What is a Forward Head Syndrome?

It is an excessive forward positioning of the head, increased lordotic cervical curvature, rounded shoulders, and a hunched chest posture.

So How is the Normal Head Position Going?

Imagine the head is a sunflower. Despite the fact that the sunflower is large, the posture is perfect. What happen if the sunflower has more weight in the front? The stem cannot hold it and the sunflower will lean forward. The same thing happens to the human head. The head center of gravity is slightly anterior to the ear. The head is going to start leaning forward. As a result of being in front of the computer or cell phone with eyes looking down for a long time. In addition, more weight is added to the neck for every inch that the head is placed forward. The head weighs 10 pounds. If the head is placed 2 inches forward from its normal axis; more weight is added to the neck. In other words, 10 more pounds are added to the load. That means, 20 pounds in total on the poor neck. The whole body has to make adaptive changes to the bones structures and muscles to be able to carry the weight of the head. That is when the famous Hump appears, or the bent back. Later on, the hands become numb and tingling, the normal height ir reduced, more frequent headaches appear if it is not corrected in time.

What Muscles and Bone Structures Are Affected ?

Abnormal stretching of the following muscles occurs:
  • Elevator of the Scapula
  • UpperSternocleidomastoid
  • TrapeziusScalene (shortened)
  • Suboccipital muscles.
  • Muscle tone of rhomboid muscles and serratus anterior are affected.
  • The Pectoralis minor is shortened, causing the chest to flatten and altering the movement of the scapula.
  • The shoulders are placed forward restricting the expansion of the rib cage which limits the movements of bringing the arms up and to the side.

What Symptoms?

  • Tiredness, stiffness, and tightness in neck as a result of fatigue in the Elevator of the Scapula, Rhomboids, and lower trapezius muscles.
  • Pain in the neck, shoulders and upper back.
  • Headache and discomfort on the temporomandibular joint.

What are the Consequences of This Long-term position?

  • Open Mouth Breathing
  • Rib cage hyperflexion
  • Ribs do not move during inspiration
  • Breathe faster
  • The scalene muscles shorten and cannot contract normally, losing the ability to raise the first rib.
  • Exaggerated increase in Lumbar curvature with shortening of the erector muscles of the back and hip flexors.
  • Weakening of the abdominal and hamstring muscles.

How to Improve Posture, Correct a Hump, and Straighten the Back?

First you have to improve the quality of movement, range of motion, and flexibility of muscles that are retracted or shortened.


Do something physical first, such as walking outdoors, riding the bike for 20 minutes before starting the stretching exercises.


In this video I share a sequence of STRETCHES Do the stretches every hour. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds each. Note: you should only feel a little discomfort but no pain. Don’t forget to SHARE THIS VIDEO WITH SOMEONE WHO NEEDS IT. That person will thank you all her/his life.

What Muscles Do We Focus On To Improve the Forward Head Position?

Focus In muscles that have shortened and feel tight. (Watch the Video for the demonstration)

1. Pectoralis Minor

  • Standing in front of a corner
  • Shoulders and Elbows at a 90 degree angle
  • Place forearms on the Wall and lean forward.
  • Inhale Deep and Exhale. Let your body move forward with each exhalation.

2. Pectoralis Major

  • Grabbing a strap, or a belt, or a dog leash. Arms at 45-50 degrees of abduction to stretch the clavicular fibers and 140 degrees of abduction to stretch the costal fibers).
  • Bring arms up as seen in the video.
  • With each breath bring arms reach over head.
  • Remember with each exhalation the arm gain more flexibility. Don’t force the body just connect with the breath and what the body feels.

3. Sternocleidomastoid

  • Look up like a Little Bird exercise; bring the right ear to a right shoulder, and look up to the sky like a little bird.
  • Repeat the same with the other side.

4. Scalenos

  • The right hand brings the head to the right shoulder.
  • Avoid compensation by looking at the mirror to see what is happening in the shoulder position while doing the exercise.
  • Repeat the same with the other side.

5. Elevator Scapula

  • Chin is brought to the chest and with the right hand the head is brought towards the right shoulder.
  • Remember each stretch is held for 8-10 seconds and repeated every hour.
If you think you have bad posture, your neck feels tired, and sore, we can help you. Call us now at (805) 203-9940 to find out what’s causing the problem. We will help you to reach your goals, be happier and have a better quality of life.