- Moving forward, the head shifts the center of gravity.
- To compensate, the upper body drifts backward.
- To compensate for the upper body shift, the hips tilt forward.
So, the forward head position can be the cause of not only the head, neck and TMJ problems, but also mid back and low back problems. We can gain a better understanding of the interaction between the mouth opening and closing, TMJ bio-mechanics, and neck function with an overview of the structures involved.
According to Rene Cailliet, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Director at U.S.C. states: “It’s an axiom … that the body follows the head … You can realign your entire body by moving your head … your head held in a forward position can pull your entire body out of line.” He goes on to explain that the vital lung capacity is reduced as much as 30%. The gastrointestinal system is affected, particularly the large intestine. When a hunched position is assumed, the body becomes rigid, and range of motion is affected. Since endorphin production is reduced, an increase in pain and discomfort results.
Another researcher Kapandji, in his classic text on spinal function states, “The anterior muscles of the neck … act as the long arm of a lever … they are powerful flexors of the head and cervical column … flattening the cervical column.”
Additionally, numerous investigators describe the effect of altered jaw position on head posture. Forward and side to side head position changes the jaw, throat, and tongue. It compresses the neck joints causing muscular nerve entrapments. Nerve root compression or posterior neck vertebral joint irritation or restriction result in peripheral entrapment neuropathies. One common entrapment is the greater or lesser suboccipital nerves that pass between the occiput and atlas. This may cause headaches or refer pain to the facial region.
General Symptoms by Head Forward Posture problems
A. Chronically tired (lowered hemoglobin, immature cells) 89%
B. Increased nervous tension 86%
C. Malaise 61%
D. Restless sleep (awaken tired) 78%
E. Numbness in hands (awaken with arm or leg asleep) 32%
F. Cold hands and feet (poor circulation) 67%
G. Back aches and leg aches (tired, ache-all-over feeling) 47%
H. Thirsty (much water doesn’t satisfy) 43%
I. Restless nibbling at food (never satisfied)
J. Blood (variations in count and quality; many irregularly formed cells; cell walls even thickness one week after treatment)
K. Lowered hemoglobin
L. Lower thyroid activity (an almost constant finding)
M. Facial pallor
N. Dull, non-sparkling eyes
Forward head posture is an enormous problem of our society. Nearly 100% of new patients presenting in my office have it. If you have it and don’t correct it, it will lead to neck arthritis and damaged discs.
If you are interested in being checked for forward head posture or want more information visit www.nevadachiro.com.