Chronic forward head posture. It's not just how you look.
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
If text neck is left untreated, it can lead to various signs and symptoms such as flattening of the neck curve, early onset of arthritis, spinal misalignment, spinal disc degeneration, disc herniation, pain and numbness in arms and hands
Chronic forward head posture is so common that it almost looks natural. This so-called "text neck" posture is not only aesthetically compromising but also contributes to your "common modern age" symptoms such as headache, neck pain, shoulder tightness, and even jaw pain.
Why is this posture a risk to your health? This posture compromises the nervous system, resulting in an inefficient communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Not only that, the blood flow coming in and out of your brain will also be compromised, resultantly affecting the brain function. If this text neck is left untreated, it can lead to various signs and symptoms such as flattening of the neck curve, early onset of arthritis, spinal misalignment, spinal disc degeneration, disc herniation, pain and numbness in arms and hands, and so on.
Any injury to the neck, especially a hyperextension injury (e.g. whiplash injury from a car accident) can eventually cause this forward head posture. However, habitual, posture-related cause is one of the major factors contributing to this forward head posture. This chronic forward head posture can result in an abnormal functioning and shortening of the neck and the surrounding muscles and soft tissues.
So, how do we treat and resolve chronic forward head posture?
The first step is to analyze your posture and gather data of how much your head is shifted, tilted and putting weight on your cervical spine. You can put more than 40 lbs of weight on your cervical spine due to abnormal cervical posture when your actual head weight is only about 10-12 lbs.
Next, receiving manual therapy such as chiropractic adjustments and muscle therapy will restore optimal biomechanical function. Therapeutic exercise to relearn neuromuscular function and strengthening weak muscular groups will help improve and maintain a better cervical posture. Additionally, low-level laser therapy will help relieve muscle tightness, swelling, inflammation, and pain. Laser therapy also significantly improves muscular strength and endurance.
Lastly, it is important to keep reminding yourself to improve your posture throughout the day. Having a posture break every 15 to 30 minutes during work is a great way to accomplish posture awareness. This way you are training your body to relearn the most natural posture that is ideal for your body.
Learn more about these treatment options at RYNK Chiropractic and restore your natural neck posture.
Look better, feel better and function better.
Dr. Roy Jung, DC, CCSP 13751 Lake City Way NE STE 310
Seattle, WA 98125