The Ever-Forward Head
Computers, tablets, cell phones: how much of your daily life is conducted through these mediums? While there is a pretense that these devices have a net positive impact on our health, they exact a toll on the spine. Traditionally known as reader's neck, forward head posture (FHP) comes about when we perform a repetitive task (i.e. reading) that trains our head to rest in a forward position and away from it's center of gravity, the spine.
This position adds another 10 pounds of pressure to your spine for every inch it is held forward.
With cell phones and tablets taking on the role of books, the prevalence of FHP is on the rise. Because of the constant imbalance and added pressure to the spine, it causes the premature onset of degenerative spinal conditions and strains certain muscles in the neck, while letting the ones that are important for stability go weak from lack of use.
A quick self-diagnosis
Perform the wall test by standing up straight against a wall with heels shoulder-width apart and shoulder blades touching the wall. Is the back of your head touching the wall? If not, there is a good chance you are carrying your head forward rather than centered over the spine. It surprises many people to find, after postural analysis, that they are carrying their head 2-3 inches forward at all times throughout the day.
How we help at Hayes Family Chiropractic
First, we make you aware: FHP is pervasive and easy to slip into because it is temporarily comfortable- our muscles have trained themselves to desire this position. Next, we focus on re-training the muscles, by releasing those that are tight and strengthening the ones that make a difference in holding your head upright and centered. By focusing on postural behavior through out the day, we believe you can make big changes to how you hold your head, look more confident and prevent future pain.
Dr. Chris Hayes, D.C.