Every day in my practice I meet new patients who have what is called FHP (Forward Head Posture) and realize this is starting to become the norm, not the exception to the rule. We are all so attached to our little phones and hunch over them all day long that our necks are now out of place all the time. Just yesterday I had spoken to a young lady about her rolled shoulders and head craned forward as she texts her friends and watches videos. She then straightened up nice and tall…for about 30 seconds…and then re-hunched (this should be a real word!).
A few weeks ago I was at Dulles Airport on my way to Toronto and was noticing how most people were hunched over their machines- phone or tablet or computer. I thought gee, maybe I could invent a device that they rest their head into to make the ‘hunch’ more comfortable. Think of something like a chin rest where you lean forward and rest your chin into a cup like device so that the neck does not get too sore for the hours upon hours of doing your work or just surfing on your devices. Would I really make such a device- no! Just kidding folks.
As each day goes by and I meet my usual 3-4 new patients, I am noticing a trend. More and more of them are slouching over at our initial consultation meetings. Most of these folks are on the computer all day long and it just becomes a habit to hang their head forward. This forward posturing will also tend to make your jaws slide forward, which in turn will close down the distance between C-1 and C-2 in your neck, which will adversely affect the TM joints. When I see this happening, I explain to the person how they really need to work on posture and be aware at all times. It’s not easy, and I am the first to admit that it kind of feels good to lean forward while on the computer, but hey, it is not the healthy way to go!
So, dear readers, take a look at yourself in the mirror. That’s right, stand up and take a good look at yourself from a side view. Are you bent over? Do you look like the hunchback of Notre Dame? Maybe you could even take a look at your fellow workers and help them as well. Maybe, just maybe, you all should look at each other and practice good posture and getting that neck more upright. I even have some neck stretching videos on my website that will help- check them out. So take a good look and make yourself better!