Posture is one of the most important (and controllable) factors affecting personal health. Good posture can contribute to a healthy, well-aligned spine and nervous system. Bad posture, however, can lead to a number of health concerns, from back pain, to mood swings, to headaches, and far beyond.
Forward head posture (FHP) is a common type of improper posture that can cause a range of adverse health outcomes. Typically, the cases of FHP we see at Advanced Spine and Posture bring our Las Vegas, NV patients in with complaints of muscle fatigue and more serious conditions, like temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).
Common health effects of forward head posture
Because the cervical spine is such a critical area in regards to posture, FHP easily causes a number of health concerns, including the following:
- Spinal stress: Over time, FHP can cause stress to the spinal column and lead to pinched nerves.
- Hunched back: Typically, people experiencing FHP also hunch their shoulders and round their upper back, resulting in even more discomfort.
- Reduced mobility: FHP may eventually cause reduced mobility, making it difficult to move the neck.
- Muscle imbalances: FHP will eventually cause some muscles in the neck, spine and shoulders to become overly tight and others to become overly loose.
- TMJ: This painful and uncomfortable condition frequently accompanies FHP. If left untreated, it can result in a number of adverse health outcomes.
Typical causes of forward head positioning
There are a range of potential causes of FHP that affect people of all ages and professions, though office workers are ultimately more susceptible to this condition. Here are just some of the most common sources of FHP and its related side-effects:
- Trauma: Whiplash, caused by car accidents, falls and other sources of trauma, can cause FHP. During the recovery period, you may extend your neck to alleviate pain. In the long-run, this can cause long-term pain and health concerns.
- Backpacks: Children are particularly susceptible to FHP caused by weighty backpacks. Many school bags now weigh as much as 30 pounds! Children may use their heads to counterbalance the weight of the backpack.
- Computer use: People who use computers extensively for work are often at risk of FHP. This often occurs when computer screens are positioned too low, or when they frequently bend their head down to read the screen.
- Entertainment: Extensive time in front of television and video game screens can also cause FHP. Children and adults are likely to crane their head toward the screen while playing video games or binge-watching television shows.
Possible approaches to addressing FHP
Unlike many other chronic spinal problems that may result in permanent damage, FHP is a treatable, repairable condition. Here are some ways that you can start treating FHP symptoms:
- Adjust screen positions: Elevating your screen position can help you reduce FHP. Move the screen so that the top third of the screen is level with your eyes.
- Use a back support pillow: Whenever you’re seated, position a pillow at your low back to support your spinal column.
- Take regular stretch breaks: Every 30 minutes, take a break from your computer and perform a series of stretches on your neck and spine.
- Seek chiropractic care: Seek out the assistance of a professional chiropractor. Working with a qualified professional can help you develop a specialized treatment regimen.
Advanced Spine and Posture is a Las Vegas chiropractic clinic specializing in the treatment of FHP and other spinal column-related conditions. Call us today to learn more about ways we can help you overcome the adverse effects of poor posture using our Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) approach to patient care.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.