Forward head posture, which is more commonly referred to as nerd neck or scholar’s neck, is a postural deformity where your neck slants forward, pushing the neck further in front of the first neck vertebra.
Not only does this have a highly negative impact on your self-esteem and appearance, but it can also through off your balance as the weight of your head is not evenly distributed. This puts extra weight on your neck and shoulders – for every two centimetres your head is in front of your neck, an extra 4 kilograms is added.
Determining If You Have Forward Head Posture
There’s an easy test to see if you have forward neck posture:
Stand against a wall – your back, heels and shoulder blades need to be pressed firmly against it. Try to squeeze your shoulder blades and then release. Repeat a few times. If the back of your head isn’t touching the wall when doing so, you may have forward neck posture.
The Causes Of Forward Head Posture
More often than none, this condition is brought on as a result of our bad habits. The most common cause is constantly looking down at cellphones, computer screens, or even carrying a heavy bag or spending a lot of time driving.
Other causes include:
- Sleeping with too many pillows
- A history of neck injury
- Weak neck and shoulder muscles
- Problematic breathing
- Practising certain sports
- Professions that involve repetitive movement
Possible Side Effects
As a result of the additional weight, you may experience pain in the nerves, muscles and joints in the neck and back. Your lower back may also experience pain and become prone to herniated discs as the shoulders begin to round in an attempt to counteract the additional weight.
The muscles at the back of your neck mat stiffen in an attempt to hold your head up while the front muscles weaken. This forward force will also affect your ability to balance and can have cardiovascular, neural and musculoskeletal side effects. You’ll also be more likely to fall and injury yourself.
Tension neck syndrome may arise, which feels the same as a tension headache except that it’s caused by your poor posture.
Additional side effects include:
- Muscle spasms
- Rounded shoulders
- Reduced shoulder mobility
- Restricted breathing
- Sleep apnoea
- Numbness in the arms and hands
- Cervical spine arthritis
- Bulging discs
Managing Forward Head Posture
- Only sleep with one firm pillow that supports the curve of your neck
- Look for ergonomic office equipment. From computer screens to desk and chairs, there are a lot of things that you can upgrade to ensure that you work in a neck friendly manner.
- If you carry a bag, make sure that the weight is evenly distributed and that you’re not carrying any unnecessary items.
- Stretch your neck when it starts to feel stiff—simple movements such as tilting your head backwards and forwards can help a great deal.
Our world revolves around screens and being constantly on the go, all of which can contribute to forward head posture. It’s important to be aware of our posture and how we position our heads, especially when working an office job or spending a lot of time in the car. While the forward head position is inconvenient, it can be treated and reversed.
Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy
A personal trainer can help you to fix your posture and correct a forward head posture. If you would like to become a personal trainer yourself, then you need to do our Personal Training Diploma. Read more here.