Exercises & StretchesHealth and Disease information

Forward Head Posture (FHP): How to Test and Recover

– Well, this is Dr. Tony. Wanna talk about today is forward head posture. I’m gonna show you a video I shot about five years ago. It’s true today as it was back then. Forward head posture is basically diagnosed off an x-ray where the x-ray comes forward, your spine comes forward in your neck, causing to become very straight. I’ll show you the picture over here, how that looks versus normal, can see a difference.

A normal spine has a curve in the spine. Forward head posture has you just straightening of the spine, which is measured a certain millimeter degree, which don’t worry about that, you’ll see in the overall post about that. Watch the video first, we’ll talk about it afterwards. How to recover from forward head posture and kinda verify that. Hello again, this is Dr. Anthony Ratkovic. We talked about this week, was forward head posture, and I’ll show you in a second what I mean by that. Where forward head posture comes from and the cause of that, which is our first article, is really as an adolescent, sitting in a chair for eight hours in a school room, carrying sometimes a backpack that is beyond your own body weight, meaning that it exceeds the amount that is considered by the American Orthopedic Association. Look at my first blog from Monday on that, gives you actually the scale of a child’s body weight versus what weight they should be able to carry.

What that means is that as the body’s growing, if you have an abnormal posterior weight, meaning a backpack, it makes the body want to lean forward, and again, I’ll show you that forward head posture in a minute. Another cause of say, for example, forward head posture would be trauma or injury. When there’s trauma involved, the spine if it’s not corrected or rehabbed properly, the scar tissue, that scar tissue makes the neck actually lean forward. And over time your shoulders round forward and your overall body becomes more compressed or more hunched over.

Other things are basically a lack of exercise. As kids these days, if you wanna call it that, are not really understand what good posture is not taught that in schools. When they exercise, exercise to increase their heart rate, they burn a couple calories here and there, but not really understand what they need to do specifically to keep their posture well when they sit for eight hours. As they become teenagers, young adults, and adults do it too, we’re not really, it doesn’t really, if you wanna call it involved into how we do ergonomics until we have a problem, until we have back pain, until we have neck pain. The problem is once that happens, we have symptoms sometimes too late. So we wanna do now, get people to realize wherever they are in life that it’s important to have good posture. The problem is if you don’t, we talked about having symptoms, can develop to arthritis, a pinched nerve, a herniated disc, and also some studies to where when your body hunches forward, your body actually produces less lung capacity and that hyperkyphosis, let me show you what that means in a second, what that does is decrease the physical amount of the body to hold air in your lungs.

I mean that when I do this, if I was to come from your side point of view. Hope this is my good side, I hope. And I have a normal good posture, the seam of my shirt should be about the midline of my ear. My ear should be at the midline of my shoulder. My chin should be up and my shoulders should be back, okay? That is more of a better posture. Obviously not perfect, better, but the problem is over time if we sit, do that exercise problem before posture, where we have injury or trauma, the body goes from here to here, okay.

Is that good posture? No, that’s by consideration the forward head posture and what’s called upper-crossed syndrome of the upper shoulders, where the body’s doing this, rounding forward, versus leaning backwards, okay. So we come again to the side here too, when we realize when our body does that, our lung capacity drops, and over time, there’s some studies especially with seniors is that allows people to have a higher death rate ’cause you have less oxygen in their body forward, too. And as it progresses further on, we see that it can cause arthritis, and we can show you x-rays on that too, how the body degenerates from a spinal perspective over time, how the bones wear out permanently and how that posture is almost permanent in the body. How we reverse it, and again at any age where you are and what’s going on with your body, is through chiropractic care, where we allow the bones to move normally. And I did previous articles on movement, joint and motion. Normal joint motion allows the body to heal, allows the body to get back to its normal posterior alignment, so going from here to here over a period of time.

The problem is if we just adjust you and this may go against the philosophy of chiropractic, but if we just adjust you, what’s gonna happen? I sit in a chair eight hours a day, I go back to here. So you wanna make sure once you’ve adjusted things, got things to become less symptomatic, less sore, we incorporate an exercise rehab program so your body over time can go from here to here and maintain that.

What I recommend is some minor exercises, for one. A one that, I think it was Dr. Greg had mentioned, is one to where you do this and come back this way, okay? So take a deep breath in, pull out, head comes up, shoulders come back, body comes back. So here’s from the front point of view and here’s from the back point of view where you body, shoulders are coming down, head’s up. This movement, this dynamic motion allows the joints in your neck, upper back, and shoulders to realize this is better and holds this better center of gravity position versus leaning forward all day. Doing that in a chair or especially standing allows that motion of simple things, to taking a walk for 10, 15, 20 minutes a day, provided over time to get this back to normal versus here.

You can see other ones on there too if you’d like to check ’em out and see what’s on there. But again, our goal this week is to understand that forward head posture is usually a gradual change over time, then you have symptoms. What we wanna do is make sure it’s diagnosed properly, in our office through x-rays, even through an examination and we correct the x-rays ’cause that’s your structure, then from there allow your body to rehab and stay with an exercise that you can actually use outside of the office, even beyond our own care, okay? There’s another blog entry article, a website.

I think if you wanna call it that, from the Chiropractic Clinic in Upland. Again, we’re your whole body health center. We realize your health is important to you. Enjoy health from the inside out. Have a great week. Hope that short video helps you understand that via an x-ray can diagnose forward head posture properly and give you the proper treatment, it may be chiropractic care and/or exercises, get things improved. I like the exercise that I gave you at the end of the video five years ago, but I have new ones now. So in this post we’re gonna have a new exercise you can start doing for your upper back and neck and shoulders to get your body healthy. I’ve done this last one about a year or so, a testing program with my patients. It’s gone very well. I send them the videos. They do the exercise, they come back and feel better. The x-rays improve so they stay better over time too. So even a year later, I’ve done the studies is to where overall they’re still doing well.

Okay, so when you maintain these exercises once you recover from forward head posture, your body will stay well, any problems, come back in, but overall let’s help to change your health from the inside out, okay? Have a great day. (gentle music).

As found on Youtube

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One Comment

  1. Very interesting details you have observed, appreciate it for putting up. “Brass bands are all very well in their place – outdoors and several miles away.” by Sir Thomas Beecham.

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