You know that little neck movement you make when you’re about to say “DUH” to someone? Or ever feel like your eyes are about 6 inches from the computer screen and the only way to see the words is to keep moving your head closer? Then after a while of holding that position, you start to get all stiff and sore around your neck? If you know what I’m talking about, you’ve felt the strain this position puts on your neck. This is known as forward head posture and can contribute to neck pain, headaches, pain between the shoulder blades, shoulder pain, and more.
As a general rule of thumb, if a line was drawn straight down the side of your body, the ears should be relatively in line with the shoulders. This allows the spine to hold the head up in a neutral position and significantly reduces the amount of strain placed on the spine.
With forward head posture, there is jutting or poking of the chin out in front of the body due to slouched forward shoulders and a rounded upper back. It can be caused by computer work, constantly looking down at a cell phone or tablet, activities that require a lot of concentration like sewing or even frequent carrying of a child in front of the body.
The typical head weighs about 12 pounds. For every inch your head moves forward, an additional 10 pounds of weight is added to the spine. So if a person has 2 inches of forward head posture, their spine would have to support the load of a head that would equal about 32 pounds. An extra 20 pounds!
Two inches may not seem like much but an extra 20 pounds placed on the spine day after day makes a huge difference! Along with muscle aches and pains, this can lead to early spinal degeneration, osteoarthritis, and disc herniations.