Normally your head position will be such that your ears will be lining up your shoulders and midline. Forward Head posture is a condition where your ears will be in front of your body’s vertical midline. Forward Head posture is commonly referred to as a text neck or a nerd’s neck.
The Exercises To Treat Forward Head Posture
Forward Head posture induces frequent neck pain and creates stiffness in your shoulders. The only way to restore your head position is by exercising and stretching.
Performing stretching and strengthening exercises and placing the core focus on your posture will help in better positioning and eases all discomfort and pain.
Causes For Forward Head Posture
The common cause of Forward Head posture is spending prolonged hours in front of a computer or mobile.
As one ages, the muscles in the neck and shoulders will start loosening up and this will result in a loss of muscle strength and can lead to a Forward Head Posture.
It is important to treat Forward Health Posture because it reduces your balancing ability and increases the effective weight of your head on your spine by hunching your head at a 45-degree angle.
Forward Head Posture if left untreated also boosts the mortality rate of older men and women and affects respiratory functions significantly.
Treatment For Forward Head Posture
The below-mentioned exercises are known to treat FHP effectively.
1. Chin tucks
Chin tucks are one of the easiest exercises that can be performed either while sitting, standing, or even while lying down.
Chin tucks are known to strengthen your neck muscles. It is done by keeping your head straight and focusing your chin parallel to the floor.
Now pull your chin back towards your chest such that it looks like you are having a double chin. When it comes to treating neck pain, chin tucks are the go-to exercise as they aim to strengthen your neck, and improve the flexibility in your neck area by targeting your deep cervical flexors, the root cause of Forward Head posture.
Chin tucks work on stretching your scalene muscles and helps in maintaining a good posture. By easing up the tension in your neck, shoulders, and back muscles, chin tucks keep you fit and stress-free.
2. Neck flexion
Neck flexion is a suboccipital stretch that focuses on the back of your core muscles. Forward bending of the head such that it reaches your chest is called a neck flexion exercise.
While you are in a neck flex position, You will be able to feel your back muscles stretching. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat this stretch 4-5 times.
Neck Flexion exercise improves the mobility of your body and offers quick pain relief in your neck and lower back.
3. One arm stretch
When your chest muscles are stiff, it will tighten your neck area and pull your neck into a bad posture. To retain better posture and alleviate your pain, you need to start releasing these tight pecs and a one-arm stretch will help achieve the same.
An arm chest will engage your shoulder muscles and stretch them. One arm stretch is one of the simple yet effective exercises to rid the Forward Head Posture as it arches your back, pulls in your stomach and engages your core muscles.
When performing this exercise you will notice a mild stretch in your chest area too. Forward Head Posture if done consistently straightens your posture, strengthens your core, and boosts the flexibility of your body.
4. Spine extension
It is important to target your spine as it is a key determinant in reversing the forward head posture. A spine extension exercise engages your butt, pelvis, and your chin and strengthens them. You can feel your body relaxed and stretched after a spine extension exercise.
You will feel a stretch in your core muscles while performing a spine extension exercise and it is important to hold your position for a few seconds to get the maximum benefits. Perform three to five cycles of this exercise every day for effective results.
In addition to exercise, making a few alterations in your lifestyle is essential.
- Usage of Firm Pillows:
Throw off all the unnecessary pillows and start using a single firm pillow. Your sleeping pillow should support the curve of your neck and place your head in a neutral position.
If your pillow is either too high or too low it will disrupt your sleep and cause substantial pain in your neck muscles. Hence choosing a firm pillow that supports your posture is crucial.
- Create a viable workplace :
Almost every one of us is sitting for long hours in front of electronic gadgets that force us to strain our neck muscles and shoulders, making them stiff and causing them pain.
Use a chair-desk combo that promotes good posture such that your elbows are at a 90-degree angle while your arms are placed on the desk.
- Reduce the size of your backpack:
Carrying heavy weight on your shoulders will lead to a Forward Head posture. Be mindful of what you pack in your backpack and remove all items that add to the weight of your backpack.
This will ensure your neck and shoulder muscles are not strained and helps you rid of the pain entirely.
More than 66.67% of the population is affected by Forward Head posture and if left untreated your upper back muscles will tighten and become stiff and your front neck muscles will also face weakness.
From neural to cardiovascular disease, Forward Head Posture can cause distress in your body and result in significant side effects including insomnia, sleep apnea, muscle spasms, and breathing issues.
To overcome this stiffness of muscles, it is essential to stretch frequently and keep your entire body flexible.
Exercises combined with lifestyle changes will significantly improve your posture, alleviate your pain, and keep you in a balanced state.
Dr. Edward Zelman
Dr. Edward Zelman works as a Neurologist with the expertise of over 15 years, helping more than thousands to get back in complete health through his research-proven treatments. He earned his Masters from Harvard University and completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University. Dr. Edward Zelman is one of the notable names in the medical industry for his work in pain management, chronic disorder, and so on. He is also a former faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At present, Dr. Edward Zelman is researching safe and effective natural remedies that can restore as well as maintain the youthful functioning of the body.
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