As a Registered Massage Therapist it’s common to see patients complain about head, neck and shoulder
issues. Before treatment I typically do a postural assessment to understand the source of pain and far to
often I see what is called forward head posture.
Forward Head Posture is a common problem for a lot of people, amongst other postural issues. If left
untreated, Forward Head Posture will cause significant damage to the spine, in what is otherwise a
The human body was not designed for prolonged periods of sitting or sedentary lifestyles. Our bodies
automatically adapt to our environment and when we continually place ourselves in sub-optimal positions
such as hours of sitting, looking down towards our phone or tablet, certain muscles that are responsible for
good posture will become weak and tight. If you have a forward head posture, your shoulders will also
hunch forward with it. By doing so, your FHP can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical
“For Every Inch of Forward Head Posture, it can increase the
weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds”
If you really want to understand how this feels on your spine take a 10 lb weight hold it in front of you with
your elbow extended out and hold that position for as long as you can and that’s essentially how your spine
If you only thought that forward head posture affects your spine think again, Research shows that 90% of
the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine. Therefore, less
cervical movement results in less nutrition to the brain.
As a Registered Massage Therapist we work on releasing tension on the tight muscles and strengthen the
inhibited muscles by this posture.
The way to deal with forward head posture is to do fhp exercise and maintaining better posture, which isn’t
always easy below are Three tips on fixing your forward head posture
Here are 3 tips on fixing your FHP!
While sitting upright, gently tuck your chin in as to make a double chin.
Aim to feel a gentle lengthening sensation at the back of your neck.
A common mistake I often see is the person starts to move their head up/down. Make sure your eyes and
jaw stay level, and move the head horizontally backwards.
Think of the movement like a book sliding back into the shelf.
Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 30 times
Place your forearms on the door frame with your elbows at shoulder height.
Place one foot through the doorway and the opposite foot behind you.
Lean your chest and hips through the doorway until you feel a stretch in your chest.
Take a deep breath in to really stretch out your chest, and as you breathe out, lean further through the
Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Do 2 repetitions, one with your left foot forward and one with your right foot
forward. Do 2 to 3 times per day to gain length, once at full length move to once per day to maintain the
length in your pectoral muscles.