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How much does your head weigh?

How much does your head weigh?


Anterior head carriage: Do you have Anterior Head Syndrome?

Anterior head carriage or syndrome (AHS) is a very common problem in today’s society. It occurs when the head moves forward in relation to the body. Our heads should be centered over our bodies with our ears falling in line with our shoulders. All other positions cause increased stress on our spines and the muscles surrounding it. The average human head was a impresisve 14lbs alone. Studies show that for every one inch our heads move forward they gain weight by 10 lbs due to gravitational forces. Typically individuals have over two inches of AHS. This means the muscles in their neck and upper back are trying to hold up over 34 lbs!. This all leads to pain and discomfort in our upper back and neck and very often tension type headaches. The major cause for this AHS being so prevalent is the large amount of time we spend sitting in front of our computers. Look around your office next time and observe people as they work on their computers, where is their head? More often than not it’s in front of their bodies. Because we spend so much time in front of our computers we actually begin to structurally change the shape of our neck and our spine. We have a natural curve in the spine in our neck and as our head moves forward – this curve is straightened out. This straightening of the curve is bad and will lead to pain, discomfort, and earlier degeneration of our spines. Learning to sit with your head centered over your shoulders is not easy but will decrease the overall muscular tension being experienced.

Do you have Anterior Head Syndrome?

Test to see how much AHS you have. Stand with your back against a wall and see how much space is between the back of your head and the wall. If your head is centered over your body you will have very little space if any. You can evaluate your friends and family by standing at their side and drawing an imaginary line from their ears down their body. The ear should line up right over the shoulder. The amount the ear is in front of the line indicates the amount of AHS you have. If you find you do have AHS work on correcting this by doing head retractions periodically throughout the day. While sitting upright move your head backwards without extending or flexing your neck. Think of it as giving yourself a double chin. Initially this will feel very awkward but over time you will become more comfortable with it and you will start to feel what position your head should be in. Do this every hour 10 times. If you ever experience any abnormal symptoms or excessive pain do not perform them and get evaluated by a doctor of chiropractic.

Ergonomics are a big contributor:

Ensure your monitor is set up at the proper height. The top of your monitor should be at the level of your eyebrows. This will ensure you are not looking down which will lead to further AHS. If you use a laptop make a small investment and get yourself an external keyboard and mouse. Put the laptop on some books or a box so it is at the proper level.  Never sit on your couch and use your laptop for extended periods of time. This again will only lead to increased AHS, which will lead to increased muscle tension and headaches.

To receive a free ergonomic handout click the link below to email us and we will send you one right away!
We are here to help:

If you are still struggling with headaches and haven’t found any real relief I encourage you to make a consultation with my office to learn how we can safely and effectively help you. By having a chiropractic evaluation we can let you know what the cause for your headaches is and help you. If it turns out that spinal fixations are contributing to your headaches only a doctor of chiropractic is trained to detect this and correct it. Along with chiropractic treatment you will be advised in better posture techniques to help decrease associated muscle tension and thereby reduce your headaches.

Thank you for your time!

Dr. David Oliver
Move Well Chiropractic