Cervicogenic Headache Exercises

The cervicogenic headache is described as a unilateral or one-sided headache, generally starting in the neck and moving forwards. The headache generally dominates on one side. When the headache is severe however, it may also be felt on the opposite side, but to a lesser extent.

The 5-Step Cervicogenic Headache Protocol

I can’t remember when I had my first headache, but it was sometime in my early 20s. I’ve had a lifetime of headaches. My headaches have been the bane of my life but also my constant companion and gift.

Last Saturday, en route to a barn dance, I had a whopper of a headache. I’m not too fond of perimenopause for the resurgence of headaches in the last two years. However, if it were not for my headaches, I would never have found Dr Brian Sher (Toronto Chiropractor), who provided my first neck adjustment that vanished my headache on the spot and paved the way to Chiropractic college. For that, I am immensely grateful.

Headaches changed the trajectory of my life, for the better.

Here’s the problem that I see with headaches. Most people burdened by headaches can not think clearly enough to take the steps necessary to rid their lives of the misery of chronic pain.

I get it – that was me!

I couldn’t get through the day without a muzzy painful head. I didn’t really know why I was having daily headaches, I just wanted to be like everyone else, who smiled and laughed and went to work and generally just got on with life.

That wasn’t me. I was working for the Sport’s Clubs of Canada at the time. I remember being at my desk, rubbing my head in misery while trying to complete my sales calls. The pain wasn’t particularly dramatic – it just seemed to be there more days than not. It was a burden, a drain, a constant weighing down. Life didn’t feel as good with a headache.

One day, I discovered I didn’t have to live my life with the burden of a headache. That was the moment I had my first Chiropractic adjustment, and that moment changed my life.

Recently, I’m reminded of what it is to have chronic headaches, due to my current hormonal haze of perimenopause. A resurgence of headaches, has me eager to share my knowledge of headache, and how I survive and treat my own headaches successfully – for the most part. I am quite certain this can help you too.

Cervicogenic Headaches

The term “cervicogenic headache” was actually coined in 1983. Although there is long-standing notion that headaches can originate from structures in the neck and can be treated using manual approaches, it is only during the past two decades that the topic of cervicogenic headache has gained attention in mainstream medical literature.

Signs and Symptoms

The cervicogenic headache is described as a unilateral or one-sided headache, generally starting in the neck and moving forwards. The headache generally dominates on one side. When the headache is severe however, it may also be felt on the opposite side, but to a lesser extent.

There are also signs pertaining to the neck, such as reduced range of motion in the neck and mechanical stimulation applied on the affected neck area reproducing the headache symptoms. These strongly suggest cervical involvement in producing the headaches. Sometimes, same side shoulder/arm sensations and even pain have been reported.

People with a cervicogenic headache may report that the pain fluctuates, is continuous, lasts only a very short period of time, begins after long intervals, or starts up upon waking in the morning.

Prevalence

Studies support that cervicogenic headache is common. However, there is a great deal of variation in the perceived prevalence in the general population. For example, prevalence rates seem to range from 0.4% to 80%. It seems the disparity is due to contrasting diagnostic criteria being used in each study. The average affected age is 43,2, and the female/male distribution appears to have more agreement in the literature at 80% female, 20% male.

Resources: 1

Cause

There appear to be three main causes of cervicogenic headache discussed in the literature.

Convergence:

The basic premise of convergence is that when sensory nerves (first-order neuron) detect information about mechanical, thermal, and chemical states of the body and send signals back to the spinal cord, they converge on other nerves (second-order neurons) that carry signals from the spinal cord to the head. Pain signals from the periphery then get perceived as pain in the head and face, where the second-order neurons carry signals to the head (brain).1

Degeneration:

Disc degeneration, or degeneration in the neck’s facet joints, can cause inflammation and lead to irritation of sensory nerve endings for pain, called nociceptors.

Trauma:

In my clinical experience as a Chiropractor, trauma is frequently overlooked and a common cause of cervicogenic headache.  If you have a history of trauma – in particular, a past motor vehicle accident – and a history of chronic headaches, you need a cervical x-ray series to rule out structural changes to your natural neck curve (lordosis). These changes (flat curve – alordosis, or reversed neck curve – kyphosis), lead to degeneration and altered mechanics in the neck, which cause inflammation and irritation of the nerve endings responsible for pain.

The prevalence of joint pain (facet joints in the neck) after whiplash from a car accident has been reported as high as 54%.3

Neck Disability Index

Before you begin my cervicogenic headache protocol, I recommend you measure your starting point regarding self-reported disability. Howard Vernon developed a tool called the Neck Disability Index (NDI) in 1989. The NDI has become one of the standard evaluations for measuring disability due to neck pain and is used by both healthcare professionals and researchers. There are just 10 questions, and answers for each are scored from 0 to 5. The maximum possible score is 50.

You can see a copy of my own NDI report. Note my moderately high frequency of headaches (a recent resurgence since peri-menopause).

Bookmark the link to the Neck Disability Index and complete the evaluation before you begin my headache protocol and every month along the way, to objectively measure your progress in terms of disability.

Cervicogenic Headache Protocol

I’ve created an entire online course to help you treat your own cervicogenic headaches effectively; and I’ve also extracted a mini version for you here, which consists of 5 steps:

  1. Neck Disability Index: Complete the NDI before you progress through this protocol.
  2. Neck X-Rays: Have a cervical series of x-rays taken through your doctor or directly from your Chiropractor. Many Chiropractors have their own on-site digital facility, as I did. The standard series is Cervical AP (front to back) and Cervical Lateral (side view) and often APOM (an open mouth view to visualise the first two vertebrae C1 and C2). If in doubt as to why you need an neck x-ray to proceed, please refer back to the section Cause above and review the third cause, trauma.
  3. Range of Motion: Review the section above on signs and symptoms of cervicogenic headache. Reduced range of motion is almost always present in the neck of someone with cervicogenic headache. Whether or not the lost movement is the cause or the effect isn’t clear, but I stand by the need for increasing your cervical range of motion.
  4. Trigger Points: Myo-fascial trigger points, also known as muscle knots, are painful spots in the fascia (connective tissue) surrounding the muscle. Trigger points in the neck and shoulders are commonly associated with referred pain in the head. Refer back to signs and symptoms above. Recall that manual pressure applied to the affected neck area producing headache strongly suggests cervical involvement. So although self-applied trigger point therapy might initially bring on a headache (please use with caution); the idea is that regular administration, will lead to a reduced frequency and/or severity of cervicogenic headache.
  5. Stretch: After range of motion exercises and trigger point work, it is crucial you stretch your neck to elongate the muscles out to their full length. Although stretching as a treatment is going out of style, I still find it immensely beneficial and stretching often reduces or eliminates my headache on the spot!

It probably works about the same way that stretching out a calf cramp works: you win the tug-of-war with the spasming muscle. Paul Ingraham

If you enroll in my How to Get Rid of Headache and Migraine, I know it will help you. In the course you find out everything I know about headaches and learn the actual exercises and techniques I’ve used so successfully to treat my own chronic headache pain for over two decades. These exercises have the potential to alleviate even the most chronic of headaches. Not only do I cover my top seven self-treatment techniques, but I also teach you how to rule out worrying red flags, give you several ergonomic best practices and share with you the top three researched methods for outsourcing headache treatment.

If you don’t enroll, the Cervicogenic Headache Protocol above will be an excellent place to begin.

Resources:

  1. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6b12/e55353802b0802526da5c55ec153cd95a657.pdf%20art
  2. https://clinicalgate.com/cervicogenic-headache/
  3. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fa07/dac287ce63485bbf4c1b5c7fad5da3d2e458.pdf

Reverse Neck Curve – What Causes a Cervical Kyphosis? | Posture Doctor

When the neck curve kinks the wrong way, it pushes the head forward. With the head pushed forward, the lower spine is more prominent and vulnerable.

If you know you have forward head posture and also a hump on the back on your neck, you may benefit from x-ray investigation to rule out a reversed neck curve, also known as cervical kyphosis. When the neck curve kinks the wrong way, it pushes the head forward. With the head pushed forward, the lower spine is more prominent and vulnerable.

Some of my posture pupils complain about fatty neck hump and explain that it has a hard bony feel to it. What they are often feeling, is the kinked region of the neck. If this structural deviation has been there long enough, the body may lay down fat, in an effort to protect the spine – or at least that’s the way I like to simplify and explain a complicated process to my students.

If you’ve suffered long term symptoms that may include: headaches, stiff and/or painful neck, dizziness, arm and hand tingling or numbness, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, round shoulders, teeth clenching, TMJ dysfunction or anxiety, and you’ve had any sort of past trauma that might have affected your neck – car accident (over 20mph) , a fall from a height as a child, off a horse, out of a swing, down a flight of stairs – you may find this video relevant.



Further Resources: Forward Head Posture: Cause & Cure

Spinal Anomalies (Like This) Can Cause Forward Head Posture | Posture Doctor

Congenital vertebral anomalies are malformations of the spine that you are born with. In some cases these spinal defects can deform the alignment of your spine affecting your posture, spinal cord and health and well-being.

Congenital vertebral anomalies are malformations of the spine that you are born with. In some cases these spinal defects can deform the alignment of your spine affecting your posture, spinal cord and health and well-being.



Forward Head Posture >> Learn More

Hump Back | Neck Hump, Buffalo Hump, Dowager’s Hump or Kyphosis?

One very common euphemism is to call a neck hump a buffalo hump. I prefer the term neck hump, but they do mean the same thing; except the hump on an actual Buffalo consists of about 70 Ib of muscle used to move snow!

There are a lot of euphemisms used in medicine. I find euphemisms, when it comes to our health, patronizing.

I think my patients can handle the truth, so I don’t intentionally soften my words to ease a diagnosis. 

One very common euphemism is to call a neck hump a buffalo hump. I prefer the term neck hump, but they do mean the same thing; except the hump on an actual Buffalo consists of about 70 Ib of muscle used to move snow! The neck humps on humans – if due to a structural change in the neck – consist of fatty tissue not muscle. So the correct euphemism for neck hump is Buffalo hump, but I just don’t like it!

Further ResourcesThe Top 25 Posture Blogs to Follow in 2018



Back To School – How to Improve Your Child’s Posture

Recently, taking a little look around, I’m shocked by the postures I am seeing in our youth. Do your kids have mobile phones and tablets? How many hours a day do they spend using them?

Recently, taking a little look around, I’m shocked by the postures I am seeing in our youth. Do your kids have mobile phones and tablets? How many hours a day do they spend using them?

Many of these kids and young adults may already have Text Neck. How’s your own posture by the way?

What is text neck?


Just take a look around you. How many people do you see staring down at their phones? Our modern lifestyle means we spend several hours a day (minimum) with our necks bent forward and down staring at our smartphones and computer screens. By doing so, we increase the weight of our heads dramatically, causing extreme pressure on our necks.


Related >> How to hold your phone and avoid Text Neck


Over time, the nerves in the neck are continually put under great stress and tension, leading to significant health risks like chronic headaches, fatigue, spine degeneration and even depression and anxiety! So, in celebration of back-to-school,  teach your slouchy teen how to tuck their chin!



Related >> Text Neck – How to avoid neck pain, fix Text Neck and improve your posture

Fix Your Head Posture – Ergonomic Tips | Posture Doctor

When the organs are robbed in this way of their nutritive juice” – think slumped over and compressing the abdominal organs and diaphragm – “indigestion, severe flatulence, pallor, and emaciation of the whole body result” and we “… gradually become melancholic.”

Do you have tips on using a laptop and the best way to hold your head?

Yes I do – a lot of them! But let’s keep this simple and focus today just on the head and neck. When I talk about posture, you may already know that I’m not a huge fan of ‘best position’ or expensive ergonomic furniture. The last thing I want you to do, is to become comfortable in your office chair!

Ergonomics


Bernardino Ramazzini, an Italian Physician born in 1633, was probably best known for his book on occupational diseases (I have a leather bound collector’s addition – geek alert). Ramazzini talks about ‘Diseases of Learned Men’, which I think is brilliant! What he is referring to, are diseases that result from a sedentary, desk-based lifestyle.

Ramazzini warns us that prolonged sitting leads to: “… intense strain on the nerve fibres and the whole nervous system when one is engaged in profound study … when the organs are robbed in this way of their nutritive juice” – think slumped over and compressing the abdominal organs and diaphragm – “indigestion, severe flatulence, pallor, and emaciation of the whole body result” and we “… gradually become melancholic.”

So even 400 years ago, we understood that prolonged sitting and the resulting postures of our desk-based lives, lead to an overall decline in both physical and mental health. Is it any wonder we live for Fridays?!

Forward Head Posture


When we sit for long periods of time, we take on fixed postures. Our tired eyes pull us closer to the screen, and our arms and hands, busy out in front of us, begin to round our shoulders and upper back, while our head travels forward – not a pretty sight.

Over time, the front chest muscles become short and tight, and the upper back muscles long and weak, making it very challenging to sit long and tall. In time, we may also start to notice declining health and vitality.

Further Resources: Chest Opener – Best exercise for round shoulders


Active Sitting


Not everyone has or wants a standing desk and prolonged standing comes with its own set of problems. I prefer recommending something I call active sitting.

When we sit, we can once again learn to fidget and wiggle; much like we did when we were school aged. If you watch a child sitting down at the dinner table, it’s as if they have ants in their pants. This is a good thing!

A child’s neurology is developing and their central nerve system knows that movement is magic.

I am a big fan of desk-based sitting exercises. You can check out a few of these exercises in my online course: Sit Less Move More – Office desk exercise to improve posture.


The Ergonomic 3s!


Although I don’t have an expensive office set up, I do slightly elevate my laptop using a laptop support – there are a ton of cheap options. You’ll want to elevate your laptop high enough to keep your head from travelling forward and down.

Keeping the middle of the computer screen level with the eyes, is a good rule of thumb. Use a wireless keyboard and find a nice puffy bean bag wrist support (aka mouse cushion, wrist rest, wrist cushion – find on Amazon, Staples or Best Buy) and you are ready to go.

Update


I now use a sit/stand desk. You can check out my standing tips below.



Have you tried standing for work? Hate it or love it? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Lump On Back Of Neck – What is This Ugly Hump?

If this structural deviation has been there long enough, the vertebral discs may begin to thin, the bony vertebrae may begin to develop spurs and the joints may hypertrophy (grow larger). These are all signs of osteoarthritis.

Do you wear high collars to hide the unattractive lump on the back of your neck? What is this ugly fatty neck lump? How did you get it and how can you get rid of it?

Post updated September, 2018


In this post I am discussing the fatty neck lump that develops due to Forward Head Posture (fhp). Fhp is best described as the forward position of the head, relative to the shoulders.

Neck lumps


There are many other possible causes of neck lumps that I am not making reference to here: The fatty lipoma, the goitre, lymph nodes and cysts, to name but a few. 



Cervical kyphosis


If you know your head leans too far forward and you also have a lump of fatty tissue on the back on your neck, you may benefit from x-ray investigation, to rule out a reversed spinal neck curve, called as cervical kyphosis.

When the neck curve kinks the wrong way, it pushes the head forward. When the head is pushed forward, the lower neck (and spine) become more prominent and vulnerable and the body may lay down fat, in an effort to protect this region – or at least that’s the way I like to simplify and explain a complicated process.

Resources: 2nd Opinion For X-Rays

Some people with a fatty neck hump, notice a hard bony feel underneath the fat. What they are feeling, is the kinked region of the neck – the bony vertebra that are more prominent and closer to the surface.

If this structural deviation has been there long enough, the vertebral discs may begin to thin, the bony vertebrae may begin to develop spurs and the joints may hypertrophy (grow larger). These are all signs of osteoarthritis.

Signs & symptoms


If you’ve suffered long term symptoms that may include: headaches, stiff and/or painful neck, dizziness, arm and hand tingling or numbness, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, round shoulders, teeth clenching, TMJ dysfunction or anxiety, and you’ve had any sort of past trauma that might have affected your neck – car accident, fall from a height, off a horse, a tumble in the playground, off your bicycle, physical violence, fall down a flight of stairs etc., you may find this video relevant:



Further Resources: Fatty Neck Hump: How to get rid of the fat at the top of your back

Is Your Migraine Masquerading as a Treatable Sinus Headache?

Could your sinus headache be masquerading as migraine? If it is, I have the 5-minute headache cure to prove it – but be warned, this is messy!

Could your sinus headache be masquerading as migraine? If it is, I have the 5-minute headache cure to prove it – but be warned, this is messy!

Post Updated September, 2018

Nearly 30 million people suffer from migraine in the United States. Migraines are intensely painful headaches often felt on one side of the head and behind one eye.

If you’ve ever been afflicted with headaches – as I was before I corrected my horrible forward head posture – you’d probably try anything to relieve the pain!

Recently, following a busy day in practice (25 client treatments), I finished work late and tired. I returned home and had a bit of an unhealthy binge – chips with hummus, bacon sandwich and two small glasses of white wine. That is a very naughty dinner for me.

I went to bed around late (around midnight) with a mild headache. I woke shortly after 3am with a real cracker of a headache. I downed some water from my bedside table, assuming I had a mini hangover (I’m a bit of an alcohol lightweight).

My headache didn’t improve and I couldn’t sleep. At 8am I dragged my tired achy body out of bed and discovered that being upright eased my headache to some degree.

Sinus self treatment


I began to massage my sinuses and shoulders. That gave temporary relief, but the headache was creeping up in scale. I made a strawberry and banana smoothie, wondering if my blood sugars were low. Again, this provided only mild relief.

I’m not afraid of pain but find it interests me. Thanks to a mother (nurse) who rarely medicated us as children. Thank you mum!

By this time the pain behind my right eye and across my forehead was quite substantial – what I believe many would interpret as a migraine headache. I was quite sure I had a sinus headache because applying pressure to my sinuses gave me some relief.

Like any good natural health-obsessed geek, I began to research the sinus headache. Looking at a computer with a stinking headache is definitely NOT something I recommend.

In my research, I stumbled across: Why Alcohol Causes Sinus Congestion on the popular Livestrong blog. If you don’t fancy the research, it’s the histamine in red and white wine that causes inflammation in your sinuses. Bingo! Let’s take a look at some common sinus irritants.

Sinus irritants


1. Wine – My mother asked me once (this is relevant to my story), where I keep the Kleenex and I told her, I don’t have any tissues in the house, because I never blow my nose. The look on her face was priceless! I come from a family of morning honkers. 

2. Pets – My sister might do well removing her Newfoundland dog from their bedroom at night. It’s a dog’s saliva and dander, not really the fur, that’s problematic. An air purifier could help.

3. Bedding Fabric – Don’t forget to check the fabric of your bedding. You should look for fabrics that uses a small micron number. Small numbers mean the weave is tight and harder for dust mites to penetrate. No more than 4-5 microns, but ideally two.

Nasal Irrigation

In my quest to solve the mystery of my cracking headache, I came upon a great article on saline nasal irrigation. Essentially, you flush out the stagnant sinuses using a warm salt water flush. Sea salt is recommended and a dash of baking soda, so it doesn’t sting.

Well, it certainly wasn’t painful – just weird and very snotty (sorry but true). Make sure you have loads of tissues close by. Keep your mouth open or you’ll swallow the salt solution and all the mucous. I forgot to keep my mouth open – I learned the hard way.



If your headache is more right-sided then pour into the left nostril to clear out the right side; but you should really do both sides several times.

Neti Pot

Use a Neti Pot; they are really easy – and many of these pots (like the one in my video above) come with packages of the exact amount of salt solution you need. My pot had 50 sachets included!

You can use just about anything with a pouring spout – syringe, measuring cup. It really doesn’t matter what you choose; just make sure it’s clean (sterile) – give it a good wash out with boiling water first.

After the flush, my migraine was immediately 60% better. Wow! One hour later, my headache was 85% better! From someone who never blows their nose, I’ll be buying some Kleenex for the next time I use my Neti Pot!

So if you have a headache that you think is a migraine and you feel some pressure in your sinuses, maybe you should give nasal irrigation a try. And do let me know, if it eases your headache.

Did your migraine improve? Go away completely after nasal irrigation? I’d love to know how many had a sinus headache masquerading as a migraine. Do share …

The 3 Most Unattractive Postures and How to Avoid Them

Your health and body posture speak volumes about you. How symmetrical you are has been shown to affect perceived attractiveness. Not only do you look more attractive with upright posture but you feel more attractive.

Artists and architects have tried to measure attractiveness in terms of mathematical proportions. Science tells us that symmetry plays a vital role in our perceptions of attractiveness and perhaps this is because symmetry implies we are healthy.

Post updated September, 201

The position of your body (your posture) affects the position of your spine. Symmetry is crucial to good posture. When your body alignment begins to stray from our symmetrical ideal, there are uneven loads placed on your body. These stresses and strains can lead to pain, muscle strain, arthritis, ill-health and an unattractive appearance.

Symmetry


Good symmetry (good posture) allows your body tissues to respond well to stress from gravity and other daily activities. When you lose this symmetrical balance (bad posture), the stresses and strains lead to spinal degeneration, poor health and lost confidence.

Here are three of the most unattractive postures and what you should do to avoid them:

Forward Head 


Forward head posture is a problem associated with lifestyle and particularly, our desk-based mobile lives. If you jut your chin forward as far as you can and then try to take a deep breath in, you will find it very difficult.

It is very hard to breathe maximally with your head forward, and this forward head position reduced your vital lung capacity – your ability to take in oxygen. Over time, forward head posture causes neck pain, headaches, brain fog and for some, chronic fatigue.

If you suspect you have forward head posture, you might benefit from having having a Posture Analysis and learning to perform a basic chin tuck.



Slouching 


Slouching posture, aka iposture is all about habit and lifestyle – the bags we carry, the hours we spend sitting, our office ergonomics, video games and social media. Perhaps this is why standing desks are trending big time!

Slouching is often the direct result of prolonged sitting and as Martha Grogan, cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, warns: Sitting is the new smoking!

For me, a daily dose of Posturecise is the answer. Not into daily routines? Well you really need to be, because studies on sitting are beginning to show us that sitting more than 11 hours a day, increases risk of dying by 40% – Yikes!

Neck hump


I see a lot of this type of posture. The neck hump is the fatty lump of tissue found over the vertebrae located at the base of the neck. It is usually associated with feelings of self-consciousness, as the hump is often noticeable to others.

The causes of neck hump include trauma – particularly car accidents resulting in a reversed neck curve – obesity, some medications, hormones and forward head posture. 

Neck Hump

If you have a noticeable fatty neck hump, you should really make an appointment to see your healthcare provider and/or contact the Posture Doctor.

I have found the majority of neck hump that I have seen in private practice, are due to past traumas. When neck x-rays are available, the diagnosis becomes clear – often a reversed neck curve.

Don’t be afraid to ask for an x-ray. If you do have a reversed neck curve, you need to know! Unless you rehabilitate the underlying structural alignment, the neck hump will never go away.

Further Resources: Neck Hump – Get rid of the fat at the top of your back

Your health and body posture speak volumes about you. How symmetrical you are has been shown to affect perceived attractiveness. Not only do you look more attractive with upright posture but you feel more attractive.

It is never too late to start improving your posture but the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to make a significant change.

Don’t wait – start today!

Forward Head Posture – When To Get X-Rays

The only reliable means for determining the cause of your forward head posture, is an x-ray. Your practitioner can not, under any circumstance guess the cause of forward head posture with only a physical examination.

Considering the head gains 10 pounds in weight for every inch of forward head posture, it is hardly surprising that your neck and shoulders ache considering you are carrying a watermelon around on top of your shoulders, now is it?

When the head moves forward (forward head posture) our center of gravity moves forward causing an increase in the muscle effort in the back of the neck and upper back. 

But is your forward head posture capable of making you sick? What are the health implications of this type of posture?

Rene Cailliet, an American born physician of French ancestry, was one of the pioneers in physical rehabilitation and is well known for his books on musculoskeletal medicine. 

You can realign your entire body by moving your head … your head held in a forward position can pull your entire body out of line.  Rene Cailliet

He goes on to explain that the vital lung capacity is reduced as much as 30% with forward head posture.

Forward head posture also causes compression in the upper neck joints (which causes pain and irritation). In order to prevent your forward head from falling toward your chest, your muscles sustain continual contraction, which causes nerve entrapment and artery compression. It isn’t hard to see that there exists the potential for neurological and vascular complications as a result of forward head posture.

What causes forward head?


There are many causes of forward head posture and they all require a different treatment approach for best results.

  • Shyness & lost confidence
  • Trauma (causing changes to your ideal neck curve)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Hyper-kyphosis from Osteoporosis and other spinal conditions
  • Poor posture habits (long-term slouching)

When to x-ray?


By the time forward head posture becomes a confidence issue, it may already be significant. Forward head posture can be improved with a simple chin tuck but, and this is an extremely important but, the type of exercise that is appropriate, should be determined from the cause.

The only reliable means for determining the cause of your forward head posture, is an x-ray. Your practitioner can not, under any circumstance guess the cause of forward head posture with only a physical examination. Because the type of exercises and rehabilitation will differ, depending on the underlying cause of your forward head posture, it is essential to have an x-ray before treatment and/or rehab begins. This, unfortunately is not the typical approach I see in health-care today.



If you’ve already had treatment or exercises for your forward head posture and see no change in your appearance and still have pain, you may need a structural diagnosis and this you obtain through x-ray analysis.

If you think you have forward head posture, I’d love your comments on this – drop them in the comments box below.