This week’s blog article is going over a study done looking at neck pain patients and standing forward head posture when compared to health control subjects without neck pain. The patients with neck pain were matched for age and sex to control subjects with neck pain. The study was presented in 2008 to the World Congress of Pain. The methods the authors used to measure standing forward head posture was to look at the angle between horizontal and a line from the C7 vertebrae to the tragus of the ear. In the example image below, the angle "B" is the number we are looking at. The smaller the angle is, then the more forward the head posture is. They also looked at neck extension but the findings were not statistically significant.
When looking at forward head posture and neck pain, one of the interesting things the authors found was that it is age dependent. The authors finish the paper by stating that further research is needed into this topic and a study design should be done taking age into account. They found that the results were far more significant for the population under the age of 50. The results of their study supported the authors hypothesis that patients with neck pain have more standing forward head posture than those without neck pain.
Since this study was released back in 2008, there have been some changes in technology and the clinical utilization of it. One of the flaws the authors found was that even though there was a significant relationship between standing forward head posture and neck pain in the younger population group, there may be some issues with whether clinicians can accurately determine forward head posture. Based on the angles they used to measure SFHP, there was a 5.7-degree average difference in neck pain patients compared to healthy subjects. They questioned whether 5.7 degrees could be verified by the current techniques used at that time to examine posture. Currently there are programs out there such as Posture Ray and Posture Screen that we use to accurately and repeatedly measure posture.
We use these tools at Complete Health Chiropractic – Littleton in order to offer patients with neck pain answers, but more importantly a treatment plan to correct any issues. We are the first clinic in the South Denver metro to offer true correction of not only forward head posture, but also other postural issues. We opened a year ago and the word is getting out that we are getting results. If you have neck pain, headaches (or migraines), pain that goes into your arm or shoulder, don’t hesitate to book an appointment today. There is a solution for pain that is NOT opioids and we offer it at our clinic in Littleton. Chiropractic BioPhysics technique and Ideal Spine non-profit have over 160 peer reviewed research in the index medicus. This number continues to grow each year as this technique continues to attract more and more physicians that want to offer their patients superior results. Call or visit our scheduling page to have your spine and posture assessed at Complete Health Chiropractic - Littleton.
Silva, A. G., MSc, Punt, T. D., PhD, Sharples, P., MSc, Vilas-Boas, J. P., PhD, & Johnson, M. I., PhD. (2009). Head Posture and Neck Pain of Chronic Nontraumatic Origin: A Comparison Between Patients and Pain-Free Persons. Archive of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90(4), 669-674. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2008.10.018