Chiropractors can help correct forward head posture which is an abnormal protruding of the head caused by prolonged poor posture.
What is forward head posture?
Dr. Scott Gardner: Forward head posture is when the person loses the normal curve in the neck. So, there’s a straightening of the spine. This straightening causes the head to protrude forward.
How would someone know if they had forward head posture? Does it produce any symptoms or warning signs?
Dr. Scott Gardner: Some key indicators of forward head posture are you may have friends or family that may be saying something to you about your posture, stand up straight, put your head back. You feel like you’re getting a rounding or a hump or a bump in the upper back area. Feeling of your head being too heavy or tired at the end of the day where you’re feeling that, “Wow, you know what? My head feels heavy. I can’t even hold it up.”
There isn’t always pain or warning signals associated with forward head posture, and that’s why a posture evaluation from a chiropractor is so important on a regular basis. But some symptoms that can be a sign of forward head posture are pain in the neck or upper back, tired or a foggy feeling, headaches, shoulder pain, arm pain, or numbness in the arms or hands.
What are the main causes of forward head posture and what should people do to avoid developing forward head posture?
Dr. Scott Gardner: The main cause of forward head posture is anything that forces the head forward for a prolonged period of time. So, things like phone use, iPad, laptop, poor workstation set up, gaming, even something like reading for extended periods of time, being a stomach sleeper or sleeping on your back with too many pillows, forcing the head up. Unfortunately, really, we can’t get away from technology use, so we need to have a maintenance program in place. This should really consist of ongoing chiropractic postural evaluation, regular chiropractic adjustments, daily posture exercises, and home traction.
How can a chiropractor help treat and help correct forward head posture?
Dr. Scott Gardner: The first step is to have a chiropractic evaluation to determine if you in fact have forward head posture. This would consist of a computerized posture evaluation to measure your posture very specifically to the degree and digital X-rays that measure the alignment of your spine in relation to normal. If forward head posture is found to be your problem, we create an individualized program consisting of corrective chiropractic care, posture building exercises, follow-up X-rays with posture, home traction, and a workstation evaluation and recommendations.
What are the negative health effects of forward head posture if it is not corrected?
Dr. Scott Gardner: Forward head posture can have significant negative health effects if uncorrected, like obviously poor posture, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, upper back pain, developing that roundness or that hump in the upper back area, arm pain or numbness and accelerated degenerative arthritis.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Scott Gardner visit www.gardnerfamilychiro.com or call 973-614-9256 to schedule an appointment.