January 09 2010
A forward head or shoulder posture is the most common posture seen among people. So what causes it, what are the benifts of correcting it, and how to correct it.
Why people have a forward head posture?
Muscle Imbalance: Based on some clinical evidence, tight chest muscles and weak back muscles may lead to a forward head posture. This muscle imbalance could be due to:
- Working Posture: A good example is working on the computer or at your desk with a slouched posture.
- Activities: Repetitive use of the chest muscles more than back muscles, like swimming, too much pushing exercises than pulling exercises in the gym.
Disease: Osteoarthritis and certain congenital diseases can cause structural deformities in your spine which can really screw up your spine.
What are the benefits of correcting a forward head posture?
The major reasons claimed for correcting a forward head posture are:
Prevent/Lower Pain: Correcting a forward head posture may lower
the likelihood of shoulder impingement and prevent shoulder pain. It may also lower pain in people with shoulder problems.
Range of motion: By improving a forward head posture, you may increase the range of motion in your shoulder.
Aesthetics: Basically, you will look good with a better posture and this is the best reason in my book to fix posture.
There is very little evidence, almost none, to lowering/preventing shoulder pain by fixing a forward head posture.
What are the exercises to correct forward head posture?
Forward head posture due to muscle imbalances can be corrected by
- Stretching the tight chest muscles
- Strengthening the weak back muscles.
The single arm wall stretch was found to be the most effective pectoralis minor stretch in a study comparing different pectoralis minor stretches. Do this for 2 sets for 30sec 3 times/week
Below are the strengthening exercises. Do 2-3 sets each 10-15 reps 3 times/week.