Corrective Exercises for Anterior Head Syndrome
These exercises, coupled with treatment at our practice, will help reduce Anterior Head Syndrome (AHS) which is typically found on the side view of the BioStructural Examination.
This exercise can be done in any corner of a room; however, for best results is recommended to perform after a shower which allows warm water to help relax your chest and shoulder musculature.
Frequency: 3 reps (minimum), daily
Duration: 20-30 seconds each rep
With elbows placed securely against adjacent walls:
- slowly lean toward the corner with your chest/sternum/breastbone
- extend your head as far back as comfortable
- let gravity do all the work and try to relax
Start position: place your arms in a “goal-post” position
Elbows at shoulder height and bent to 90 degrees. Arms should be completely parallel and in-line with your body. Place each elbow against adjacent walls in an open corner.
Finish position: elbows should remain in the same location on the wall, let your chest lean toward corner with head leaning back (looking at the ceiling).
It is ok if your hands start to tingle or become slightly numb; continued performance of this exercise will eliminate this sensation after a few days when the muscles are properly stretched. Let your doctor know if you experience this sensation.
Stop immediately and discontinue the exercise if you experience any sharp pain in the arms or hands. Again, inform your doctor if this happens to you.
Traffic Light Push
As the name indicates, this exercise should be performed at red lights after your vehicle comes to a complete stop.
If you do not often travel by motor vehicle this can be done against a wall as was demonstrated during your initial visit.
Duration: until the light turns green
Load: 20% max strength
As soon as your vehicle is safely stopped at a red light:
- Push your head against the seat’s head rest
- Push back while simultaneously trying to look up (with your head, not your eyes)
- Push with approximately 20% of your neck and upper back strength. Your head should not move (the headrest will prevent movement)
Start position: Seated all the way back in a car seat
Finished Position: When the light turns green relax and drive safely. Repeat the above directions at the next (and every) red light you stop at.
Why is this So Important?
Anterior Head Syndrome (AHS) is a strong indication that normal cervical curvature (lordosis) has been compromised. This can be due to varying factors such as frequently looking down at electronic devices and/or books, improper sleeping positions, abnormal developmental milestones as a young child (not crawling long enough), whiplash injuries, or significant falls, just to name a few.
AHS places abnormal pressure on the discs of the spine and causes increased tension in the muscles of the upper back and neck. If AHS is not corrected, overtime it will lead to DDD, OA, decreased Range of Motion (↓ROM), and chronic pain. These secondary conditions are preventable with regular chiropractic care and slight modifications to your daily routine.
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