Between the increased use of cellphones, countless hours working at desk jobs, and long commutes; we are seeing more and more people develop rounded shoulders and a condition known as Forward Head Posture.
Forward head posture, or FHP, is a musculoskeletal condition affecting the head and neck. It is observed in millions of people every year and it can lead to a host of painful conditions.
In this article, we will provide an overview of FHP and demonstrate some ways in which chiropractic care can help with the condition.
What is Forward Head Posture?
Specifically, Forward Head Posture is a condition characterized by the following features:
- Chin protruding forward,
- Increased curvature of the neck,
- Decreased neck range of motion.
By itself, Forward Head Posture is not a cause for major alarm. However, certain people (especially older adults) with FHP are more likely to experience neck pain. Therefore, identifying and correcting this issue quickly can save people from developing symptoms down the road.
Furthermore, those with Forward Head Posture may also experience headaches, mid and upper back pain, and other symptoms affecting daily life.
Who is Most Likely to Develop Forward Head Posture?
Essentially, the people who are most likely to develop FHP are those that spend a lot of time seated with poor posture. For the purposes of visualization, think of any of the following people who are likely to develop FHP:
- A teenager who texts his friends all day long (in these cases, FHP is sometimes referred to as “text neck”).
- An office worker who is typing and working on the computer for 8+ hours a day, stressing out about deadlines.
- Older adults who have difficulty maintaining proper posture while seated or driving a vehicle.
When younger people (especially athletes) develop the condition, their participation in sports and activities is often severely limited. They may have difficulty performing overhead movements such as swinging in volleyball or throwing in baseball.
For adults and older individuals, FHP poses a big risk of neck pain development.
So no matter how old or young you are, it’s best to avoid this condition!
How is Forward Head Posture Treated?
Because FHP is often the result of weak neck muscles and improper posture, exercises and treatments to correct these issues tend to have the best results.
In terms of chiropractic care, your chiropractor will need to first determine what factors have led to your development of FHP. This will require an in-depth evaluation which may involve movement testing; palpation of areas on your shoulders, spine, and neck; reflex testing; x-ray imaging; and many other measurements.
Once your chiropractor has gathered all of this clinical information, she will then need to determine the best course of treatment for addressing your issues.
Specifically, your plan of care could involve any or all of the following treatment methods:
- Spinal manipulations;
- Lifestyle modification counseling;
- Specific exercises;
- Hot or cold therapy.
Again, FHP by itself is not a major issue, but it can lead to worse problems down the road. So developing a chiropractic treatment plan that is specifically geared toward addressing your issues is the best way to keep your FHP from developing into a painful, debilitating condition.
Forward Head Posture Treatment at Awaken Chiropractic
All of us at Awaken Chiropractic understand how devastating neck pain can be. As established Parker Chiropractors, our team has seen many cases of FHP and has helped many patients improve their posture and their symptoms. If you’ve been experiencing neck pain, other Forward Head Posture symptoms, or any other painful condition, book your appointment with us today.