Did you know that for every inch the head moves forward in posture, its weight on your neck and upper back muscles increases by 10 pounds? Now imagine leaning forward for an extended period of time every day. That’s bound to affect your body’s natural posture and invite chronic neck and back pain! Because of the rise of office jobs and lifestyle becoming more sedentary, more and more people are suffering from conditions related to poor posture.
Forward head posture is one that has become commonplace to a lot of people because of having deskbound job or constantly looking down their phone. Though reading that condition doesn’t sound like a big deal, being in pain and having an ugly hunch look every day definitely is!
Doing realignment exercises and using neck wedges are often the common advice to people with this posture deviation to re-educate your muscles from getting stuck in a hunched over caveman position. But do they really help? Dig in and let’s find out!
Is chiropractic adjustment a good idea?
While chiropractic adjustment can’t make your forward head posture disappear per se, it can help treat the reason why you developed that bad positioning of your cervical spine. This posture usually starts from always leaning forward to something, whether it’s a computer or a mobile gadget which over time leads to your vertebra going out of alignment.
This is where chiropractic adjustment can help with. It can correct the misalignment but using manual adjustment to take the pressure off some nerves that are being compressed due to the unnatural position of your neck. This then helps relieve pain in the area. And with your cervical spine back in proper alignment, you’ll eventually lose the odd posture, provided that you keep your posture in check all the time. Otherwise, you’ll develop subluxations again and revert back to having forward head posture.
How about posture exercises?
When you’ve had that forward head posture for a while, getting adjustments is not enough to completely eliminate it. Your body becomes so used to it that doing the right posture becomes difficult. But with the help of posture exercises, your body learns to change the bad posture. Aside from that, once the proper posture becomes your daily one instead of the wrong one, you’ll notice that the neck, upper and mid-back pain will slowly go away. This is why it’s important that you do posture exercises consistently to help you make a change as quickly as possible.
The first key to preventing forward head posture is to take inventory of your postural habits. Have someone take a picture of you sitting and standing normally. These pictures will help you figure out where is the problem so that you’ll know what is the prevention or correction program that should you do. Aside from that, you can also use these pictures later to compare and see your progress. It would be more effective if you do series of exercises like seated chest stretch, upper back pulls on the wall, stretching trapezius and suboccipital muscles, and chin retractions every time you exercise.
What’s the neck wedge?
There are many benefits to restoring the neck curve, including pain reduction, better posture, and improved health. Neck wedges, for that matter, is a great tool that can help achieve that goal. Neck wedges is a simple foam wedge that you can use like a pillow but unlike the typical pillow, this neck cushion focuses on the curve of your neck instead of your head. It is a comfortable orthotic device that is lightweight and easy to use. It is versatile as range of motion exercises and stretches can be performed while comfortably lying on the device.
Using the neck wedge is a part of a comprehensive method for correcting the cervical curve. Loss of the curve does not happen overnight, you have to understand that correcting it will take time and consistency before you see the result. Do not expect that you only have to use this tool for a couple of times and the problem will be solved. However, if you use this while seeking regular chiropractic care and doing posture exercises regularly, you’ll have a dramatic change in your posture faster than just utilizing one of these at a time.