We’ve all seen it – the person in front of us in line at the grocery store, hunched over their phone screen, shoulders drooping and neck bent. We all recognize the tell-tale signs of forward head posture (FHP) or anterior head and the potential health risks that come with it. But, how exactly does FHP impact our health and what can we do to correct it? Let’s look at how chiropractic care can help us reverse the effects of FHP and start feeling better!
What is Forward Head Posture?
First, let’s define FHP: it is a condition where the head is extended beyond its natural alignment with the spine, i.e. the head is pushed forward. This happens when the muscles and ligaments in the neck and back become weakened or damaged due to long hours of sitting or poor posture. FHP can also be caused by spinal misalignments or injuries.
When the head is pushed forward, the body is forced to bear a greater load in order to keep it upright. Over time, this extra strain can lead to muscle pain, neck pain, back pain, and headaches. It can also lead to decreased mobility and decreased range of motion.
How does Forward Head Posture Impact our Health?
FHP can have a negative impact on our health in several ways. For starters, it puts extra strain on the muscles and ligaments in the neck and back, leading to pain and discomfort. It can also lead to poor circulation, as the muscles and ligaments are being stretched beyond their normal range of motion. This can result in reduced oxygen and nutrient flow to the brain, causing fatigue, mental fog, and difficulty concentrating.
FHP can also lead to poor posture, as the body struggles to maintain an upright position against the pull of gravity. Poor posture can cause further strain on the muscles and ligaments, leading to an increased risk of injury. It can also lead to poor digestion, as the abdominal muscles are weakened, causing a decrease in stomach acid production.
Finally, FHP can lead to decreased bone density over time. This occurs when the body is not getting enough nutrients and oxygen, leading to weakened bones. This can put you at greater risk of fractures and breaks.
How Does Chiropractic Care Help Correct Forward Head Posture?
Chiropractic care is an effective way to help correct FHP and reduce the associated health risks. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to realign the spine and restore its natural curvature, allowing the muscles and ligaments to relax and heal.
Chiropractic care is also effective at relieving muscle tension and pain, as well as improving circulation. This can help reduce fatigue and mental fog, as well as improve digestion. Finally, chiropractic care can help improve bone density by stimulating the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the bones.
Common Chiropractic Techniques to Correct Forward Head Posture
Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to help correct FHP. Here are some of the most common techniques:
- Spinal Manipulation: Spinal manipulation is a technique used to realign the spine and restore its natural curvature. This helps reduce the strain on the muscles and ligaments and can help improve posture.
- Posture Correction Exercises: Posture correction exercises are designed to help strengthen and stretch the muscles in the neck and back. These exercises can help improve posture and reduce the strain on the muscles and ligaments.
- Soft Tissue Therapy: Soft tissue therapy is a technique used to massage and stretch the muscles and ligaments in the neck and back. This helps reduce muscle tension and pain and can help improve circulation.
- Ergonomic Adjustments: Ergonomic adjustments are designed to help improve posture while sitting or standing. This can help reduce strain on the muscles and ligaments in the neck and back.
Tips for Everyday Posture Maintenance
Maintaining good posture is key to preventing and correcting FHP. Here are some tips for maintaining good posture:
- Stand up straight and keep your shoulders back.
- Avoid slouching when sitting or standing.
- Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level.
- Take frequent breaks from sitting or standing to move around and stretch.
- Use lumbar support when sitting for long periods of time.
- Try to limit your time spent looking down at your phone or other devices.
- Avoid wearing heavy bags or purses.
- Get regular chiropractic adjustments to help maintain proper alignment and reduce the strain on your muscles and ligaments.
Forward head posture (FHP) is a condition that can have a negative impact on our health. It can lead to pain, fatigue, mental fog, and decreased mobility. Fortunately, chiropractic care is an effective way to help correct FHP.
Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to realign the spine and reduce the strain on the muscles and ligaments. They can also provide posture correction exercises and ergonomic adjustments to help maintain good posture. Finally, taking steps to maintain good posture on a daily basis can help prevent and correct FHP. So, look up and feel better with chiropractic care!
Dr. Jenny Li is America trained chiropractor who specialises in sports injury, sports performance, and spinal health. She graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in United States, upon completion of the her post graduate program she practiced in Hong Kong and currently is practicing in Singapore.