Do you feel tightness in your neck and upper back? Maybe even suffer from headaches and backaches? Well, just like so many people in the world today, you likely suffer from a condition called Forward head posture (AKA Nerd neck, Tech neck, or Text neck). Considering that the majority of my clients came to me with Forward Head Posture, there’s a good chance you do as well. The good news is, however, the regimen I’m about to share with you is the solution to your problem as it has been for so many of my clients over my 22-year career as a Kinesiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
Forward head posture is described as a common condition where your head is positioned one or more inches in front of your body’s midline. For every inch forward your head is out of alignment, there’s a 10lb increase of unnecessary tension on your neck and shoulders. The picture above shows that at 0 degrees, the muscles in the back of your neck only have to hold the weight of your head (10-12lbs for most adults). However, for every 15 degrees your head tilts forward, it increases the tension on your neck by approximately 16lbs. The more tension on the back of your neck, the more tightness and pain you will feel.
Stand with your back against the wall. Make sure that your heels, butt, shoulder blades/upper back are touching the wall. When in this position and with little to no effort, does the back of your head touch the wall? If not, you likely have Nerd Neck. Couple this with any of the symptoms mentioned above and I can pretty much guarantee you have Nerd Neck.
Chances are your posture while reading this article is causing Nerd Neck. Whether you’re on your phone or a computer monitor, you’re probably holding your head forward…in front of the midline of your body. In the causes listed below, notice that every single one of them has one thing in common: The head is aligned in front of the body for extended periods of time. The longer you stay in this position, the harder it will be to fix.
Too much time looking at your cell phone held lower than head height will cause the head to drop which then leads to a rounded upper back and shoulders.
Too much time sitting in front of your computer screen with a poor ergonomic setup will cause the upper back to round and the head to jut out.
Too much time spent carrying a heavy backpack causes the upper back to round which leads to back and neck pain.
Sleeping on your back with your head elevated too high. For example, placing too many pillows or a pillow that’s too thick under your head. As you can see in the photo to the right, the woman’s ear sits several inches in front of her shoulder.
ALRIGHT! No more negative talk!! Now for my favorite part. Let’s take a look at what you can do to improve your posture. To correct your Forward Head Posture there are 4 actions you need to consider. This article will walk you through addressing each action. How quickly your posture improves depends on how consistent you are in making the following changes:
2. Pectoralis Minor & Major Massage
3. Subscapularis Massage
4. Trapezius Massage
3. Row To External Rotation
2. Upper Trapezius
3. Pectoralis Minor, Pectoralis Major & Spine Extensor Stretch
4. Subscapularis Muscle
So, there you have it…some simple yet effective actions you can take right now to correct your Forward Head Posture. You can consider this article to be a complete guide to rid yourself of Nerd Neck. If you want more help, click here to schedule a consultation and fix your nerd neck. Lastly, For more information on how you can look, feel and perform younger, check out more content on my YouTube channel.