Forward head posture occurs when your head is forward of your shoulders when viewed from the side.  Using the outer ear canal (external auditory meatus) as a starting point, visualize a line drawn straight down to the floor from there.  If the line were to fall forward of the tip of your shoulder then this would be considered forward head posture.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself with this condition.  You are in the majority.  In fact, more than half of the U.S. population presents with forward head posture!  

Now let’s look at the 3 types:  

  1. The neck is flexed and your head is looking down towards the floor so both the head and the neck are considered to be in flexion.  A great example of this forward head posture is “text neck”.  
  2. The second example of forward head posture occurs more commonly when the neck remains in a flexed forward position, but your head and eyes remain oriented to the horizon.  This is often seen when your posture fatigues while watching tv or while driving.  
  3. The final position occurs when you round/slouch through the upper and mid back.  When this occurs, the neck immediately compensates by creating a forward head posture position.  

By simply being aware of these scenarios and creating strategies to change these habits we can begin to avoid the consequences of forward head posture.  

Some of the long term consequences of this type of posture include:

  • Musculoskeletal pain
    • Neck pain, mid back pain, shoulder pain, and jaw pain
  • Disc derangements
    • Bulges, herniations, protrusions, degeneration
  • Early onset arthritis of the cervical spine

Tip: By taking microbreaks throughout your workday, you can begin to offset forward head posture.

Why are so many affected in today’s modern society?

  • Environment
  • Repetitive stress
  • Habits
  • Technology
  • Stress

Forward head posture is most commonly a compensation, resulting in rounding of the mid and upper back.  As rounding in the mid and upper back occurs, the neck flexes forward, creating postural distortion.  

The first step in correcting forward head posture is becoming mindful of your posture.  By being mindful of your posture and engaging in activities without going into “autopilot”, you can begin to catch yourself and break the habit.  Consider your head and neck position while:

  • Working
  • Driving
  • Using technology
    • Computer
    • Phone
    • Tablet
    • Etc.  
  • When doing repetitive tasks
    • Cooking
    • Cleaning
    • Gardening
  • Working out

It’s worth the trouble and time to begin to correct forward head posture, considering all of the negative consequences below:

At CMF, we offer an advanced approach when it comes to correcting this postural distortion using manual treatment and corrective exercises.  Get started today! (561) 318-8070

Daniel Yinh

Daniel Yinh


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