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Is forward head causing trouble with your neck or upper back?

Long hours sitting at a desk can often cause problems for your neck without you even knowing!

The problem:

Your neck and upper back are stiff, achy or painful when you go through a range of motion. This can also occur when you get up after a night in bed or when you are working at your desk. If you are like most people who work at a desk all day and do not have your desk ergonomically set up, you probably have "forward head". Keep reading to understand what this means.

What is going on?

The spine is made up of “S” curves. Starting at the top, the first curve is made up of 7 cervical vertebrae. When your ears are over your shoulders, your cervical vertebrae have the right amount of curve and your body is in a balanced state with the muscles supporting your neck in a calm and relaxed way. However, when your ears are in front of your shoulders it can put a lot of strain on your neck, upper back and shoulder muscles as those muscles consistently work harder to keep your head level. This typically happens over a long period of time sitting at a desk or continually looking down at your smart phone. That is not good! Most people have a forward head and do not realize it. The solution?

  1. Stand with the back of your head, shoulders and hips against a wall.

  2. There should be a slight arch in the neck and low back - enough to slide a hand in.

  3. Keep the head level.

  4. This is the proper standing position for the upper body. Now, try to maintain this position while stepping away from the wall and walk around for a couple of minutes. Come back to the wall to see if you have maintained the position.

  5. Practice this a few minutes each day and you will see improvement as the muscles in you neck loosen up allowing the ear to align over the shoulder.

Posture does not require a lot of time to correct.


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