Forward head posture, “text neck”, anterior head syndrome… these are just a few names for this common postural condition can lead to neck pain, headaches, sore shoulders, reduced respiratory function, early degeneration of my neck spine and many others. All of these painful conditions can certainly get in the way of fun activities like skiing, playing golf, running marathons, playing video games, adventures with grandchildren, and conquering fitness goals.
While forward head posture is nothing new, computers, sedentary jobs and smart phones has made this condition much more common. If ignored, it can lead to permanent changes to the neck spine and eventually will cause a fully hunched over “nursing home posture”. While it could take decades before that occurs, by the time that it does, correcting the posture may no longer be possible.
Here are four easy ways you can fight forward head posture now:
- Take breaks and stretch when sitting at a computer, playing video games, or using your phone or tablet for an extended period of time. Here’s an example stretching sequence. Practice it slowly, and hold each position for a few moments:
- Tilt your head back, then forward.
- Turn to look to your left and to your right.
- Tilt your head to your left shoulder and your right shoulder.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Roll your shoulders back.
- None of these moves should cause any pain, if they do see tip #4.
- Try neck planks.
- While lying on your stomach, hold your head up and away from the floor.
- Hold for 5 seconds.
- Repeat 10 times and rest.
- Practice this sequence daily, increasing the hold time by one second until you can hold it for 15 seconds.
- Neck planks should not hurt or cause a muscle spasm, if they do, the problem may be more complex than muscle weakness.
- Strengthen the neck with this move.
- Stand with your back to a wall
- Push your head against the wall and hold.
- If you can’t touch the back of your head to the wall, use a folded towel to make up the distance.
- Schedule an exam with Catalyst Chiropractic to evaluate your neck structure. We’ll perform a complete spinal exam, along with a motion study x-ray of your neck. With this information, we can create a personalized treatment plan to help you correct forward head posture.