Posture and the dreaded forward head by osteopath Susan Bunce

The curse of the forward head posture

In clinic many of my clients present to me with a classic postural problems and the ‘forward head posture’ (FHP) This tends to have been perfected by the client over a period of time and results in the head drifting forward, instead of the ears being positioned over the shoulders. A natural addiction to gadgets means that this is happening in our younger clients too and is not simply reserved to those who have had years to perfect this stance.

The result is staining of the muscles, not only of the neck and shoulders but also of the upper and mid back too. The joints in the neck begin to wear quicker and even the lower back suffers as the centre of gravity is pulled forwards. The chin tends to poke forward, the ribs and shoulders hunch round and the poor diaphragm sags downwards to clamp down on our internal structures like our heart, lungs and digestive system.

In this position not only are we stiffer and less flexible, our lungs and digestive systems have to work harder and overall we become basically more ‘static’.

This FHP can be worsened by; sitting for long periods without a break, low spirit and self-esteem, excess use of gadgets and games consoles and over working the front muscles in training regimes.

Fear not though, help is at hand, but you may have to do something about it.

How can I help my forward head posture?

Change your posture – Stick your chest out, be proud of your height and of you. Keep your head up and your chin very slightly down and back. Like a funky chicken, but on a lesser scale.

Lengthen the back of your neck, so you feel taller at the back of your neck. Imagine a string pulling you towards the celling.

Ladies please invest in decent, well-fitting bras with wide straps and backs. If you are large chested this will make all the difference.

Most important of all, move often and sit less. If you sit at work all day, please sit less at home. Set your desk up well and ask your therapist for advice on this.

Put down the gadgets more and maybe even speak to each other! Laugh more, smile more and fret less………….simple…….!!

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