Forward Head Syndrome
The human head weighs between 8-10 pounds. In a neutral posture position the head feels as if it weighs nothing because the body is perfectly balanced. But for every one inch the head moves forward, away from the neutral balanced posture, the head feels as if it’s weight has doubled. This is to the effects of gravity and the tension stress placed on the neck muscles and cervical spine.
1. The effects of long term forward head and neck postures are long-term. And may result in muscle strain, disc herniation/s, nerve impingement and the early onset of arthritis.
2. Forward head posture is strongly linked to decreased respiratory muscle strength and breathing ability. Resulting in up to a 30% loss in vital capacity in the lungs as well as a significant increase in cardiac and vascular pressure.
3. For every inch of forward head posture, it is found to increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds. On average, this is over a 100% increase of weight bearing stress on the spine and it’s associated neuro-muscular structures.
4. A Loss of the cervical spinal curve, due to forward head posture, can stretch the spinal cord up to 5-7cm resulting in adverse neural tension.
5. Subsequently causing additional tension of the meninges and eliciting additional pressure on the brain-stem nuclei leading to increased compression and disruption of basic metabolic control functions and diseases.
6. Forward head posture results in an increase in discomfort and pain, due to disrupted proprioceptive and sensory input from the first four cervical vertebrae.
Forward head posture results in an anterior translation of the body’s center of gravity. This in turn results in a significant loss of balance and coordination, and increased likelihood of sustaining a fall.