Forward Head Posture Makes You Look Older and Causes Serious Health Problems. Here’s What You Should Do to Correct It
These days, so much work is done sitting down. Computer work, reading, driving, even just watching television. The problem with this is when you let all of your muscles relax, you end up hunching over. This poor posture is ruining today’s generation by making people look older faster and causing back troubles early in life. People develop a hump in their upper back when the body combats the stress of holding up a hanging head. Bone and fat tissue build up to protect the spine in the upper back, leading to an unattractive hunch. Spine and Health reminds us that this ages people, as well as causes other health problems.
Forward Head Posture, also known as FHP, occurs when the head is displaced over the chest, which in turn causes the shoulders to round forward. FHP affects over 65% of the population. This can cause various health problems, due to the unnatural way the body is forced to sit.
Over 90% of people who often suffer from neck pain or headaches suffer from FHP. This issue of poor posture can also cause chest cavity compression, which in turn reduces the amount of oxygen that your lungs take in and their air capacity. When the lung muscles work harder than their oxygen capacity allows, lactic acid forms around the area of those muscles, resulting in cramps and pain.
The LA Sentinel confirms that bad posture leads to several other ailments, such as fatigue, lower immunity, poor appearance, and pain. The human head typically weighs 8% of the entire body mass. For every inch that the head naturally sets itself forward, its weight on the body doubles, which causes the neck, shoulder, and back muscles to compensate for the weight. These muscles are then forced to overwork themselves to support the strained head. This results in pain and fatigue.
Poor posture can cause lower immunity due to its resulted tension in the spinal cord. This tension causes an interference in the signals that he spine sends through the nervous system that controls our immunity, digestion, and hormone release. A blocked autoimmune system can wreak havoc on your body.
Not only can FHP make you look shorter in stature, it can also make you look heavier. When you stand up straight with your head aligned with your spine, it naturally pulls your belly in and your chest out. This lets your body distribute itself evenly, causing you to not have the bulge in your stomach that you may have if you are bending over. Fixing this may also make you feel more confident as you are standing up straight.
One muscle that really affects the position of your head is the sternocleidomastoid. This muscle starts at the breastplate and clavicle and inserts itself through the temporal bone. If the sternocleidomasoid is strong, it lets your head sit in light with your neck, without drooping forward. The body is then able to follow the head, causing good posture. As long as your head is aligned properly, the body will follow suit.
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Correctly aligning your head with your spine results in a healthy position that removes stress from your back muscles. Your chest is then lengthened, which keeps your lungs capable of allowing a maximum intake of air. This increases oxygen levels and improves the function of the brain.
To fix FHP, it is not as easy as just doing some single stretches. The complicated groups of muscles in the head and neck must be stretched and exercised in a specific order in able to feel an effect. Re-educating your muscles with drills, working on breathing and mobility exercises, massage, deep cervical flexor training, and finally doing postural strengthening can help to reverse and fix FHP.
FHP is a hidden threat to our health and our bodies so it is best to combat it. Whether you want to prevent it or treat it, following a specific program each day will lessen your issues with FHP now and in the future.
Feel better and look younger!