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Neck Exercise for Forward Head Posture

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Updated March 24, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Many people fear they will develop a hunchback as they age. This type of posture problem, known as kyphosis, can be seen as a rounded upper back. Kyphosis is usually accompanied by another posture problem called forward head position. When your shoulders round over, your head repositions so that you’re looking downward. Then to be able to see, you automatically lift your head. The result may be a strained neck and pain.

This posture awareness exercise will help you learn how to get your head lined up with your shoulders.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 2 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Sit on a level, firm surface, or stand. Place your index finger in the area where your nose meets the top of your top lip. (The side of your index finger should be placed against that nose-upper lip junction.) This is the level where your head sits on the top vertebra of your neck.
  2. Gently push your finger back and a little up. As you do this, let your head follow. It's as though your finger is guiding and your head follows. Direction is important so make sure your finger guides your head back-up. Keep your chin down as you move. Pay attention to the sensation of the movement. Not only does this little action help develop awareness of the how your head sits on top of your neck, it also helps traction your spine. (This should feel good).
  3. To further increase your neck posture awareness, repeat the exercise as far as you can go (without pain). Release back to a balanced position.
  4. Repeat the neck exercise again, but this time only go part way. Relax and come back to a balanced position.

Tips:

  1. Remember that this is an awareness exercise, not a strengthening exercise. It should be done gently.
  2. Awareness developed by doing this exercise may enhance your neck strengthening program.
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