Saanichton Physical Therapy Blog

Forward Head Posture related to Neck and Back Pain

Forward Head Posture related to Neck and Back Pain

As we can see, the head is leaning forward and putting extra strain on the person’s neck and shoulders, increase the risk factor to their health. In fact, for every inch your head leans forward, it gains a massive ten pounds in weight that your neck and upper back muscles have to deal with. Your body could be dealing with up to 30 pounds of weight from your head, leading to all kinds of muscle strains. As a result of the extra weight, it gradually becomes more difficult to keep your chin from lowering towards your chest, the more your head moves forward.

Another by-product of this bad posture also means your suboccipital muscles, which are responsible for raising your chin, have to stay constantly contracted. This in turn adds extra pressure to your three suboccipital nerves, and can sometimes lead to headaches felt at the base of your skull. This type of pressure can also mimic the feeling of sinus headaches, which are also very unpleasant.

According to Rene Cailliet M.D, forward head posture could even result in a 30 per cent loss of crucial lung capacity: “These breath-related effects are primarily due to the loss of the cervical lordosis, which blocks the action of the hyoid muscles, especially the inferior hyoid responsible for helping lift the first rib during inhalation.”

If you suspect you have problems with forward head posture, read on.

How to avoid forward head posture

There are certain exercises you can do in order to avoid forward head posture, such as chin retractions (nodding your head slowly forward while keeping the neck still), and shoulder blade squeezes. These may seem like simple exercises, but they can help you avoid getting bad posture that will cause muscle strain and other issues.