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Forward Head Posture: How to Fix Neck Posture for Long-Term Results

Freeze! Don’t move a muscle. Right now, as you’re reading this, do a quick body check. Think about where your head is! Chances are, you are leaning your head forward. While so many of us do it, this pose could have long-term effects on your spine and overall health.

Forward Head Posture

It’s called forward head posture, or FHP, and, simply stated, it is habitual poor neck posture. It occurs when we move our head to the front of our body for prolonged periods. That’s not how it should be. The head should be aligned with our neck, shoulders, and spine. Forward head posture is one of the most common incorrect posture positions seen by medical experts.


The world is in front of us, and we crane our neck to see it more clearly. FHP is a very 21st-century type of ailment. It’s sometimes dubbed “Nerd Neck” or “Tech Neck/Text Neck” because it results from prolonged bending toward the computer screen or hunching over a laptop or a smartphone. We don’t even realize we are doing it.

It’s become very prevalent with younger people who are “gamers” because they spend hours in front of the screen with strain on the neck muscles. But forward neck posture or forward head posture can be associated with many activities which place undue pressure on the head, neck, and spine, such as driving, sewing, carrying a heavy backpack or purse, slouching/rounded shoulders, sleeping with your head too high on too many pillows, and reading in bed.

The reason these unnatural positions and overburdened muscles are problematic is that our heads are heavy. Heads typically weigh anywhere from 10 to 14 pounds. If the head is comfortably positioned in a healthy position as it is designed to do, there is no issue. However, when we overwork our muscles in the neck and upper back trying to compensate for this unnatural position of the head sitting more forward than it should there is excessive overwork on the ligaments, muscles, and joints in the upper spine. Every time our neck inches farther forward, the impact causes even more pressure on the strained neck and shoulders. The anatomical design of the body does not account for misalignment. The workload was not designed for forward head posture, and thus, pain is triggered.


This unnecessary pressure on the neck and cervical spine will cause various symptoms of forward head posture, including headaches, stiffness/muscle tension in the neck, shoulder, and upper back pain, and balance issues. When left untreated, there are additional health problems that may present. In the truest sense of the word, FHP may also cause a trickle-down effect burdening other parts of the body. Pain management specialists have seen FHP cause compression of the cervical vertebrae, including disc issues and pain leading to the middle and lower back. FHP can cause issues in your jaw, like TMJ, and it could even lead to breathing issues due to weakened respiratory muscles.


Forward head posture is a very “fixable” condition. An ounce of prevention goes a long way. The best advice to remedy forward head posture is to be aware of your posture and make corrections. Remember when Mom told you to sit up straight and watch your posture? She was right. If you are spending too many hours in front of electronic devices, a study done by the US Department of Labor says taking frequent breaks to stretch and creating an ergonomically designed workplace could improve your condition. Work productivity is greatly affected by chronic pain conditions like FHP.

Physical therapy can help this condition under correct instruction. But it is important to seek the guidance of a pain management specialist for an accurate diagnosis. Your neck or shoulder pain could be caused by any number of other problems. The best way to fix neck posture for long-term results is to visit a pain management specialist from National Spine & Pain Centers. They will develop a treatment plan aimed at easing your pain by getting to the root of the problem.

Book an appointment with a pain management specialist at National Spine & Pain Centers today to alleviate your pain.

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