Forward Head Posture (FHP) is allegorical to our society's constant looking to the future.
We are at a point in time where our technology, for all its insistence that it optimizes our health, can also do us a great deal of harm. FHP itself has been around for a long time, more commonly known as "reading neck," but it is taking on a new importance today; computers of all sizes have our rapt attention throughout the day and FHP is a natural result of this interaction.
When our brains are so involved, the same thing happens as when you are in the midst of a stimulating conversation, you lean in. But instead of your whole body, it is just your head moving forward toward the screen. Now quantify the amount of time you spend engaged with a phone, tablet or laptop and you begin to see the scope of the problem
A matter of pressure on the neck
As your head inches forward, it is leaving its true center of gravity: studies suggest that the spine is put under pressure by another 10 pounds per inch your head leans forward. At our office in Houston, we often treat people who are carrying their heads between 2-3 inches forward of their spine. You can perform a simple check using a wall test to determine whether you may have FHP:
- Align your heels at shoulder width and press your buttocks against the wall.
- In this position, your shoulder blades should also be touching the wall.
- Is the back of your head touching the wall?
- If not, you most likely have FHP
However this is nothing to fear; many people today are walking around with their heads at least mildly forward.
How we help at Holmes Chiropractic
Carrying your head forward all the time is likely to cause damage to vertebrae and muscles, especially those of the neck. We approach FHP with a mix of postural analysis, chiropractic adjustment, targeted stretching and strengthening of the neck muscles and improvement of daily habits to effect a change in the way you carry your head!
Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.