How to Correct Forward Head Posture: Best Exercises and Stretches
October 14, 2019
Often called text neck syndrome or nerd neck, forward head posture gives your head the appearance of slanting forward from your neck, lending a hump-like appearance to your upper back. While such habits as sitting at your desk for long periods and constantly bending your head down to text or read a book can lead to this poor posture, it can also be directly related to the strength of your back and neck muscles. If you fear that nerd neck may be bothering you, take these steps to test the position of your neck and to correct forward head posture.
How Do You Know If You Have Forward Head Posture?
There are a few simple tests that can let you know if your neck and head are unnaturally bent. The easiest one to perform at home requires you to back up to a wall with your heels and buttocks touching the surface. Ideally, your head should naturally touch the wall as well.
However, an at-home forward head posture test does not always give you the most dependable results, and you should seek professional advice if you fear that forward head posture is afflicting you. Most likely, your practitioner will measure your craniovertebral angle using photogrammetry, which utilizes a photograph and software to visualize the angle between certain bones in the spine and the head.
Tips for Fixing Forward Head Posture
Whether your practitioner has already diagnosed you with forward head posture or you want to prevent this issue, consider these three simple tips for adjusting the position of your head and neck.
Choose the Right Stretches
One of the best ways to improve your posture is to stretch your back and neck muscles. Several exercises can help, including basic head tilts and chin tucks or cervical retraction for relaxing and stretching your neck.
Common yoga poses, such as backbends and cat/cow pose, also stretch this area.
Choose the Right Exercises
In addition to daily stretching of your cervical spine, you will also want to focus on strengthening all of the muscles running through your neck and upper back. Some great options for that are lat pulls and deltoid work with light weights as well as superman pose. Be sure to check with your practitioner for the best options for your needs.
Watch Out for Common Sources of Neck Strain
Poorly placed workstations are a common problem for office workers. Monitors should be placed at eye level approximately two feet from you, and your desk and chair should be at the correct height for your arms. In addition, be wary of heavy purses and backpacks, unsupportive chairs and flat pillows that can put stress on your neck.
Seeking Relief From Your Neck and Back Pain
If you do not correct forward head posture quickly, you may find yourself with an array of unwelcome symptoms, such as headaches, neck pain, back pain, insomnia and bulging discs. While you will not notice immediate improvements, gradual changes in head posture can eventually lead to a strengthened neck and better posture.
If you have any questions about forward head posture or need to be professionally treated, please contact our team at Greater Austin Pain Center.