Forward Head Posture (FHP)
Headaches, Neck and Upper Back Pain?
You Might Have Forward Head Posture (FHP)...
Forward Head Posture (FHP) is very common after a car accident. It's a postural problem where the head is too far forward of the body causing neck and upper strain. If left untreated, pain increases over time and eventually your spine begins to degenerate causing a wide range of problems down the road.
It's been shown that for every inch your head is forward increases the relative weight of your head by 10 lbs. The average head weighs 12 lbs. so if you have 2 inches of FHP then your neck feels as if your head weighs 32 lbs. This causes great stress on your neck and upper back. The longer you stay this way, the more damage is done, until at some point it may be difficult of impossible to get it to go back to normal.
The causes of forward head posture include:
- Car accident whiplash injuries
- Prolong computer use
- Chronic poor posture
- Lower neck and upper back injuries
Your Neck Posture is a Delicate Balance
The neck curve looking from the side should be a nice round shaped curve with the head resting directly in line with the lower neck where it meets the shoulder. When an imbalance occurs due to chronic poor posture or an injury to the ligaments and muscles of the neck as in a car accident, the weakness of the back of the neck and increased tension in front pulls your head forward resulting in FHP.
Diagnosing Forward Head Posture
Your head posture can be observed on a routine examination. Your doctor will look at your head, usually your ear is a landmark and see if it is directly above the shoulder. If it forward, then your have FHP.
X-rays are good to have, because your doctor can measure how far forward your head is. This is important to judge your improvement with treatment. At a later date a comparison x-ray will be taken to see how much progress has been made to restore your neck posture.
The basic principle is to strengthen the muscles in the back of the neck and upper back and loosen the muscles in front. As the strength is shifted more towards the back, the head will begin to gravitate backwards.
Neck exercises video for Forward Head Posture can be found here. These simple exercises done daily will gradually improve your posture and correct FHP.
Your head posture may have difficulty moving backward if your neck has blockages to movement, what chiropractors call "subluxations." A subluxation is when the spinal bones are not freely moveable due to injury or chronic muscle tension. Locating and correcting these areas of blocked movement allows your head to gravitate backward normally.
It is recommended to undergo at least 2 weeks of chiropractic adjustments to the neck area before beginning exercises to correct FHP. The results you see will be drastically different than just doing neck exercises alone.
If you have questions about Forward Head Posture or want Dr Marks to evaluate you, CLICK HERE to request an appointment to meet with Dr Marks to find a solution to your problem.
Dr Barry Marks, Chiropractor, Car Accident Specialist has been providing relief to car accident victims since 1986. He is a former Associate Clinical Professor at a leading Chiropractic College and has years of post-doctorate specialty training in orthopedics, whiplash trauma, brain injury, auto crash reconstruction and more.
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