Forward Head Posture Facts

Forward head posture is evident when a person carries the head in front of the body instead of carrying the head over the body.  Forward head posture will increase the workload of the muscles, ligaments and discs in the head and neck leading to Anterior Head Syndrome.  

A general rule states for every inch forward the head is in front of the body, it adds an additional 10lbs to be supported by the head and neck.  

A forward head posture, if left untreated, can lead to Anterior Head Syndrome with muscle imbalance, neck pain, headaches, and other health challenges.  Treatment will usually involve specific chiropractic adjusting, stretching and strengthening exercises to help restore the normal spinal curves.   

Research is revealing that structural abnormalities of the spine such as forward head posture and loss of the normal spinal curves can be improved following chiropractic care.

Abnormal spinal alignment and posture are associated with poor general health, physical function, emotional function, social function, and pain. Normal spinal curves provide shock absorption and leverage, which protect the spinal cord and nerve tissue from the forces of gravity and other daily traumas one may encounter.

Research has shown that abnormal spinal alignment and posture also increase stress and strain to the nerve and blood supply of the spinal cord. This can seriously affect the nervous system. It is a rare phenomenon for resolution of spinal structural abnormalities in the absence of intervention. 

These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. There is research that shows the effectiveness of chiropractic to restore a healthy spinal alignment and posture according to established normal values, thereby lowering the risk of degeneration and poor health.

Case Study

The 49-year-old male in this study with Anterior Head Syndrome had been experiencing neck pain that traveled into his arm and hand. He also had numbness.  He was  experiencing headaches and vertigo.  The only way he could get some relief was to not turn his head at all.  Medications did not help.  His quality of life was really impacted as he was having difficulty with driving, lifting things, bathing, and sleeping.  He also noticed a decrease in his performance at work.

The chiropractor examined him and found abnormal head posture, decreased neck motion, tight muscles, and structural shifts in his neck.  X-rays were taken and confirmed the findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Following chiropractic adjustments, he experienced marked improvement in his symptoms.   His neck pain, headaches, and vertigo all resolved, and his forward head posture improved.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.