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3 Common Exercises for Forward Head and Neck Posture and Why They Might Not Work

neck pain

Forward head and neck posture occurs when your head moves forward in front of your shoulders. This can lead to postural changes throughout the body as well as symptoms such as shoulder discomfort, head and neck issues, degenerative changes in the spine and herniation or spinal stenosis in the cervical spine.

Commonly Prescribed Exercises

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you might have already done an online search and found some of the common exercises prescribed to fix forward head and neck posture. These include:

  1. 1. Chin tucks: stand and retract your head back to bring your head into alignment over your shoulder
  2. 2. Shoulder retraction: Bring your shoulder blades back and down, as if you’re opening up your shoulders.
  3. 3. Pec stretch: Lie back on a foam roller to stretch the front of your chest.

See our video for more information:

Why are my symptoms not going away?

All three of these exercises are a great start, but sometimes symptoms can still persist. This is because not only does your posture change with forward head and neck posture, but the muscles, myofascial tissue and the joints all adjust to compensate for the position. In forward head and neck posture, usually the front of the neck stretches out and the back of the neck becomes concave, shortened and tight.

If you’ve had this posture for years, this area won’t be fully lengthened by doing the exercises. In fact, depending on how the musculature has adjusted, it might feel uncomfortable or put more strain on your head and neck when you do these exercises.

Treatment for Forward Head and Neck Posture

Depending on the tightness of the tissue, you might have to physically work on the tissue to release the fascia and deactivate trigger points. A holistic physical therapist can work on the tissue to help release and tension and help you reeducate the muscles to help you get more upright without pain.

To discuss your symptoms with one of our physical therapists, click here to schedule a complimentary phone consultation.

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