6 Nov 2023

Exploring the Impact of Forward Head Posture (FHP)

By Charles Herbert
Man sitting on his laptop with poor posture.

Highlight: What is Forward Head posture (FHP)

Forward Head Posture (FHP) is a postural condition where the head is positioned forward relative to the vertical line of the body’s center of gravity. This alignment causes the head to protrude ahead of the shoulders, disrupting the natural alignment of the neck and spine.

Do you have the weight of the world on your shoulders?






Have you ever stopped to think about how much weight your neck is actually holding up? Believe it or not, your head weighs about the same as a bowling ball – somewhere between 8-12 pounds (4-5kg)! You don’t usually notice it because your neck is like a built-in suspension system.

This amazing ‘suspension’ comes from the curve in your neck, officially known as your cervical spine. It’s got this amazing 43-degree bend, kind of like a banana, which helps support your head’s weight. It works like a spring, adapting as you move around, walk, or just relax in your chair, making sure the weight doesn’t stress out your neck or spine.

But here’s where things can get a bit off track. When we slump over a book, hunch over our computers, or get lost in our phones, our heads tend to drift forward. This posture change is what’s called forward head posture (FHP) or forward head carriage (FHC). And let me tell you, it does a number on your neck. It flattens out that nifty curve and pushes your head’s weight forward. So instead of being nicely balanced, your head starts to feel heavier and out of whack.

FHP isn’t just about your head feeling heavy. It can mess with your whole posture and lead to all sorts of aches and pains in your neck and shoulders. So, keeping an eye on your posture and making sure you’re not always leaning forward is super important.

Spotting the signs of forward head posture and actively working to improve your neck posture can make a huge difference. It’s all about keeping that natural curve in your neck happy and healthy, so your head’s weight is supported just right, without causing any strain or discomfort. Let’s keep that ‘weight of the world’ feeling just a figure of speech, shall we?

How does Forward Head Posture affect Neck Health and the Cervical Spine?

cervical x-ray normal and lost curve

Let’s talk about why FHP isn’t just a ‘now and then’ kind of problem. When you’ve got Forward Head Posture for a long stretch, it’s more than a fleeting issue – it really starts to wear on your neck muscles and messes with the natural curve in your neck. You know, that curve that’s supposed to be like a banana? Well, according to many studies and x-ray images, poor posture can flatten or even reverse that curve. And this isn’t just a small change – it can bring on a whole bunch of trouble like neck and shoulder tension, not to mention headaches and other health issues you definitely don’t want.

The relationship between forward head posture and neck pain is significant. As the position of the head changes, it affects the entire spine, particularly the cervical and thoracic regions. This misalignment can result in conditions like kyphosis (an exaggerated forward rounding of the back) and rounded shoulder posture, exacerbating the stresses on the upper back and shoulder muscles. These postural changes have a wider impact, often necessitating physical therapy or chiropractic interventions.

Woman with Forward Head Posture - texting.

 ‘Text neck’, a term for neck pain from looking down at your device for prolonged periods, is a common consequence of FHP and poor posture. It’s super important to grasp just how serious these postural changes can be. We’re not just talking about a temporary ache or pain here. When your posture starts to go off-kilter, especially with forward head posture, it can lead to some long-term issues. That’s why it’s key to jump on this early and take proactive steps to correct and prevent these changes. Think of it like nipping a problem in the bud before it has a chance to grow bigger. Getting your posture right and keeping it that way can make a world of difference in avoiding future neck and back issues.

To maintain neck health and overall well-being, it’s essential to assess and address the stresses caused by FHP. Correcting shoulder posture and reinforcing the natural curvature of the thoracic spine are an essential part of this process. By understanding the causes of neck pain and implementing strategies to improve posture, you can help mitigate the effects of FHP and maintain a healthier alignment of your cervical spine.


What are the Risks of a Compromised Cervical Curve

Losing the natural ‘C’ shape of the cervical spine isn’t just a spinal concern; it’s a health hazard. Symptoms like neck pain and headaches are just the start. Chronic FHP can accelerate osteoarthritis in the neck, reduce mobility, and lead to disc degeneration. Surprisingly, it can also impact lung function, reducing capacity and affecting overall health.

So, keeping your cervical alignment in check is about way more than just dodging a little discomfort. It’s a big deal for your overall health. That curve in your neck? It’s not just there to keep your head up. It plays a huge part in your whole body’s well-being. Think of it as the foundation for a healthy posture and a happy body. When it’s aligned right, everything else tends to fall into place, so it’s really important to look after it.

If you would like to learn more about FHP and its effects on your cervical spine health, we’ve got some great videos that lay it all out, showing you why keeping your neck well-aligned is so important.

Can forward head posture be corrected?

Good news about Forward Head Posture (FHP) – it’s something you can fix, and we at Kasa Chiropractic are all about helping you do just that. Our approach is super personalised. We mix in exercises specifically designed for your situation, make tweaks to your workspace (like getting that computer screen at just the right height), and throw in some chiropractic magic to strengthen your neck and upper back muscles. This not only improves your alignment but also cuts down on the strain.

But it’s not all about exercises and adjustments. We also dive into your daily habits to help you keep that natural neck curve in check – think about how you’re using your phone, for instance. And for an extra boost, our chiropractors use specialised treatments and even massage therapy to get those joints lined up right, ease any pain, and stretch out those muscles that have been working overtime because of FHP.

With some effort, sticking to the plan, and regular check-ins with us, you’ll start to see a big difference in your FHP.  At Kasa Chiropractic, we’re with you every step of the way on this journey to better neck health.

So, if you want to fix your Forward Head Posture, give us a call on 0333 256 2327 and we will happily help you take the first steps to making change.


  • Jo Reid says:

    I found this really interesting to be honest! I’ve been coming to see Matt for almost a year now and he’s changed my life! I am consciously now trying to change how I text, sit at my computer etc to prolong Matt’s good work! Thanks guys!! X

  • Bev Murrill says:

    Fantastic article Charlie, and really really helpful. I’m just REALLY sorry that Australia is such a long way from Bristol. You guys are top chiropractors and really know your stuff. You helped me so much.

  • Jimmahon dublin@gmail.com says:

    Super information. many thanks

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