The modernization came along with a lot of severe health issues. The use of technology is entertaining and useful, but ignoring some facts can have terrible results. Correct forward head posture is one of these essential things which is often ignored. We are well aware of bad posture and its adverse effects. What is the forward head posture? Read on to find out.
Forward Head Posture:
A nerd neck or forward head posture is an abnormal neck position leading to serious health issues. Found among 70-90% of the population, this is a commonly observed body posture deformation.
A body is in an incorrect posture when it perfectly aligns with its vertical midline. Any deviation from this position is commonly termed as a bad posture. A correct forward head posture is when the head is in line with the shoulders and midline. In the case of forwarding head posture or FHP, the head is so that the ears are ahead of the vertical midline.
Causes and Side-effects of FHP:
There are many reasons resulting in a bad posture. The most common reason for FHP conditions is prolonged usage of electronic devices such as laptops, mobile phones, etc. Slumping at the desks for longer durations to use a computer or hunching over the mobile are the most prevalent reasons. Slouching, carrying a heavy backpack for hours, whiplashes, physical injuries, sleeping with the head too high, and reading in a sleeping position are some reasons for FHP.
Though there are many exercises to correct forward head posture, people don’t take this problem seriously due to a lack of knowledge of its adversities. Before we get to fix forward head posture, let’s see the severe effects of FHP.
- Headaches, back pain, Jaw pains, and muscle spasms
- Chronic neck pain
- Tightened muscles and restricted neck movements
- Tingling and numbness of hands and arms
- Spinal Disk problems
- Severe effect on the nerves and ligaments
These are some of the chronic effects of FHP that help understand the importance of forwarding head posture exercises. Let’s first understand how do we identify the existence of FHP before looking for remedies.
How to Identify FHP?
One thing to understand is that there is a difference between assuming to have FHP and actually having it. Before trying to fix forward head posture, it is crucial to identify if the problem really exists. How do we know if we have this problem? Follow these steps:
- Stand with the back against a wall and feet with a gap equal to the shoulders’ width.
- Ensure the shoulder blades are touching the wall by pressing the buttocks against it.
- Now, check if your head is touching the wall. If yes, you have a correct forward head posture, and if the head doesn’t touch the wall, FHP is present.
Unfortunately, if we are suffering from the FHP problem, it is too severe to be ignored. There are many ways and exercises to maintain a good posture of the whole body. Similarly, there are many forward head posture exercises and remedies to deal with this problem exclusively. Let’s have a look:
Exercise is the best way to fix any problem related to the body. Daily exercises not only help in maintaining health but energize the body and set discipline.
Here are some simple exercises to correct forward head posture.
- Chin Tucking:
This is the very first and the most effective answer to the question – of how to fix forward head posture. With the flexibility to do anywhere and at any point in time, chin tucks also strengthen neck muscles. It can be done in three ways – standing anywhere, standing against the wall, and lying on the surface. These have a slight difference in the body’s positioning but give exceptional results.
Normal Chin Tucking – Stand erect without support such that the floor and your chin are parallel, and perform the following steps:
- Pull the chin back, i.e., towards the chest as if you make a double chin.
- While the chin is tucked in, move the head’s back away from the neck’s base.
- Hold on to this position until three deep breaths.
- Return to normal position and repeat the same.
Lying on a Surface – It is best to apply this method as soon as we wake up. Here, lie flat on the back with a rolled towel near the neck and tuck the chin. Return to normal position and repeat the process.
Standing against a Wall – Here, place the neck, shoulders, and back against the wall and follow these steps:
- Place both arms in line with the shoulders against the wall with palms out.
- Tuck in the chin while being in the position mentioned above.
- Move the arms up and hold the position for a few moments.
- Bring the arms to the previous position, release the chin, and repeat the process.
- Door Stretch:
This is a common exercise that we do every day without knowing the benefits. Door stretching corrects FHP and overall bad posture as well. This exercise focuses on releasing the chest and shoulder muscles, thereby reducing the neck’s rigidity. The steps to follow are:
- Please choose an appropriate door frame and position the elbows and hands in line with it.
- Gently step through the doorway until a stretch is felt.
- Hold on to this position for 20-30 seconds.
- Return to the normal position and repeat the process.
Ensure that the lower back’s position isn’t changed and there is no arch during the exercise. If there’s an arch, there is no use in doing this exercise. The entire back and neck portion need to be erect throughout.
- Trapezium Stretches:
By now, you might have understood that the effective way to correct forward head posture is by stretching the neck, shoulder, and chest muscles. Trapezium stretches are another kind of muscle stretching, focusing on the neck and upper back muscles.
If you’re searching for how to correct forward head posture, this exercise can’t be missed. We need to follow these steps to get the intended results:
- Be in either a standing or sitting position as per your choice.
- Place any one hand on the head to the opposite side.
- Move the head towards the shoulder of the raised hand.
- Use the raised hand to press the neck to have a deeper stretch gently.
- Hold on to this position for 20-30 seconds, release, and repeat the process 2-3 times.
- Now, do the same with the other hand as well.
- Yoga Pose:
Many yoga postures can correct forward head posture. Here is one among them that is capable of giving significant relief from FHP.
- Stand in a position such that the hip and feet are in line.
- Slowly bend forward by slightly bending the knees. Don’t put too much pressure on the knees and be gentle.
- Bend until your hands touch either your lower feet or the floor.
- Tuck in the chin and allow the neck and head regions to relax.
- Rotate the head in circular motions or from left to right by being in this position. Do this only if you are comfortable.
- Try holding onto this position for at least a minute.
- Now, use the spine instead of the knees to stand up and get back to a normal position.
- Repeat the process if necessary.
These are some effective remedies to correct forward head posture. But depending on these methods alone isn’t sufficient to relieve this problem. These exercises won’t fetch the necessary outcomes if there is no additional work from us. There are some supplements like cervical posture correctors to help in overcoming this problem sooner.
Apart from the exercises and supplements mentioned above, we need to consider and amend some habits to be free from FHP. Little things like the furniture at home can affect our posture leading to chronic health concerns. Though we decide to correct our posture and FHP, there were many obstacles trying to stop us from achieving the goal. To avoid all these and maintain a healthy body, the following tips can help us get faster yet significant results.
As we know that electronic gadgets’ usage quickly leads to FHP; while sitting for a long duration ensure the following to curb FHP to a greater extent:
- Select a chair that has a neck rest for support.
- Make sure your feet are on the floor and are flat.
- Fix the screen at a position in line with the eyes; the keyboard and mouse don’t strain the hands.
- Ensure that the screen is at a distance of 18-24 inches.
These tips are exclusively for working hours. For the rest of the time, keep a check on the following things:
- A backpack shouldn’t be too heavy and should adequately adjust to your body. Avoid carrying it on one side.
- Proper support of the natural neckline is very crucial. So, choose a pillow capable of giving excellent support instead of being too high or too low. An orthopedic pillow would be the appropriate choice.
Sometimes, physical injuries or bone malfunctions can also lead to FHP. It is always best to consult a doctor before deciding on the problems as the FHP can be due to other problems. After confirming the exact reasons, we can choose the methods of our choice.
If you are someone elderly and can’t walk properly then we highly suggest you invest in an upright walker who will be very helpful and also painless while walking.
Hi, I am Valerie. I love working out and trying out various products which help me maintain my fitness. I love reviewing products related to posture and pain relief that will help people in some way. I like to spend my extra time swimming, Running and Wall Climbing. I am a physiotherapist and have helped countless people lead a pain free life.