• Head in forward posture can add up to thirtypounds of abnormal leverage on the cervicalspine. This can pull the entire spine out of alignment.• Forward head posture (FHP) may result inthe loss of 30% of vital lung capacity. Thesebreath-related effects are primarily due to theloss of the cervical lordosis which blocks theaction of the hyoid muscles, especially theinferior hyoid responsible for helping lift therst rib during inhalation.
The 42 Pound Head 83
• Proper rib lifting action by the hyoids andanterior scalenes is essential for completeaeration of the lungs
• The entire gastrointestinal system(particularly the large intestine) may becomeagitated from FHP resulting in sluggish bowelperistaltic function and evacuation.
Cailliet also states:
“Most attempts to correct posture are directed toward the spine, shouldersand pelvis. All are important, but, head positiontakes precedence over all others. The body fol-lows the head. Therefore, the entire body is best aligned by rst restoring proper functional align-ment to the head”.
Of course, the effects of poor posture go far beyond just looking awkward. In fact, the Janu-ary, 2004 issue of the American Journal of PainManagement reported on the relationship of poor posture and chronic pain conditions including lowback pain, neck related headaches, and stress-related illnesses. “The extra pressure imposed onthe neck from poor posture attens the normalcervical curve resulting in abnormal strain onmuscles, ligaments, fascia and bones.”
Research presented at the 2009 Annual Inter-national Conference of the IEEE EMBS stated:
“Over time poor posture results in pain, muscleaches, tension and headache and can lead tolong term complications such as osteoarthritis.Forward head carriage may promote accelerated aging of intervertebral joints resulting in degen-erative joint disease.”
It appears posture impacts and modulates allbodily functions from breathing to hormonalproduction. Spinal pain, headache, mood, bloodpressure, pulse and lung capacity are among themany conditions inuenced by faulty posture.
Rene Cailliet M.D., formerdirector of the departmentof physical medicineand rehabilitation at theUniversity of SouthernCalifornia wrote:
Fig. 2 - Hyoids & Anterior Scalenes