Author: Armadale Physiotherapist

 

There’s great reason why our parents as well as teachers nagged us to “avoid slouching, stand up straight and take shoulders back!” 

 

Good posture is a significant part of great health…whilst poor posture may adversely influence numerous health functions and problems for instance headaches, moods, spinal fractures, bp, pulse rate, and lung capacity.

 

One of the most prevalent kinds of poor posture is Forward Head Posture (FHP).  In today’s world, the number of cases of FHP keeps growing because of lots of people having bad posture when using computers, video games, backpacks, and in some cases trauma from things like car accidents. 

 

Of specific concern is an alarming pattern I’ve viewed developing in teenagers in which they intentionally slouch their stance to appear casual and “cool”.  This is specifically hazardous during the teenage years since the spine is developing and even more prone to the consequences of poor posture.  Parents, in case your children are doing this, nag them even more…it’s really serious!
 
Ideally, the head must sit aligned correctly on the top of the shoulders and neck. If your head is not in-line straight on your neck, then your shoulders will be pushed into a forward position, putting excess strain from the neck and upper back muscles.  As your head posture moves forward, the muscles of your neck and upper back should work much harder to support the weight of your head. 

 

Prolonged FHP also puts compressive loads upon the vertebra of the upper spine.  This is often associated with the continuing development of an Upper Thoracic Hump, which, as we grow old and decreasing bone thickness can evolve into Dowagers Hump when the vertebra develop compression fractures. 

 

Research conducted recently also found this posture (termed as a hyper-kyphotic posture) was connected with a 1.44 higher rate of fatality in the elderly population.

 

How to know if you have Forward Head Posture

 

If you’ve healthy posture your ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle should sit in vertical alignment. Basically, if you drop a plumb line from your ear it should move through all those points. If you have a lot of forward head posture then the imaginary plumb line would fall in front of these points.

 

It’s not uncommon to observe 30mm+ of forward head placement in new patients. Would you be surprised that your neck and shoulders hurt if you have a 20 pound watermelon hanging around your neck? That’s what FHP is doing to you!

 

Left uncorrected, FHP will continue to decline – confer with your Physiotherapist to find out simple actions to improving your posture.

 

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Physiotherapy can be very good at assisting to determine and fix the impact of this very prevalent problem.  If you have problems, or know of someone who might be suffering from this problem, make sure you get them to call the clinic to go over it with us.  Keep in mind, prevention is better than cure and the earlier you start, the more likely you are to get superior results!

 

Armadale Physiotherapy: Located at 1199 High St, Armadale, More Than Physio offers Physiotherapy, Clinical Pilates, Podiatry, Massage and TCM to the local Armadale, Malvern, Toorak, Bentleigh and McKinnon communities.