Forward Head Posture – An Increasingly Common Cause of Neck Pain and Discomfort

Girl with neck pain from texting

Chiropractor for Neck pain


By Dr. Chris Gubbels 

 If you’re like most people, you probably use computers and smartphone technology for hours each day. 

As the use of these technologies increases, however, so too does the number of people experiencing neck and shoulder pain. Consequently, more people begin to experience pain due to stress placed on the spine due to poor posture. 

 The result? Chiropractors are beginning to see an increase in the number of patients experiencing neck pain due to forward head posture.[1]

Forward Head Posture – An Increasingly Common Part of Modern Life

Forward Head Posture (FHP) occurs when changes in spinal alignment due to rounded shoulders and a decreased cranial vertebral angle (CVA) occur. As the angle of posture changes when working on a computer or smartphone, spatial change between the spine and the line of gravity occurs. This posture causes overload on muscles and connective tissues [2]

The result of this pain and discomfort is musculoskeletal damage [3] and limited functional movement [4].

The Relationship Between The Degree of Spinal Alignment, Pain, and Limited Range of Motion

Recent studies indicate that the degree of the CVA of a patient with Forward Head Posture can be used to determine the functional disability of the neck.[5] In turn, functional disability of the neck is related to the severity of neck pain a patient experiences [6,7,8]. Recent studies also confirm that CVA is a significant factor in pain experienced by individuals with FHP.[9]

What does this all mean?

Simply put, biomechanical changes created by FHP limit the normal rotation of the craniocervical area. Because CVA and ROM can be predictors of pain, assessment of an individual’s CVA and ROM could be used clinically as a reference to predict or possibly prevent the occurrence of pain in those with FHP.

Individuals experiencing FHP symptoms should consult a chiropractic practitioner for a complete diagnosis and rehabilitation plan. Treatment options for patients with FHP typically consist of postural alignment, range of motion exercises, stretching, and strengthening exercises.

With the proper chiropractic treatment, patients experiencing Forward Head Posture can regain their range of motion and relief from the neck pain they are experiencing.

About The Author

Fort Collins Chiropractor Dr. Chris Gubbels. He has been published in The Journal of Physical Therapy Science and is a member of the International Chiropractic Association and the Society on Scoliosis Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Treatment. He is advanced certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics and specializes in personal injury chiropractor and Scoliosis Treatment in Fort Collins.

References

  1. Kang JH, Park RY, Lee SJ, Kim JY, Yoon SR, Jung KI. The effect of the forward head posture on postural balance in long time computer based worker. Ann Rehabil Med 2012;36(1):98-104
  2. Harrison DE, Harrison DD, Betz JJ, Janik TJ, Holland B, Colloca CJ, et al. Increasing the cervical lordosis with chiropractic biophysics seated combined extension-compression and transverse load cervical traction with cervical manipulation: nonrandomized clinical control trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2003;26(3):139-51
  3. Bae YH, Lee GC. Effect of Motor Control Training with Strengthening Exercises on Pain and Muscle Strength of Patients with Shoulder Impingement Syndrome. J Korean Soc Phys Ther 2011;23(6):1-7
  4. Chiu TT, Ku WY, Lee MH, et al. A study on the prevalence of and risk factors for neck pain among university academic staff in Hong Kong. J Occup Rehabil 2002;12(2):77-91
  5. Kim EK, Kim JS. Correlation between rounded shoulder posture, neck disability indices, and degree of forward head posture. J Phys Ther Sci 2016;28(10):2929–32
  6. Cote P, Hogg-Johnson S, Cassidy JD, Carroll L, Frank JW. The association between neck pain intensity, physical functioning, depressive symptomatology and time-to-claim-closure after whiplash. J Clin Epidemiol 2001;54(3):275-86
  7. Shin YJ, Kim WH, Kim SG. Correlations among visual analogue scale, neck disability index, shoulder joint range of motion, and muscle strength in young women with forward head posture. J Exerc Rehabil 2017;13(4):413- 7.
  8. Yip CH, Chiu TT, Poon AT. The relationship between head posture and severity and disability of patients with neck pain. Man Ther 2008;13(2):148-54
  9. Dae-Hyun Kim, Chang-Ju Kim, Sung-Min Son, Neck Pain in Adults with Forward Head Posture: Effects of Craniovertebral Angle and Cervical Range of Motion, Osong Public Health Res Perspect 2018;9(6):309−313
Summary
An Increasingly Common Cause of Neck Pain and Discomfort
Article Name
An Increasingly Common Cause of Neck Pain and Discomfort
Description
Forward Head Posture (FHP) occurs when changes in spinal alignment due to rounded shoulders and a decreased cranial vertebral angle (CVA) occur. As the angle of posture changes when working on a computer or smartphone, spatial change between the spine and the line of gravity occurs. This posture causes overload on muscles and connective tissues
Author
Publisher Name
Dr. Chris Gubbels
Publisher Logo

Neck Pain

ChiropractorNeck PainTexting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *