I shouldn’t just blame your phone, there are so many reasons why we start to develop a forward head posture or ‘chin poke’. Driving, long term computer use, need to wear glasses or using bi-focals or vari-focals. Our modern lifestyle is very forward facing and tends to draw us with it.
Our heads weight 10-12lbs, for every inch the head comes forward of the spine it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by a further 10lbs.
A forward head posture is when the head is help forwards of the posture line. It would look like a person’s ears are in front of their shoulders. This can have the effect of disrupting the balance of the muscles that support the head on top of the neck.
Specifically the muscles at the font of the neck become lengthened and less supportive, whilst the muscles at the back become shortened and overworked. Imagine your head and neck like a mast being supported by wires (the muscles). If some of the wires become slack then the other wires will have to work harder to keep the mast upright.
This disruption can cause changes in the space between the bones on the neck (vertebra) reducing the range of movement – noticed you can’t see you’re your blind spot as easily recently? – and increasing risk to wear and tear. It also increases our risk to injury. For example, when subjected to a force a muscle that is ‘tight’ doesn’t have the elasticity it needs to respond to that force. Therefore, it is more likely to become damaged.
So, how can we help correct a head forward posture?
- Stop lifting your chin. Imagine that your chin is resting on the shelf. To stand tall feel like you’re lengthening up the back of your neck, like a piece of string pulling the crown of your head to the ceiling.
- When using mobile devices e.g. texting on your phone, bring the device to eyeline rather than your eyeline down to the device.
- Adjust your computer monitor so that the centre of the screen is directly in your eyeline.
- Use the exercise below to start to rebalance the muscles of the neck.