Chiropractor in Amarillo on Head Forward Posture

Monday, March 26th, 2012
Growing up, I was always told to sit up straight or to quit slouching. That used to drive me crazy! It turns out that there was a reason for the annoying advice and/or demand. We don’t think about it as kids but….we actually DO tend to grow older and our bad habits early on can have a long lasting affect on us as we age.

More and more information is coming to light concerning forward head posture. “Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture. The corollary of these observations is that many symptoms, including pain, may be moderated or eliminated by improved posture”. [1]

We have eyes in the front of our bodies so our world is a forward facing world. We have created it that way. The problem is that we have become repetitive as well as obsessive in the use of things that perpetuate bad posture habits. Use of TV, video games, iPads, computers, and even the use of backpacks. These habits compel our bodies to adapt to a head forward way of life. When we do certain activities repetitively, our body’s muscles will strengthen to function that way more easily. {2}{3}

Your head ideally sits right on top of your shoulders. For reference, your ear hole (exterior auditory meatus) (EAM) should be in a direct line up from the tip of your shoulder. For every inch the EAM shifts forward from the tip of your shoulder, the body will perceive your head as weighing approximately ten pounds more than it actually does. Our bodies are not meant to carry the weight of our head in such an outstretched manner. When the body is forced to carry the load of the head in this way, the spine can experience remodeling that has the potential to be permanent. Imagine the stress and strain your muscles and connective tissue undergo all day long on a daily basis just to support the weight. 

It can take time to correct forward head posture. FHP can straighten the neck curvature, accelerate the disc decay and herniation, accelerate vertebral decay, choke the spinal nerves in the associated areas as well as the organs and/or muscles they innervate, and accelerate arthritis. [4] FHP is also the cause of many chronic tension headaches. 

We believe that monitoring and keeping up with good posture is a life-long commitment. It is our hope that patients attend chiropractic appointments on a regular schedule and are sure to have the chiropractor help them in monitoring their overall progress. 

Here at Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic we use a special postural screening employing the iPad 2 and it’s amazing capabilities to give our patients an accurate report that is then sent to their email address for home review. Not only that but we can re-evaluate the posture every 12 visits. We can then run comparison reports and a trend analysis to further assess the progress. We believe this special screening combined with postural exercises, posterior chain exercises, sleeping recommendations, and ergonomic recommendations are very effective at correcting the results of years of bad habits.

Call us today to get started!

Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
Chiropractor in Amarillo

Certainty Practice Products – The Damaging Effects of Forward Head Posture educational brochure.

[1] John Lennon, BM, MM, C. Norman Shealy, MD, Roger K. Cady, MD, William Matta, PhD, Richard Cox, PhD, and William F. Simpson, PhD. Postural and Respiratory Modulation of Autonomic Function, Pain & Health.

AJPM Vol 4. No. 1 January 1994

{2} Restak, R.M. 1979 The Brain: The Last Frontier NY Warner Books

{3} The Laws of Fasciculation Porland’s Medical Dictionary. Dorkonos

[4] Gore DR, Sepic SB, Gardner GM, Roentgenographic findings of the cervical spine in asymptomatic people. Spine 1986;6:591-694