Forward Head Posture (FHP), sometimes referred to as “text neck” or “computer neck,” is a postural deformity where the head is positioned anteriorly (forward) relative to the vertical line of the spine. When observed from the side, the ear is positioned in front of the shoulder rather than directly above it.
Common Causes of FHP
Prolonged Screen Time: With the surge in technology use, many individuals spend long hours hunched over computers, tablets, or smartphones. This can lead to neck muscles getting accustomed to holding the head in a forward position.
Poor Ergonomics: Working at a desk or workstation that’s not set up ergonomically can encourage poor posture. If the screen is too low or too high, or if the chair isn’t supportive, it can cause one to lean in or hunch.
Reading or Studying: Spending extended periods reading or studying, especially when done in bed or on a couch, can contribute to FHP.
Carrying Heavy Bags: Carrying heavy backpacks or purses can lead to a forward lean, indirectly leading to a forward head position.
Previous Injuries: Past traumas, such as whiplash, can weaken neck muscles, making it difficult to maintain a neutral head position.
Lack of Physical Activity: Sedentary lifestyles weaken postural muscles, making it difficult to maintain proper alignment.
How Can Myotherapy Help Correct FHP?
Myotherapy is a form of physical therapy that focuses on treating and managing soft tissue pain and restricted joint movement. Here’s how it can aid in correcting FHP:
Targeted Myofascial Release: By working on the tight muscles and fascia (connective tissue) around the neck and shoulders, a myotherapist can help alleviate the tension that contributes to FHP.
Strengthening Exercises: Weak muscles, particularly the deep cervical flexors, can be a cause of FHP. A myotherapist can recommend specific exercises to strengthen these muscles and support proper head alignment.
Postural Education: Myotherapists can provide advice on correct posture and ergonomics. This can be beneficial for those whose FHP is due to environmental factors, like an improperly set up workstation.
Dry Needling: This technique can be used to release trigger points in the muscles of the neck and upper back. Releasing these trigger points can reduce pain and improve muscle function, aiding in the correction of FHP.
Joint Mobilization: Myotherapists can employ techniques to improve the mobility of the joints in the cervical spine, thereby aiding in the correction of FHP.
Tailored Home Exercises: Beyond in-clinic treatments, myotherapists often prescribe exercises to be performed at home. This ensures that the benefits of the therapy are sustained and that the patient actively participates in their recovery.
In conclusion, Forward Head Posture, although common in today’s digital age, can lead to numerous health issues if not addressed. Myotherapy offers a holistic approach to not only treating the symptoms associated with FHP but also addressing the root causes, helping individuals achieve better posture and overall health.