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Why it's so Important to Keep Your Head on Straight

Proper spinal alignment not only prevents spinal degeneration, but also, and more importantly, removes damaging nerve and spinal cord pressure.  Due to the fact that your nervous system controls everything in your body, removing this interference will lead to optimal function of every system in your body.


Unfortunately, the effects of gravity, poor posture, the weight of the head, and past trauma will cause neck and skull misplacement, leading to “Forward Head Syndrome”.  In other words, your chin is out in front of your shoulders and chest.  This leads to pathological tension on the spinal cord and brain stem.


According to the Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Southern California, Dr. Rene Cailliet, M.D.:

  1. Incorrect head positioning leads to improper spinal function.
  2. The head in forward posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine.
  3. Forward head posture results in loss of vital lung capacity.  In fact, lung capacity is depleted by as much as 30 percent.  Loss of lung capacity leads to heart and blood vascular problems.
  4. The entire gastrointestinal system is affected, particularly the large intestine.  Loss of good bowel peristaltic function and evacuation is a common condition that comes with forward head posture and loss of spinal lordotic curves (the “C” shape that your neck is supposed to have).
  5. Forward head posture causes an increase in discomfort and pain.  Freedom of motion in the first four cervical vertebrae is a major source of stimulation that causes production of endorphins. Otherwise, many non-painful sensations would be experienced as pain.
  6. Forward head posture causes loss of healthy spine-body motion.  The entire body becomes rigid as the range of motion lessens.  Soon, one becomes hunched.


The most important thing to understand is that taking pain killers or having surgery for the resulting effects will not resolve forward head posture.  The only way it can be corrected is by adjusting the involved cervical vertebrae, correcting any imbalances in posture, and rehabilitating the musculature.



Dr. Pierre Paradis is a Chiropractor in Kanata, Ontario.  He is a Certified Maximized Living Mentor and is the co-owner of Hazeldean Family Chiropractic Clinic in Kanata, Ontario, which has won the Kanata Kourier-Standard Reader’s Choice award for 2009, 2010, 2011, as well as the Ottawa West Magazine Reader’s Choice Award for 2011.