Forward Head Posture: the “Texting Neck” and the “Desktop Neck”

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Now more than ever, we are seeing people in our clinic with this forward head posture. What is a forward head posture you ask? A forward head posture is the anterior positioning of the cervical spine. This occurs while assuming poor posture while performing activities such as desk work, studying/reading and texting. This forward head posture causes a significant amount of strain on the muscles of the upper back and back of the neck and also causes shortening of the muscles of the front of the neck which can affect the jaw.

Common Side Effects
Headaches
Jaw pain (TMJ dysfunction)
Muscle strain
Pinched nerves
Arthritis
Thoracic outlet syndrome
Fatigue
Lower back pain

Yes, desk jobs have been around forever and so have the neck postures associated with them. However, since the introduction of smart phones, I believe this issue has become for prevalent and more serious. Not only are we assuming a forward head posture at work, but we are also doing it at home which is a cause for concern.

Mechanics of a forward head posture:

Put simply, for every inch the head moves forward from its ideal gravitational center, it feels as if it weighs an additional 10 pounds (Figure 1). The concept is the same as holding a 10-pound weight close to the body, then extending the weight straight out in front of you. The weight does not change, but your brain’s perception of how heavy the weight feels does change, and so does the amount of effort required by the muscles, ligaments, and fascia responsible for supporting the weight—in this case, the head.

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Solution!!

Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem. The solution is not only receiving regular massage and acupuncture treatments but your treatment plan may require home care techniques and following proper posture guidelines. All the information you need to help you with this very painful and debilitating condition will be provided to you during your first appointment!

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us!

References

Dalton, E. (2015). technique. Text Neck and Desktop Neck. Massage & Bodywork, 30(2), 97-98