Heavy Head

Do you know that on average your head weighs around 4-5kg. For every inch forward of the optimal alignment of the head on the neck it doubles it’s weight. Forward Head Posture is an epidemic. It affects many people and you can portably count yourself among them.

The skull sit’s on top of the Atlas Bone, which is the very 1st vertebra of the cervical spine, but if the head shifts forward, the spine cannot support it’s weight properly. When this happens the muscles at the back of the neck and upper back have take up the load.

The Cervical spine should have a small lordotic curve which arches backwards so as to keep the head upright and the eyes looking towards the horizon, but what tends to be happening in our world today is that the cervical curve is becoming larger making then only the last two vertebra C1 & C2 being left straight. This poor alignment will cause pain and dysfunction down the body.

A small text you can try to see if you have good or poor alignment of head and neck is to:

Forward Head Posture:    Sit at the end of a chair, facing sideways ask someone to take one finger and place it on your cheek bone and then place the other hands finger on you clavicle and draw an imaginary line from one to the other. For optimal alignment this line should be vertical,, if you cheek bone is forward, measure how far forward so you can estimate the extra weight your head is placing on your neck and shoulder muscles.

Excessive Cervical Lordosis:  Next try standing with your heel’s, glute’s and shoulders touching a wall. Try only to have a gap that you can just place your fingers into behind your lower back. Now without increasing the gap between your back and the wall, try to bring you head back to touch the wall. Notice where your eyes are looking, are they looking straight ahead or are they looking up. Looking up will indicate a Excessive Cervical Lordosis.

How this affects the rest of the body is by making the pelvis drop forward into an anterior tilt which makes the femur move backwards into the acetabulum to stop the body falling forward. This extra curve in our lower spine now creates an excessive lumbar lordosis. The shift that happens in the the pelvis and lumbar spine then leads to a inward rotation of the knee and the foot to overpronate.