FHP…Forward Head Posture

FHP leads to long term muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis, and pinched nerves (Mayo Clinic Health Letter, Volume 18, #3, March 2000).

One of the most common postural problems is the forward head posture (FHP). Since we live in a forward facing world, the repetitive use of computers, TV, video games, trauma, and even backpacks have forced the body to adapt to a forward head posture.

According to Renee Calliet, MD, if the head weighs 10 lbs and the center of the ear sits directly over the center of the shoulder, the load on the spine and its tissue is only 10 lbs. However, if the head is translated forward, its effect, if the center of the ear is 3 inches forward from the center of the shoulders, the weight of the heat on the spine and its discs joints, and never is 30 lbs.

Solutions:

  • Be examined and x-rayed to identify the exact measurements of the FHP. Once that is established, a specific corrective care program can be established
  • For office use and video game play, play your computer monitor heigh so the top third of the screen is even with your eyes and the screen is 18″-24″ from your face. Support the lower back with a lumbar pillow if needed.
  • Every 20-30 minutes, sit up straight and pull the neck and head back over the shoulders. Hold for a count of 3. Do 15-20 reps. Alternatively stand against a wall wit a small pillow at your mid-back. Move your head back to touch the wall. Hold for a count of 3, and do 20-25 reps.
  • Always use a back support pillow when sitting or driving By supporting the low back, the head and neck will move back over the shoulders.
  • At home, lay face down on the floor and extend your head and shoulders up, while pinching your shoulder blades together. Hold for a count of 3 and do 15-20 reps.
  • Backpacks – maximum backpack weight should be 15% of your weight. Never wear backpacks one one shoulder. Always use a waist belt, if available to neutralize the load.
Monitoring good posture is a lifetime commitment. With a little effort you can be assured of a future doing things you love to do, rather than suffering from damage and degeneration poor posture can bring.
Inspired by:
MayoClinic.com
spine-health.com