rounded shoulders.
3. Changing Your Approach To Work And Pleasure
For many of us, our work involves sitting, often at a laptop or computer. Then when we come home to relax, we usually find ourselves back in front of a screen!
It may take a while to adjust to a new habit, but incorporating one, or more, of the following suggestions, can see substantial long-term improvement for rounded shoulders:
- Use a stand-up work station for at least one hour per day
- Re-adjust your laptop layout (laptops are killers for posture)
- Use an external keyboard and mouse and place the laptop itself on a raised box
It may take a few days to get used to the new set-up, but endure the transition, it’s well worthwhile
Certainly, rounded shoulders are becoming a common complaint within a wide age bracket. Significantly improving the problem will take time and effort, but you will undoubtedly be grateful you put in the work.
Decide on a daily exercise plan with your practitioner, work to strengthen your back and core muscles and try to adjust a few of your daily habits to improve overall posture. Then you’ll see that rectifying rounded shoulders really is possible in a few simple steps.
Forward Head Posture Exercises
Check out a VERY highly recommended product that goes into detail about what exercises are best to rid you of this poor posture.
How can poor posture result in back pain?
Bad posture may not immediately create a painful back, however, over time you will find that your stance and gait will slowly degrade the quality of your health.
Well to put it simply, your body is a highly tuned piece of equipment and if your posture is incorrect, you will find that your joints will wear out and in the worst-case scenario, you may even become arthritic. [source].
Correct forward head posture while sleeping
Poor posture may change your physical and emotional well-being, and can also disrupt your sleep.
In addition to greater stress, poor blood, and oxygen flow and neck pain; you may also experience emotional tension related to chronic illness.
Luckily, taking time to think about whether or not your sleeping posture might be negatively impacting you is an important step to consider so as to alleviate these issues.
You might be able to minimize stress on your spine, neck, and shoulders by adjusting your sleeping position. [Source].
Evaluate your present sleep posture
The most significant thing to do so as to enhance your sleeping posture would be to select positions that will help keep your spine in alignment.
When you’ve got chronic issues with headaches, backache, insomnia, sleep apnea, and/or fatigue, your sleep positions could be exacerbating these issues.
For this reason, it is better to sleep either on your back or on your side. If you tend to sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees in order to maintain your buttocks, and also to keep you from twisting to break your knee onto the mattress.
If you usually sleep on your back, you could also put a pillow underneath your knees to ensure that your spine is at the perfect position. But bear in mind that in case you snore or have sleep apnea, this position will only exacerbate these issues.
If you are a stomach sleeper, then you likely need to work with the best way to enhance your sleep posture, since it is typically regarded as the worst sleeping position.
Sleeping on your stomach forces you to twist your head to the left or to the proper, causing strain on the backbone.
If you use a pillow, additionally, it pushes your head bigger than the rest of your spine.
If you are a tummy sleeper or end up waking up in your stomach, you can put a thin pillow beneath your pelvis and stomach to attempt to take a portion of the strain off of your throat. At first, it will most likely be challenging to maneuver in a position that is not exactly the one you’re utilized to, but as time passes, you will become more comfortable.
Patience is a virtue!
As it is tough to restrain your body position once you’ve fallen asleep, attempting to change your sleep posture could be challenging.
However, over time your new position will improve your sleep quality and will gradually feel even more comfortable than your old posture. Learn about how to pick the perfect mattress.
There are many things to think about when purchasing a mattress that is best suited for you.
Consequently, you ought to take some time to learn about the best way to select a mattress. It is a good idea to select a thicker mattress, even as a firm mattress provides greater service for your skeleton.
In case you can’t afford to change out your mattress, then you can try out flipping over your current mattress and placing a sheet of plywood underneath in order to provide a little more support.
Move around when you awaken
Walk around, swing your shoulders into their sockets and perform very light stretches. This may ease pain and stiffness, and improving posture during the daytime.
What Causes This Posture Issue?
There are many reasons why this problem might begin, such as an accident that affected the neck, but there are other less obvious reasons why someone might develop forward head posture syndrome.
In fact, a study that was published in the “Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation” showed a connection between this syndrome and those who use the computer.
The study was performed on people who work with computers. It revealed that 60.5 percent of those who experience neck pain have this forward head posture syndrome.
You should remember that using the computer is simply one activity, but there are several other activities that resemble this one.
For example, using a phone or a tablet could also have a similar effect.
You should be wary of any activity that may force your neck forward and take conscious steps to sit or stand as straight as possible.
The following are other activities that may force your head forward:
- Using your television, especially if it is close to you
- Playing video games on a television or other types of screens
- Wearing a backpack that is too heavy
- Gardening, especially when dealing with small plants
- Certain jobs like hair styling, massage therapists, painters, writers, or surgeons
- Driving without considering your driving posture
You might find this hard to believe, but there are some psychological triggers that can also lead someone to develop this particular issue. One possible trigger is bullying at school. Children seem to develop this issue when they are bullied. Usually, it is a subconscious way to hide from their tormentors. The same goes for people who feel depressed, as it subconsciously helps them feel tucked away from the world.
It is of the utmost importance that you deal with any of these issues before they force you, or a loved one, to develop this syndrome. If you already have the syndrome, these activities can continue to make matters worse, so they are very important to address.
What Can Be Done to Fix the Forward Head Posture Syndrome After Years of it?
There are a few things that you can do to try to fix this problem, such as some exercises that have been proven effective.
Yoga, for example, has been proven to improve posture stability, and it really isn’t that difficult to get started with yoga as you may think.
One of the yoga exercises that seems to help is the Mountain Pose. This pose involves standing straight as possible and opening your chest while keeping your arms at your sides. Be sure to tuck in your tailbone as much as possible.
Of course, this is just one exercise that yoga has to offer to strengthen your back and improve your posture.
You also have the following:
- The standing forward bend pose
- The cobra pose
- The hero pose
- The child’s pose
- The locust pose
You can talk to a yoga instructor about other options that may be helpful for you.
Keep in mind that yoga offers one set of exercises that could be helpful to you, as there are several more that should be effective in correcting the syndrome.
Be sure to pay attention to exercises that concentrate on upper body strength, back strength, and core muscle strengthening.
You can also try to improve ergonomics in your home, car, and in your office. You can do this by simply buying chairs, sofas, or sitting accessories that help you sit straight.
These accessories and sitting furniture could be purchased in select office supplies stores, or you can simply by them online.
It is clear to see how important it is to understand forward head posture syndrome and how dangerous it can be to you or a loved one, so be sure to deal with it as soon as you can.
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