More than 66% of people worldwide suffer from a forward neck problem. But what exactly is this complication? What are its symptoms and causes, and how can it be resolved and treated?
As it is clear from the name, the neck forward is a position in which the head is placed in front of the body and looks unpleasant. Join us in this article to tell you everything about the forward neck and introduce you to the best corrective movements to treat this condition.
Today’s lifestyle forces us to put the body in positions that cause damage to it. One of the sensitive parts of the body that is under pressure most of the time is the head and neck.
Sitting for long periods, bending the head and neck forward while using the computer, hunching behind the steering wheel of a car, and constantly using a cell phone are all positions that can cause injuries such as texting neck syndrome. Another common complication is “neck bow” or “forward head and neck.”
What Is the Complication of the Forward Neck and Head?
Simply put, the problem of the head and neck facing forward means looking at a person from the side, and the person’s neck is placed ahead of the shoulders and body. The muscles between the two shoulder blades have come! The forward head and neck problem increases the workload of many muscles connected to the neck and spine.
It’s good to know that over time, the arch of the neck can lead to muscle imbalance because the body tries to adapt to this problem and find effective ways to keep the head straight. As a result, some muscles may become long and weak while others become shorter and stiffer.
Symptoms of Head and Neck Disease
When a person suffers from forwarding head and neck disorder, she usually feels one or more of the following:
Mild and mild pain may be felt in the armpit or back of the neck, upper back, shoulder, or head.
If the muscle is under pressure or reaches a spasm, it leads to muscle tightness and severe pain, which may feel a sharp or burning pain in the neck.
Trigger Point Pain:
This pain causes stiff and sensitive muscle points that can become even more painful when touched. Trigger points are generally in the back of the neck, but the pain can go up to the head or down to the shoulder.
In some studies, carpal tunnel syndrome and wrist pain are more likely associated with forward head posture, which is more common in people with migraines.
Muscles can become inflamed and tight due to high pressure, injury, sudden pain, or under the influence of nearby inflammation.
Due to the pain and decreased muscle function, the neck may become stiff, and its range of motion may decrease.
A forward head and neck can lead to more pain than muscle pain, including pain in the joints, discs, nerve roots, and other structures around the neck.
Cervical Arch Disease Diagnosis Methods
Line Drawing Method
In this method, the patient stands with his back to the wall, then the doctor (or any other person) uses a ruler to measure the distance behind his head from the wall. If the head is pressed against the wall while standing naturally straight, there is no forward movement of the head. The further the head is from the wall, the more serious this complication will be.
Neck Angle Measurement
This method measures the forward angle of the neck, subtended by a horizontal line and a line from the neck to the ear. The greater the angle, the more serious the damage.
Use of Radiographs
Causes of Head and Neck Forward
Some of the causes of forward head and neck problems that should be paid attention to are as follows:
- Activities involve reading a lot, such as typing, writing, etc.
- Crouching while sitting and standing (lumbar hunchback)
- Driving when the head is more than 5 to 7 cm away from the seat
- Carrying a backpack or heavy bag with one shoulder
- Herniated cervical disc and back pain
- Using inappropriate pillows while sleeping
- Heavy sports movements that put pressure on the neck
- Head and neck injury
Prevention of Neck Arch Disease
Keeping the body in the correct position is crucial in preventing this condition. But what is the proper situation?
Good posture is when your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and ears are all in the same vertical line. In this neutral position, the pressure on the neck is minimized because the head’s weight rests naturally on the cervical spine.
Here are some simple ways to adjust your daily activities to prevent neck pain:
1- Make sure that the top of your computer screen is level with your eyes and about two cubits away from your face.
2- Be sure to put the backpack on both shoulders to balance the weight distribution.
3- Use a back suitable for sitting or lying down for a long time.
4- Using a medical pillow
5- Try to walk straight and place your head straight ahead.
Forward Neck and Head Treatment
The forward position of the head and neck can lead to neck pain, numbness in the hands, improper breathing, and even neurological problems.
For every 1 cm that the neck is forward, the body must bear 4.5 kg of extra weight. As a result, prevention and treatment must be done.
If this complication is detected and treated before the damage to the muscles and even the spinal cord, its effects will not reach other parts of the body.
Using muscle relaxants can help relieve pain.
Medical necklaces are also effective in keeping the neck stable and reducing pain.
This device stretches the neck, which helps to relax the muscles.
A better and more basic method than the above methods is physiotherapy treatment. Physiotherapy can relieve neck pain and restore the body’s natural shape.
Forward Head and Neck Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy is one of the methods that can be used for prevention and treatment.
Physiotherapy treatment focusing on increasing muscle strength and positioning the body in a natural position can improve the neck’s range of motion. The physiotherapist uses a combination of the following treatments based on the disease’s progress and the patient’s physical ability.
Forward Head and Massage Therapy
When the muscle is under a lot of pressure, the accumulation of waste materials, such as lactic acid, causes pain, cramps, and even muscle spasms. Massage improves blood circulation and lymph flow, brings nutrients and fresh oxygen to the desired tissues and helps to remove toxic substances and recover.
The physiotherapist finds the muscles that need to be relaxed or strengthened by careful examination and relaxes them with essential massage therapy. Also, the physiotherapist can help reduce pain by massaging trigger points in this method.
Manual Therapy and Chiropractic
Manual therapy is physical therapy performed by hand to treat spinal pain. This method is used to reduce pain and increase the range of motion of the neck. Chiropractic is also a manual method of physical therapy to reduce spine and neck pain.
In chiropractic treatment, a physiotherapist manipulates and adjusts the patient’s spine. This manipulation is done both by hand and machine, but the basis of the treatment is the same.
Corrective Movements for the Head and Neck Forward
The patient may be unable to perform the movements properly due to muscle weakness or pain. For this reason, the physiotherapist first relaxes the muscles through massage therapy, dry needling, or electrotherapy. After the muscles are relaxed, sports movements can be performed with less pain.
Below you can see different types of these movements:
Movements of the First Group:
Relaxing the cramped muscles with stretching.
- Relaxing the muscles behind the ears with a ball
- Pulling the back of the neck
- Pulling both sides of the neck
- Release the SCM muscle at the front of the neck
- Stretching of the chest muscles
Movements of the Second Category:
Strengthening the neck muscles with exercise
- Shoulder contraction movement
- Pressure on the shoulder blade