Forward Head Posture (Anterior Head Carriage) occurs when your neck shifts forward, placing your head in front of your shoulders. It can be caused by bad habits, such as spending long periods sitting at your computer or looking down at your cell phone. Forward Head Posture can also been seen after an injury to the neck, damaging the ligaments-such as a car accident. Forward head posture forces the muscles in your neck and back to work harder to keep your head upright.
Tips for Fixing Forward Head Posture
The best way to correct your forward head posture is to keep your neck supported at all times. Here are four things to help you get started:
- Supportive pillow
- Ergonomic workstation
- Properly sized back back or bag
1. Exercise Your Neck
Exercise can help strengthen your muscles and improve your posture. Repeat these exercises two to three times a day.
- Head tilt: Tilt your head slowly forward and rest your chin on your chest. Hold for five seconds. Return to a neutral position.
- Head turn: Turn your head to the left until you feel a stretch. Hold for five seconds. Return to a neutral position. Repeat on the right side.
- Neck stretch: Push your chin forward until you feel your throat stretch. Hold for five seconds. Pull your chin back in to return to a neutral position.
- Side head tilt: Tilt your head toward your left shoulder until you feel a stretch. Hold for five seconds. Repeat on the right side.
2. Use a Firm Pillow
Choose a firm pillow that supports the natural curve of your neck. Avoid using two or more pillows or pillows that are too high or too stiff. Using too many pillows or the wrong type of pillows can cause neck strain.
3. Set Up An Ergonomic Workstation
Setting up an ergonomic workstation can help you adopt and maintain a neutral posture. For best results, adjust your chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your elbows are at a 90-degree angle when you’re resting your arms on your work surface. You should also position your computer screen so that it’s an arm’s length away from the rest of your body, and your gaze is level with the top of the screen.
4. Avoid Carrying a Heavy Backpack
Carrying a heavy or oversized backpack can cause neck, back, and shoulder pain, as well as poor posture. Avoid postural problems by selecting a backpack that’s proportionate to your body size and organizing your load so that heavy items are closest to the center of your back. You should also avoid carrying your backpack over one shoulder.