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.
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 
The result of this pain and discomfort is musculoskeletal damage  and limited functional movement .
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. 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.
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.
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