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What You Need To Know About Forward Head Carriage

What You Need To Know About Forward Head Carriage

One of the most common postural issues people encounter is forward head carriage (FHC). This poor habitual neck posture is steadily rising due to our smartphone and computer use for work and play. 

You may have also heard it referred to as text neck, tech neck, iHunch, forward head posture, or dowager’s neck. Over time, this condition can lead to muscle imbalances as the body adapts to hold the head up straight. It is also a postural issue that many people do not know that they have!

So you may ask yourself, Do I have forward head carriage? No need to panic! Here is everything you need to know about forward head carriage and what you can do about it!

What does Forward Head Carriage look like?

Forward head carriage, also commonly known as forward head posture, is caused by poor posture that creates hyperextension on the upper cervical vertebrae. Visually noticeable as this causes the head to sit forward of the shoulders, shoulders become rounded forward, and ears will be in front of the body’s vertical midline.

What Happens to the Muscles?

Forward head carriage increases the workload for many muscles attached to the cervical spine, which holds up the head. Over time this leads to muscle imbalances where some become elongated and weakened. Others become shorter and tighter—placing strain and discomfort on the back of the neck, upper back. 

What Causes Forward Head Carriage?

FHC is often caused by hunching over electronic devices or slumping at your desk for long periods. Many doctors have suggested that technology has played a role in the rise of cases, especially in young adults and teenagers. 

But technology is not the only cause. Other possible causes include carrying heavy backpacks, occupations that require you to lean forward often, previous injuries, weak neck muscles, and driving hunched over.

What Can You Do Now?

The first thing you can do is give yourself a self-posture test. This quick test shows posture indicators that may tell you if it’s a good idea to get a full chiropractic evaluation, especially if you are experiencing pain. 

Every inch your head goes forward adds 10lbs of stress and pressure to your spine. And just straightening up your posture won’t fix the problem long-term.

Can Chiropractic Help?

The short answer: YES!

Depending on the length of time and severity of your forward head posture, muscles, tendons, and even the bones may have become deformed. This is why chiropractic is so vital to helping your posture deformity and pain. At Chiro One, we specialize in corrective care, a combination of adjustments for the joints in your spine, and exercises like traction that allows the ligaments to form back to their corrective shape.  

For less severe forward head posture, you may be able to correct with posture exercises, daily stretching, and daily habit changes. But getting a postural screening would be most beneficial to make sure you are doing the right exercises for your neck’s shape and postural alterations. 

During our full chiropractic evaluations at any of our clinics, you can expect a posture check, evaluation of symptoms you are experiencing, and a personalized treatment plan to correct your forward head posture. 

If you are interested in effective chiropractic treatment, schedule an appointment at the nearest Chiro One Wellness Center near you! 

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