Does this posture look familiar to you? If yes, do you also suffer with headaches, migraines or back pain? If yes read on to understand the link and how to fix it ….
This posture, or habit of sitting with your head protruding forward from the centre of your shoulders is actually called FORWARD HEAD POSTURE (FHP) . Yes, it’s actually a thing, not just slouching or poor posture.
Who Is at risk of FHP?
Those who sit with rounded shoulders and a hunched back, for example at a computer station
Those who spend ages crouched over video games or texting.
People who spend ages driving with poor posture , for example driving with elbows flared out on the side of the window rather than low and close to the body OR driving with your head too close to the steering wheel rather than back against the headrest
Repeatedly carrying a heavy bag or back pack over one shoulder
So what’s that got to do with my headaches or general pain?
On average, a human head weighs anywhere between 8 and 11lbs (c.5k)
This weight is not noticeable when you have ideal posture but for every inch that your head moves forward from its ideal position, the weight of your head on your neck doubles as per the image above.
This increased weight on your neck will lead to issues such as headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder pain, upper and lower back issues , numbness or tingling in your arms and hands , arthritis and muscle spasms.
How best to treat the issues?
Forward head posture creates a shift in your centre of gravity and to compensate your upper body will drift backwards which will force you hips to tilt forwards. All of this shifting will cause muscular imbalances, stress and pain throughout your body.
You can take pain relief to relieve pain but in order to get rid of the pain, you need to address the muscular imbalances. My role as a soft tissue therapist and personal trainer means I can help to identify, stretch and strengthen the appropriate muscles thus removing muscular imbalances.
In addition you can avoid situations where your posture is poor and carry out simple neck stretches and exercises such as chin tucks, door way stretches.
If you are struggling with neck , shoulder or head pain and think you may have forward head posture get in touch for a postural assessment and treatment.
Stop just relieving the pain, lets start eliminating it ….