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Chiropractic Blog

Correcting Forward Head Posture with Chiropractic Care

Published Date: 
August 7, 2023
Young woman holding her neck while looking at her phone outside.

Forward head posture occurs when someone’s head looks as if it’s positioned in the frontline of the body. It goes by many names, including:

  • Text neck
  • Scholar’s neck
  • Wearsie neck
  • Reading neck

It’s considered the most common postural issue. Health experts estimate that more than two-thirds of the population suffers from the condition, with as many as 90 percent experiencing it at some point.

What Causes Forward Head Posture?

Forward head posture is usually caused by one or more of the following factors:

  • Gravity
  • Poor ergonomic alignment
  • Slouching
  • Demands of daily work, especially in career fields such as writers, hair stylists, computer programmers, painters, etc.
  • Other postural issues, including pelvic and lumbar spine issues
  • Sleeping position
  • Texting/cell phone use
  • Lack of back muscle strength
  • Weakness of neck muscles
  • Injury
  • Sleeping location
  • Computer use
  • Driving for long periods
  • Incorrect breathing
  • Carrying heavy items
  • Certain sports

Adverse Effects of FHP on Your Health

In addition to the primary issues caused by FHP, many secondary problems can arise. You might be able to live with FHP, but eventually, it causes pain and other issues that affect your overall health. This is why it’s so important to treat the condition and correct postural issues earlier rather than wait until you have many health issues related to FHP.

Man sitting hunched over at desk in office chair typing on computer.

Adverse effects of FHP on your health include:

  • Osteoporosis (and related fractures)
  • Poor shoulder mobility
  • Cervical (neck) spine arthritis
  • Shoulder blade pain
  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Increased stress on the cervical spine 
  • Muscle overload
  • Hunched back

Can Forward Head Posture Be Corrected by a Chiropractor?


Chiropractors can help you correct forward head posture, as well as a variety of other postural issues. It’s a safe, natural alternative to pharmaceutical treatment and surgery. 

In most cases, with chiropractic treatment, at-home exercises, and a focus on practicing good posture, you’ll correct FHP. But keep in mind the problem isn’t solved overnight. It takes practice to correct poor posture. Don’t be discouraged if your posture isn’t perfect after one visit to the chiropractor. You’ll need to work in conjunction with your chiropractor to correct problems and improve your overall health.

How Chiropractors Treat Forward Head Posture

Chiropractic treatment begins with an analysis of what’s causing your FHP. Sometimes, behavioral or lifestyle changes are enough to correct or improve the problem. In other cases, such as when FHP is associated with work, you’ll need to compensate for what’s required with exercises and best practices. 

For example, if you sit at a computer all day and that’s what’s causing FHP, you’ll need to practice good posture and elevate your computer screen to force your head up.

Chiropractors can also use spinal decompression therapy to reverse FHP. This involves the use of a special table that’s adjusted for each person. You lie on your back while your chiropractor manipulates your upper body and moves it upright. This relieves pressure on the spine and corrects postural issues. 

Chiropractor adjusting neck of young woman.

Other techniques chiropractors use to correct FHP include:

Spinal Manipulation

This is a technique that realigns the spine to its natural state. It reduces muscle and ligament strain and usually significantly positively affects posture.

Posture Correction Exercises

These exercises strengthen and stretch the back and neck. This improves posture and reduces the strain on your muscles.

Soft Tissue Therapy

This therapy stretches and massages the muscles and ligaments in the neck and back. Not only does it reduce tension and pain, but it also improves circulation, which speeds healing. It also feels great.

Ergonomic Adjustments

These improve posture when sitting or standing, reducing strain on the neck and back.

In addition to the treatments used in the office by a chiropractor, they’ll also suggest things you can do at home to correct FHP. In most cases, spinal decompression and in-office and at-home exercises correct the problem. Treatment plans are customized for each patient and address their whole-body health.

Most people report feeling better overall after seeing a chiropractor. Not only is FHP or the primary condition relieved, they see improvements in other areas of the body.

Ways to Improve FHP At Home

At-home exercises for FHP help to strengthen your back muscles and improve your strength, flexibility, and balance. This reduces your desire to slump. You’ll feel better practicing good posture and won’t be tempted to lean forward or hunch over. 

Young woman sitting up straight in ergonomic chair at desk.

You can also make some changes to improve FHP and avoid future problems. For example:

  • Stand up straight
  • Hold your shoulders back
  • Avoid slouching
  • Position your computer at eye level
  • Take frequent breaks and stretch
  • Use lumbar support
  • Limit how long you’re looking down at your phone
  • Don’t carry a heavy backpack or handbag

Forward Head Posture Exercises

Exercises you can do on your own to correct FHP include:

  • Tilting your head back and pointing your chin toward the ceiling (don’t force it up, just tilt it gently). Hold this position for 10 seconds, relax, and repeat two times. You can do this three times per day.
  • Put your hands behind your head and interlock your fingers. Gently pull on the back of your head until you feel a gentle stretch. You should feel the stretch on your upper spine. Hold the position for five seconds, relax, and repeat three times. You can do this exercise four times per day.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Forward Head Posture Correction

Chiropractic care offers a variety of benefits for treating FHP. For example:

  • Reduces reliance on pain relief medication
  • Eases headache symptoms
  • Affordable and often covered by health insurance
  • Improves posture
  • Fixes the root of the problem 
  • Improves overall health and well-being

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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