FHP...you may have it and not know it.

January 11, 2017


Chronic pain, numbness in the arms and hands, improper breathing, stiff & strained neck , pinched nerves, rounded shoulders, fatigue, teeth clenching, decreased appetite, arthritis, tightness and soreness in neck and chest muscles, insomnia and poor sleep, sleep apnea, facial pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or a combination of, there is a great chance you may be suffering from Forward Head Posture.[1]


Growing up, most of us are familiar with the high importance that was placed on posture, standing straight and the year scoliosis test. All of this was done in order to catch any early symptoms of improper posture. We learned that, "Good posture places you in an alignment where stress is properly distributed to the intended muscles and ligaments. As a result, the muscles are allowed to work efficiently and as intended, which in turn decreases wear and tear that your joints undergo. This decreases your risk of joint discomfort and degenerative arthritis. Stress placed on the ligaments holding the joints in your spine together is also decreased with good posture. When your muscles, joints and ligaments are working as intended, your vital organs are able to remain in proper position and the nervous system is able to function normally, according to the Kansas Chiropractic Foundation." [2] Any deviation or practice that caused bad posture would be the contrary of the benefits of good posture.


Other problems associated with FHP are:

  • Constant fatigue and lack of energy

  • Pain in your neck, shoulders or upper, lower and middle back

  • Permanent damage to your joints, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels & nerves

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Poor sleep or insomnia

  • Arthritis

  • Impaired athletic performance

  • Loss of height by 2 inches

  • Looking 10 lbs fatter than you actually are

  • Affects your hormonal health

  • Noisy mouth breathing, snoring & sleep apnea

  • Early degeneration of your spine

  • Pinched and trapped nerves

  • Decreased range of motion

  • Lack of confidence

  • Blood Flow to the Brain

  • Asthma

  • Decreased lung capacity by up to 30%

  • Harmful affects to vision and hearing

  • Jaw pain and sinus issues

  • Dizziness, vertigo and balance issues

  • Burdens your digestive system [4]

 In a technology driven age, many people do not realize that they are placing themselves in situations that provoke this condition. It is estimated that on average, an individual spends at least 4 hrs a day with their heads ill positioned while texting on mobile devices, and up to 10 hrs on computers/laptops! Every inch your head extends forward, your neck has to support an additional 10 lbs. of weight! Texting alone requires at least a 3-4 inch head tilt causing an additional 40 lb strain on the neck and back. "Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. More than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain. " [3]





Exercises to Correct Forward Head Posture

Here are 3 gentle exercises, which will help in correcting the forward head posture. However, it is always better to seek medical consult before commencing any type of exercise.

The following exercises need to be done at least twice a day and should be done for about 15 minutes for each time to achieve maximum benefit.


Forward Head Posture Exercise #1- Neck Release Using Tennis Ball

The following exercise helps in releasing or loosening the tension in the group of muscles, which are located under base of the skull. This particular muscle group is often overactive in individuals who have a forward head posture and can cause symptoms such as headache and dizziness. When these muscles are loosened then the position of the head can be corrected. If there is pain in the neck, then there is a tendency to have tenderness or heaviness in this particular region.

Tennis ball neck release is an exercise done with the use of tennis balls or something of similar shape. It makes a great tool to release the tension in the muscles of this area.

  • The ball should be placed under the head such that it presses into the areas under the base of the skull.

  • Rotate your head from side to side to so as to put pressure on certain areas.

  • If it starts to hurt, then you are doing it on the right area and try to get a solid 5 minutes on this region.

  • Repeat on the other side.

  • If tennis balls are not available then pressure to the same region can be applied by gently pressing with your thumbs.

  • In case there is dizziness or worsening of the pain, then decrease the pressure on the neck.

Forward Head Posture Exercise #2: Neck Stretch

This is another stretching exercise for the neck muscles which can be done by placing the hands at the back of the head and gently pulling the head forwards.

  • A stretch can be felt at the back of the neck.

  • Hold this for at least 30 seconds.

  • Repeat 3 times.

Forward Head Posture Exercise #3: Chin Tucks

After the tight and stiff neck muscles are loosened, then strengthening exercises for the neck muscles should be done for achieving correct position of the head.

  • Sit straight and gently tuck your chin in so that it looks like a double chin.

  • A gentle lengthening sensation can be felt at the back of the neck.

  • Do not move your head up/down.

  • Make sure that your eyes and jaw stay level.

  • Move the head slowly and horizontally backwards.

  • Hold this position 5 seconds and repeat it at least 25 times. [1]

"A person who stands erect, can stand with more ease, labor better, and travel farther in a day, than one who stoops. Students, when sitting at their studies, or in writing, should avoid a stooping posture. If we always keep the body in a proper position it will tend to make the back bone firm and strong." [5]



[1] https://www.epainassist.com/fitness-and-exercise/forward-head-posture

[2] http://www.livestrong.com/article/78788-posture-important/

[3] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus06.pdf.

[4] http://www.forwardheadposturefix.com/?hop=misteralex


[6] http://www.greenhauspt.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/TNS_2.png


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