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Forward-head posture: Tightness in the pectorals & sternocleidomastoid

Forward-head posture involves the sternocleidomastoid neck muscle, the pectorals (chest) muscles, and the shoulders. Forward head posture is a correctable condition. When the muscles of the chest and neck become tightened, the head is pulled ahead of the shoulders. Forward head posture is common in elderly, but the widespread usage of computers has created forward-head posture to be a common postural problem among young people too. Forward-head posture makes the individual more susceptible to chronic pain and/or injury in the upper body-neck region. And forward-head posture can cause a decline in mental cognition, including memory loss and inability to focus because the poor postural position can impede blood flow to the brain.

Forward-head posture is correctable

Forward-head posture is common. Most people are unaware that this condition is easily corrected with Active Isolated Stretching therapy. Several muscles in the upper body need to be lengthened to their normal state, which will allow the person to stand taller and more upright.

Muscles involved in forward-head posture

Maintaining flexibility in the chest muscles, the pectorals, are very important towards keeping a healthy neck. This muscle easily gets tightened by sleeping on the side, or by leaning forward while driving or working at the computer. The sternocleidomastoid muscle attaches from the chest (the sternum) to the area close to the jawline (the mastoid).

Forward-head posture will pull the person out of anatomical position creating the trapezius muscles to work harder to hold the head. Frequently, people with this condition will suffer from tight trapezius pain, tightness in the rotator cuff, and pain in the rhomboid muscles.

When a person has forward-head posture, he is placing a constant overload on the posterior neck and shoulder muscles. Because these muscles are constantly being strained, a fall or auto accident will be more damaging to this person’s body because the muscles are never relaxed. Muscle tears, torn rotator cuff, and whiplash are more likely with a person that has forward-head posture.  In addition to Active Isolated Stretching, people with this condition need to strengthen the upper back muscles. Rowing exercises, the seated row weight machine, and swimming backstroke will all be helpful in reversing forward-head posture.

Women with large breasts are susceptible to forward-head posture

Women are further susceptible to forward-head posture because female breasts will act as weights that pull a woman’s neck forward and downwards. Many women will intentionally avoid strength training exercises for fear that it will make them look bulky and masculine. Firstly, doing correct strength training exercises will not make a woman massively muscular. Secondly, the muscles are there for a reason. Muscles hold and maintain posture. If the muscles are weak in the upper back and that person happens to be a woman with large breasts, then that woman is more likely to be pulled out of position. This can result in chronic neck or trapezius muscle pain.

Forward-head posture

Concentration and cognition may be affected by forward-head posture

The carotid artery flows through the neck to the brain, delivering blood flow and nutrients. If the head is lurching forward, then the carotid artery is being unnecessarily twisted. This decreases blood flow to the brain, which can add to memory loss and difficulty in concentration. Some elderly people may feel that senility is inevitable. The truth is the senility can be reversed with postural adjustments to the major muscles of the upper body.



Forward-head posture

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3 Responses to Forward-head posture: Tightness in the pectorals & sternocleidomastoid

  1. Hi Dede V.,
    Getting some AIS treatment will definitely be worthwhile for Ankylosing Spondylitis. Doing both videos on my website will also help. The best is to do a combination of receiving treatment from an AIS therapist and doing the self-stretching videos.

  2. I’m fused from Ankylosing Spondylitis in a head forward position and have constant pain in the trapizus muscles mainly. I’ve taken muscle relaxers for years. They do nothung as far as I can see. Any ideas what may give me relief?

  3. Thanks for your informative article. My wife and grandson told me many months ago that I was jutting my head out when I walk. Sounds like forward head posture to me.

    I have a intense burning sensation underneath my left bicep which stretches from my armpit to my elbow. My left arm also feels like the skin is stretching when I raise my left arm over my head. I have neck pain on the left side of my neck. I also had lymph node swelling. I just found out my x ray results, which showed arthiritis between C-5 and C-6. can this arthritis really be corrected using AIS? Will the following vitamin also help…Glucosamine hydrochloride

    Thanks again for a very informative corrective recommendation

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Anthony Ohm is a pain specialist and a sports therapist. The technique is called Active Isolated Stretching and Strengthening(AIS). Treatment is available in Honolulu, Hawaii and Los Angeles, California The AIS method is highly beneficial for: disc issues, chronic physical pain, pain related to aging, arthritis, bursitis, sciatica, neuropathy, Parkinson's disease, and much much more... However you are presenting, whether you are crippled or a professional athlete, AIS treatment will put you in better physical condition than your current state.