Forward head posture is a common posture that is seen quite a bit, but often overlooked in terms of a cause for neck pain. To analyze your own head and neck, look at your side profile in the mirror or have someone else look at it. Do you ears align with your shoulders? Normal head posture is when the ears should be directly above the shoulders. Believe it not, your head weighs approximately 8 lbs. If your ears and shoulders align this 8 lb weight is balanced and causes minimal stress on the neck spine. If you have forward head posture, it can put a lot of stress on the cervical spine joints, and cervical nerves such as C6, and C7. Over time, this can lead to arthritis and degenerative changes to the cervical spine. The lower neck is where the nerves exit that innervates your neck muscles, upper back and shoulders, arms and hands. These degenerative changes in the lower neck can cause numbness and tingling in the arms and hands. Forward head posture can be one reason for neck pain, stiff neck or tight neck muscles.
One way to reduce forward head posture is to perform cervical retraction exercises. Take your right index finger and middle finger together and push on your chin in the backward direction. Pretend for a moment that your head is like a bowling ball- that slides back and forth. Now slide your fingers back and hold for 15 seconds. Release and then do this again 2-3 times. Do these cervical repetitions every day until you can work up to 10-12 a day.