Beware: The Damaging Effects of Forward Head Posture

Forward Head Posture Health Dangers

At our office, The Chiropractic Source, located in Cedar Grove NJ, we specialize in a very unique Chiropractic approach called Chiropractic BioPhysics, CBP for short. CBP emphasizes optimal posture and spinal alignment as the primary goal of care. The uniqueness of CBP treatment is in structural rehabilitation of the spine and posture and its impact on overall health and function.

Science has repeatedly proven that your posture has an absolute effect on your overall health and function. This is due to to the intimate relationship between the structure of the Spine and the function of the Nervous System.

The Nervous System is by far the most important system in the body, due to the fact that it controls every single cell, tissue and organ in the body. Without an optimal functioning nervous system, you CANNOT have optimal health and/or function.

We can take that a step further by saying without a properly structured spine (ie good posture), you CANNOT have an optimal functioning Nervous System. This in turn will impact your overall health and function. You can not deny this relationship, and if you do, it is unfortunately impacting your every day function, whether you realize it or not. This is why we emphasize so much of our care and education on the spinal posture and its effect on overall health.

One of the most common postural position that we see enter our office is called a Forward Head Posture (FHP). Forward Head Posture, also known as “Text Neck” “Tech Neck” or “Anterior Head Carriage,” occurs when the head is positioned in front of the shoulders, instead of being aligned with the spine. When looking at someone’s posture from the side, if you notice that the middle of the ear is translated forward in relation to the middle of the of the shoulder, then you are looking at a forward head posture. This can be a result of prolonged periods of looking down at computers, tablets and phones or other activities that encourage poor neck and head alignment.

Check out These Interesting Facts About the Damaging Effects of FHP:

  • Headaches and Migraines – a Forward Head Posture puts extra strain on the neck and shoulder muscles, leading to discomfort and pain. In fact, for every 1 inch (25 mm) that your head translates forward, it is approximately 20 lbs. of extra stress on the rest of your spine. This can increase your risk for neck and shoulder pain, as well as headaches, migraines, TMJ, Carpal Tunnel and much much more!
  • Lung Dysfunction – according to Rene Cailliet, MD, A head in a forward posture can add up to thirty pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine. This can pull the ENTIRE SPINE out of alignment and may result in a 30% loss of vital lung capacity. Can you believe that?! How many people do you think who have lung dysfunction, think about their spinal alignment as being a contributing factor? This is why it is so important to see a structural corrective chiropractor.
  • Decline in Overall Health – according to Dr. Donald Harrison et al, a Forward Head posture and loss of Cervical curve alters the mechanical properties of the spinal cord and nerve roots. What does this mean? Your spinal cord and nerve roots are the electrical highway that allows your brain to communicate with the body. Miscommunication in this pathway (ie bad postural alignment) will consequently impact your overall health and function.
  • Arthritis and Degeneration – a Forward Head Posture and Loss of Cervical curve places an unwanted stress on the spinal joints. According to Wolf’s Law, a bone will remodel to the stress that is placed upon it. This means as the load on the spinal joints increases, the disc in between the vertebrae will slowly degenerate and the body will respond by remodeling the bones. This is what many doctors call Arthritis or Degeneration. Arthritis and/or degeneration impacts the mobility and function of the joints, effects the nerves in that area and ultimately alters the energy nerve flow through that nerve to every cell, tissue and organ it’s connected to. This will eventually cause dysfunction and/or disease to that region of the body.
  • Dysfunction of the Physiologic System – according to the Journal of Pain Management, “Posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production, spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.
  • Low Back Pain – a forward head posture places a chronic strain on the lower back muscles, causing chronic lower back pain. We have seen this happen at our office countless of times! We have had many patients come to us complaining of lower back and/or hip pain, but when we do a postural evaluation and X-rays, their lower back is in great condition, but they have a forward head posture and loss of cervical curve. Correcting or improving this posture has been very successful in alleviating the lower back pain.

Here are a Few More Damaging Effects of Forward Head Posture:

  • Muscle Imbalances – the muscles in the neck and upper back can become imbalanced due to the constant forward position, leading to weakness in some muscles and overactivity in others.
  • Headaches – the increased stress on the neck and upper back can contribute to tension headaches.
  • Reduced Lung Capacity – forward head posture can restrict the ability of the lungs to expand fully, potentially affecting respiratory function.
  • Increased Risk of Injury – the misalignment of the spine caused by forward head posture may increase the risk of injury, especially in the neck and upper back.
  • Changes in Spinal Curvature – prolonged forward head posture can lead to changes in the natural curvature of the spine, such as an increase in the curvature of the upper spine (kyphosis).
  • Nerve Compression – the misalignment of the spine may result in compression of nerves, leading to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms and hands.
  • Degenerative Changes – over time, forward head posture may contribute to degenerative changes in the spine, potentially leading to conditions like cervical spondylosis.
  • Impaired Posture – forward head posture can contribute to overall poor posture, affecting the alignment of the entire spine.
  • Impact on Mood and Energy Levels – chronic pain and discomfort associated with forward head posture can have a negative impact on mood and energy levels.

As you can see, a Forward Head Posture is more than an aesthetic positioning of the neck, it has an impact on a lot of your daily function and can cause havoc for some people. We take this very seriously. That is why when you come to The Chiropractic Source in Cedar Grove NJ, you will have a very thorough evaluation of your posture, including digital postural evaluations, as well as full spine digital X-Rays. This will give us the details to the source of your condition and then we have the tools and knowledge at our office to assist you in rehabilitating the spine, not just to have better posture, but also to have optimal health and function.

If you want to learn more about how we can help with this common posture, please feel free to contact our office. We will get you evaluated at our office or someone near you to ensure you have the best care that can be provided.

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The Chiropractic Source
388 Pompton Avenue
Cedar Grove, New Jersey 07009
Office: 973-228-0500
Monday9 AM - 1 PM 3 PM - 7 PM
Tuesday3 PM - 6 PM
Wednesday9 AM - 1 PM 3 PM - 7 PM
Thursday9 AM - 1 PM 3 PM - 7 PM