Have you ever caught yourself slouching forward, with your head jutting out like a turtle? If so, you may be experiencing what's called forward head posture or “text neck”. This is when your head is positioned in front of its natural alignment with the spine, causing strain on your neck and upper back muscles.
Aside from neck and back sores, you’ll also experience headaches, shoulder pain, and reduced mobility. If left untreated, it can also lead to more serious conditions such as arthritis and herniated discs. Forward head posture may seem inconsequential at first, but you don’t want it to get worse with continued neglect.
With consistent effort, you can correct forward head posture and enjoy better overall health and comfort. Start making changes today and your future self will thank you. Read ahead to learn how to fix this condition you’re suffering from.
Identifying Forward Head Posture
If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or looking at your phone, chances are that you have developed forward head posture without even realizing it. Forward head posture may be imperceptible in the early stages, but it is easy to spot once you know what to look for. Even if you are unaware for a time, the symptoms will make themselves known sooner or later.
Recognizing whether you have this particular condition or not is essential for maintaining your proper stance and preventing pain and discomfort from your shoulders up. At first, you may just be fine or comfortable with it, but it can later lead to neck and shoulder sores, headaches, and even breathing difficulties. Identifying forward head posture early on is key to preventing any long-term damage.
Thankfully, there’s a couple of methods you can use to observe your body and come to a conclusion. First, stand straight in front of a mirror so your side profile is reflected on the glass. Take a sideways glance at your reflection, making sure you don’t swivel your head as much as possible when you turn to look. Is your earlobe directly above your shoulder? If not, then you likely have forward head posture. Your shoulder should line up with your ear when you stand properly, so any position other than that can be an indication that your head is not aligned with your torso. Another way to check is by standing with your back against a wall and trying to touch the wall with the back of your head. If you can't touch it without lifting your chin up, not able to bridge the gap between your head and the wall, you definitely acquired forward head posture.
Causes of Postural Stress
Poor Posture Habits
Many people have developed bad habits when it comes to their posture. The most common of these bad habits is slouching. When you slouch, your shoulders droop forward, your head tilts down towards your chest, and your spine curves unnaturally. This puts a lot of strain on your neck and upper back muscles, which can cause aches and stiffness over time. Another common habit is crossing your legs while seated for long hours. This can throw off your balance and mess with your hip alignment, placing pressure on your lower back and instigating muscle strain. You shouldn’t also keep your head bent for too long like when you’re reading a book or leaning forward towards your desk.When you spend too much time looking down, it puts strain on your neck muscles and causes them to become tight and sore.Whether you're stooping when you walk, craning your neck to watch a movie, or simply holding yourself in an unnatural position for a long time, poor posture can lead to a range of problems.
Prolonged Use of Electronic Devices
In this modern age, we spend so much time sitting in front of computers or staring at our gadgets that our posture has gone down the drain. When you bend as you type on your laptop, hunch your shoulders over your phone, or slump in your chair while watching TV, you're putting undue pressure on your neck and back muscles that they weren't meant to sustain for hours on end. Essentially, such kinds of behavior that put excessive strain on your body for extended periods can lead to forward head posture. These habits may seem harmless initially but can result to chronic pain if allowed to go on for too long.
Weight Imbalances and Injuries
Weight imbalances can cause postural stress because the unequal weight distribution will trigger your muscles to work harder on one side than the other, resulting to joint strain and muscle tension. Carrying heavy backpacks on one shoulder, wearing high heels, and eating too much until you become overweight are some instances that showcase this. Even standing with most of your weight leaning on one leg can cause postural stress over time. These habits may seem small, but they add up and can cause long-term damage to your body if left unchecked.Similarly, injuries play a significant role in causing postural stress. An injury like a sprained ankle or knee can lead to compensatory movements that affect the entire body's posture over time. You’re likely to use your body parts that are in good condition compared to those that are hurt, inadvertently causing imbalance in your actions and eventually your bearings.
3 Ways to Fix Forward Head Posture
Postural exercises are an effective way to combat forward head posture, which is a common issue that affects individuals of all ages. Incorporating these into your daily routine can help improve your stance and alleviate associated symptoms. Here are some of the simplest exercises you can do:
Simply sit up straight with your shoulders back and relaxed. Then, without tilting your head up or down, slide your chin towards your chest until you feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Hold this position for five seconds before releasing. Repeat the exercise 5-10 times.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Start by sitting or standing with your arms at your sides and your back straight. Next, tighten the muscles between your shoulder blades as if you're trying to squeeze something between them.Hold for 5-10 seconds before returning to neutral position. Do about 5-10 repetitions.
Pull your head straight back while keeping your chin parallel to the ground for 5-10 seconds. It is important to maintain proper alignment throughout this exercise by relaxing your shoulders and avoiding any arching or rounding of the spine. Start with 10-15 repetitions several times per day, gradually increasing as your posture improves.
Physical therapy is an effective way to treat forward head posture by addressing the underlying issues causing the problem. A physical therapist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that includes exercises and stretches to improve your posture. They can also provide manual therapy techniques to release tight muscles and improve range of motion. They can even aid you in strengthening weak muscles and improving flexibility. By working with a physical therapist, you'll not only improve your posture but also prevent future injuries. Physical therapy can help reduce the risk of developing other conditions related to poor posture such as chronic pain or even herniated discs.
Proper ergonomics refers to the way in which you position yourself and the tools you use to perform tasks throughout the day. Following this, the first step towards improving your bearings is to assess your workspace. Make sure that your chair, desk, and computer are all set up in a way that promotes good posture. Your feet should be flat on the ground and your knees should be level with or slightly lower than your hips. Your monitor should be at eye level and about an arm's length away from you.Additionally, utilizing an ergonomic keyboard and mouse can also prevent strain on your wrists and arms.
Back Brace for Better Posture
Thanks to hours spent hunching over desks and bending over screens, forward head posture is becoming more and more common. But it's not just about appearances… having poor posture can lead to all sorts of health problems, from neck pain to headaches.
That's where aback brace comes in. By gently pulling your shoulders back and aligning your spine, it helps correct the forward head position that's causing all those problems. And the best part? It doesn't require any special exercises or routines— simply wear the brace while you go about your day. Get your back braces fromFit Geno for assured quality and effectiveness.