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Practice in Motion: Part I

Course Number: 553

Forward Head Position

The “forward head” position places the upper cervical region in extension and the lower cervical spine in flexion. How heavy is your head? Review Figure 24 again to appreciate how the weight of your head increases as it relocates past your shoulders. Not only does the weight of the head increase markedly, there are consequences to the region besides an increase in the weight of the head. See Figure 31 for the consequences described in the literature. The upper cervical extension over time can contribute to headaches, muscles spasms and tightness in the upper cervical region, and over time, possible degeneration in the articular pillars or “facet joints” of the neck. In the lower cervical region, the flexion forces place stress to the same structures as previously discussed in the lumbar spine. This is why disc herniations and degenerative conditions are mostly seen in the C4-7 regions as opposed to the lack of herniations seen in the upper cervical spine.

Video 3. Forward Head Position.

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