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8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Forward Head Posture

Updated: May 11, 2021

Most of our days are spent indulged in our mobile phones or arched over our computer screens without giving much thought to our posture. A consequence of this habit is Forward Head Posture or FHP. This toxic trait is the reason why your neck and shoulders keep hurting throughout the day.

FHP is caused by poor habitual head posture. This posture creates a lot of strain around the neck joints that cause pain around the shoulder muscles. It also affects the spine's alignment (forms an arch).

The head is the heaviest part of the human body, and it can weigh up to 5 kilograms in some people. Therefore, the neck has to cooperate with the weight to keep the strain away from the shoulders. This means the more forward your head is, the more weight you will put on your upper body.

The problem has been discovered!

More people suffer from tension headaches, tightness around the neck, shoulders, compressed chests (chest pains), discomfort in the mid-back, and pins and needles in the arms and hands. So when you are utilising your mental power, your mind starts to put a strain on your physical health as well. This strain lessens your daily creativity because your mind and body are both fighting against each other.

You start to feel frustrated and anxious about how you physically feel, leading to another issue in the body. The more you ignore the signs, the more chances you will develop chronic reoccurring problems that a pain killer won't fix!

So How Do I Fix This?

Be Mindful ‒ Start to recognise the messages your body sends to you. How do you normally sit? Do you find yourself correcting your posture time and time again? Your mind just becomes comfortable and unfocused on your physical body, especially when you are not noticing it.

Habits ‒You wake up, and what is the first thing you do? "I brush my teeth every morning," "Well, why?..." "Because I do not want to have bad oral health and ruin my teeth," "Okay, great! So what about your posture? Do you fix a time every day to help with that too?"

There is a mindset that we do not know how to fit everything in an organised form. But you can make time if you want, right? It seems so habitual brushing teeth every morning, but it is only because it was pushed on us as kids; it does not mean we can not take 2-3 minutes of our day to correct our posture.

Exercise ‒ The best way to correct alignment is to train our muscles. Take baby steps to challenge your body and further intensify your workout regimen. Not only does it help you physically but it impacts you mentally into a feel-good entity. The best muscle groups to work is muscles of the upper back such as the upper trapezius (around the neck and the shoulders), levator scapulae (side of the neck muscle that connects to the shoulder blade), and latissmus dorsi (large muscle lower to the middle back and connects to the upper arm). Stretch ‒ A great habit to add to your daily routine is stretching. Stretching helps to loosen the muscles from feeling achy. Once done habitually, it can bring instant relief and be very addictive. Stretching is great to pair with exercise ‒ strengthen and lengthen ‒ to ease any soreness the next day.

Even doing a 2-3 minute stretch to correct the posture daily is very effective. You can do stretches at home or at work that is super quick and easy (the video at the bottom of this article provides incredible stretches). Click here to take you to a quick four-minute video on YouTube of one posture, which I believe, is very effective and you can do anywhere.

Sleeping Correctly ‒ This is the topmost question of many people, "How do I sleep correctly?" Sleeping positions is another habitual problem we are facing nowadays. Our bodies are so used to hunching in a ball position, curling our heads and aching our back. I can honestly say sleeping incorrectly is one of the pain factors of bad posture. My article on sleep provides more detail about sleeping positions and solutions to improve your sleeping habits.

Saunas ‒ Extreme heat for the muscles is very effective. Saunas are best paired with exercise as sauna not only provides clarity for the mind but helps to improve muscle mass and inflammation. According to a study from Rhonda Patrick, who describes in-depth knowledge on the incredible benefits of saunas suggests, "Heat stress from using the sauna may modulate improvements in physical fitness and athletic performance by increasing endurance and maintaining or promoting gains in muscle mass." So, while you are sitting in the sauna, you can try a 'tucking chin stretch' to further improve muscle development.

Essentials ‒ The best way to improve your posture is by adding some essentials or removing items that could be affecting your posture. Essentials may include changing your pillow to one that supports your neck while you are sleeping. It can take some adjusting to do, but your body will thank you for it. What about adjusting your computer to the right height or buying a laptop stand that will help to transform your laptop into a posture-perfect desktop workstation, making back and muscle pain a thing of the past! For more essentials, click here, I have picked out the top-rated products on Amazon, so you have less time searching.

Massage / Physiotherapist/ Chiropractor. Therapeutic treatments are a must! They can provide you with a professional analysis of your own anatomy structure and give you the advice to take home with you. As a massage therapist, I always suggest a session at least every four weeks to help the muscles maintain a constant release. US therapist always gives the advice to help with stress tension at home (which is everything listed above and more). Normally people who do not practice these steps at home would need regular attention around every two weeks. It is wonderful to get treatments and take your time to focus on your own recovery. I would simply try them all and see what treatment works for you. For the best recovery is to implement all eight steps. What stretches and exercises are effective? With just a few of these stretches and exercises, you will notice a tremendous difference. Here are a few simple ones listed below:

Head Tilt: Tilt your head forward slowly and rest your chin on your chest (you can place your hands over the top of your head for an extra push). Hold for five to ten seconds. Return to a neutral position.

Head Turn: Turn your head to the left until you feel a stretch. Hold for five to ten seconds. Return to a neutral position. Repeat on the other side.

Neck Stretch: Push your chin forward until you feel your throat stretch. Hold for five to ten seconds. Pull your chin back in to return to a neutral position.

Side Head Tilts: Tilt your head toward your left shoulder until you feel a stretch (you can also place your hand on the opposite side of your head and pull a little more to intensify the stretch). Hold for five to ten seconds. Repeat on the other side.

These techniques can be done at home, with the kids, while watching television, and while you are waiting for your food to cook. Never make an excuse for self-care. Look after yourself just as you would for others or material possessions. The YouTube clip below is around nine minutes long (↓ scroll to the bottom of the article) that I recommenced trying. The coach describes in-depth information and easy step-by-step guides to follow. She demonstrates five different poses using a dog leash! So you can basically use anything that is long enough to stretch your arms with. She also suggests using a towel. The best option I recommend is a resistant band (more range of motion) if you have one at home. How do I know these poses work? I would know these postures work because I had done these myself. I suffered badly with forward head posture growing up due to an accident I had when I was younger. I did not notice for a long time what my posture was doing to me until a couple of years ago. So with years of bad posture, it only led to other problems such as:

Tinnitus Breathing problems Anterior pelvic tilt Shoulder Pain Dizziness Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can cause pain and stiffness around your jaw, ear, and temple. Headaches Neck Pain Lower back pain

When you type forward head posture on Google, you will see all of these problems can be linked with bad posture. Honestly, it was a journey, still is for some areas, but the best thing I could do is to help improve my postures and finding affordable ways to do so. I did a lot of research on websites,

watched YouTube videos, and I knew I had to put the work in. There is so much content online, and I have to admit this helped me a lot. Now I can pass on some helpful advice for you to try. I hope it helps you too!

Video Clip:

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