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Head & Neck

Head & Neck Posture Issues

Forward Head Syndrome

Screen shot 2015-11-30 at 9.03.31 PMForward head syndrome is one if the most common of the postural deviations. This is where your head actually begins to shift forward do to tight muscle groups on the anterior or front parts of your neck, and chest. This is also to do the lack of strength in your traps, upper muscle groups in your back and posterior or rear deltoids. What happens when these muscle groups are either not strong enough or overused is readjusting of the head. When your head shift forward, the actual mass of your head increases. To be exact, your head doubles in mass every inch it readjust forward. If your head weighs 10 pounds, and moves forward 1 inch, the mass of your head is now 20 pounds. If it readjust 2 inches, the mass of your head now weighs 40 pounds.

Some of the major issues caused by this postural deviation is that the part of your body which suffers the most in posterior (rear) part of your neck. Our bodies are meant to recognize stress or strain, so when the mass of our head begins to increase, our bodies begin to compensate. We then develop connective tissue in the back of our necks which over time may divert blood flow, cause headaches as well as develop dowagers hump. This can also be the beginning of a horrible snowball. When your head moves forward, your shoulders will follow. This can put extra pressure on your lower back and knees.

Some simple habits to develop is to stretch your chest by putting your hands in a doorway and leaning forward, while you do this, simple look up and stretch the anterior (front) of your neck. Another good habit to develop is to roll your shoulders back and always try to look up. Rolling your shoulders back in itself is a rehabilitation exercise. This forces your upper back muscles to contract which will naturally strengthen them. be aware, of this postural deviation. Try to avoid sitting hunched over a computer or cell phone for to long, if your work requires this, it is in your best interest to make the doorway stretch with looking up a part of your daily routine. Also, try to keep your head back when you drive, this will help eliminate unnecessary strain of these muscle groups. Parents, do not allow your child to sit and play video games for hours, this can directly effect the rest of their development. This is a simple deviation to overcome. A simple stretch or two everyday, a little mental awareness and some simple strengthening exercises that you can do anywhere!

Forward Head Syndrome: What to look for:

A line dropped from the center of the ear would land directly in the center of the shoulder. If this does not hold true, then client has forward head syndrome

Effects:

  • Puts compressive loads upon the upper thoracic vertebra
  • Studies have shows that every inch your head moves forward and resettles, it adds an additional 10 pounds of stress to your muscles of you upper back and neck. These muscles are trying to not let your head fall into your chest.
  • Puts pressure on 3 main nerves. This nerve compression causes headaches in the base of the skull
  • Dowager’s hump- connective tissues forming from the extra stress

Tight muscle groups:

  • Chest
  • Upper back
  • Upper neck

Weak muscles groups

  • Front neck muscles
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