Heads up on forward head postureTuesday, May 9, 2017
Today, people are inclined to spend countless hours tied to the modern conveniences of a computer, TV or cellphone. The increased pressure on the neck muscles caused by repeated forward and/or downward facing postures has substantially negative effects on the body and can cause Forward Head Posture (FHP). According to Dr. Adalbert I. Kapandji, author of The Physiology of the Joints, for every inch that your head protrudes from its normal position, you add 10 additional pounds of force upon your neck.
Often referred to as “text neck,” FHP is a musculoskeletal condition where your cervical spine, or head and neck area, have protracted forward away from your body's line of gravity according to Spine Health. The hunched over appearance caused by spending hours looking down at your phone or computer can lead to chronic pain, numbness in the arms and hands, improper breathing and even pinched nerves.
Other health risks associated with FHP include:
• High blood pressure
• Headaches due to muscle tension
• Balance problems
• Vision issues due to eye strain
• Poor digestion
• Reduced lung capacity
Awareness is the first step in correcting the problem. Making simple changes to the way you stand and sit can make your posture better and eliminate FHP. Position your head in a neutral position where your ears aligned directly over your shoulders.
When working on the computer, reading or texting have items at your eye level to avoid leaning forward and looking down. Reduce long periods of sitting and take regular stretching breaks with specific exercises to reduce tension and other symptoms of poor neck posture.
There are also exercises that can help correct FHP and improve the postural muscles of the neck to relieve pain and other health issues. Relearning correct posture will take time, but the result can change your life.
If you would like to know more about TVH and the Health Nudge wellness programs, contact Lucy DelSarto, Health & Wellness Coach for TVH Americas, at firstname.lastname@example.org.