March 2015: Forward Head

Forward Head is no Joke!!

All joking aside, gravity does a number on our posture over the years! As we age, our shoulders tend to round forward, and in an effort to keep our eyes on the horizon, our neck extends and head tilts backward causing a forward head. This causes us to sit in a hunched posture, with our low back rounded and our spine unloaded. All of these things can cause issues with our neck, shoulders, lower back, and more.

Want to turn back the hands of time and fix your posture? Read on for the first installment of “Posture 101!”

CERVICAL RETRACTION

Let’s start at the top of the chain. The best way to counteract your forward head is to wake up the muscles that pull the head in the opposite direction! Here’s how:

Assume your chosen start position, whether it is sitting, standing, or lying on your back (lying on your back is the easiest, then you can work up to standing). Gently tuck your chin down toward your neck. Don’t jam your chin in, though. We are after alignment here, not a maximal position.

Keeping your chin where it is, press your head back. Remember, this is a diagonal direction; it’s as though you are moving your head both backwards and up toward the ceiling. Feel the stretch at the back of your neck. Relax, and repeat.

You might try doing the cervical retraction about 20 to 30 times each day, either all at once or broken up into 5-8 reps 4 to 5 times during the day.

Good luck and hopefully you’ll be taller next time we see you! 🙂

Next month, in the next installment of Posture 101, we will cover rounded shoulders!