Forward head posture correction

Got neck pain? Correcting a Forward head posture may completely eliminate all of your pain.

forward head posture
Upon reviewing several clients with persistent neck, upper back and shoulder pain, the most common characteristic shared among all of them – a Forward Head Posture.



What is a Forward head posture?

A Forward head posture is where the position of the head is in front of the mid line of the body.

(Ideally – the ear canal should be aligned with the mid line of the torso.)

It is also referred to as:

  • Poked neck
  • Forward head carriage
  • Chicken head posture
  • Text neck

What causes a Forward head posture?

It’s all about your habits.

Think about how you sit.

Are you sitting up tall?…. Or are you let your head poke forward? 

If I were to guess, I would probably say the latter.

The body will get used to the positions you choose to place it in.

Over time – certain muscles will tend to weaken and others get tight.

This eventuates to the forward position of the head.

Muscles responsible:

The following muscles result in upper cervical extension and lower cervical flexion.

Tight muscles:

muscles responsible for a forward head posture

  • Anterior/middle scalenes
  • Sternocleidomastoid
  • Sub-occipital muscles
  • Upper cervical extensors

Weak muscles:

  • Deep neck flexors
  • Lower cervical extensors

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How do you know if you have a Forward head posture?

a) Method 1:

forward head posture

Instructions:

  • Place your back completely flat against the wall.
    • Make sure your bottom, lower back and shoulders are in contact with the wall.
    • The back of your heels do not have to be touching the wall.
  • Whilst standing in this position, does the back of your head naturally come in contact with the wall? 
    • (Do not look up or over arch your lower back).

Results:

If the back of your head does not naturally come into contact with the wall, then you have tested positive for the Forward head posture.


b) Method 2:

  • Get someone to take a side profile photo of yourself.
  • Draw a line down the mid line of your torso.
    • Keep in mind that your torso may not completely be vertical.
  • Draw a line from your ear canal.
    • This line should be parallel to the mid line of the torso.

Results:

If the line from the ear canal is in front of the line of the torso, then you have a Forward head posture.


What problems can it lead to?

Did you know that for every inch that your head protrudes forward from its normal alignment, you add ~10 extra pounds of force on your neck.

… That’s a lot of pressure on your neck muscles and joints!

223dd

A Forward head posture may be the main reason for tension, stiffness or pain in your neck.

If left untreated, these symptoms will not only worsen over time, your head may continue to translate forwards resulting in an unflattering hunched appearance.

It may also predispose you to:

  • Muscular tightness
  • Premature joint degeneration
  • Nerve impingement
  • Disc issues
Is your work station causing your forward head posture?:

How to correct a Forward Head Posture

All exercises are designed to be gentle and pain free.

If you are unsure of anything, feel free to join me on the Facebook page!


Recommendation:

You need to do the following exercises at least once a day to see any significant benefit. It should take you roughly 20-30 minutes to complete properly.


1. Neck releases

Suboccipital

There is a group of muscles which get very tight underneath the base of your skull (see above: X marks the spot).

These muscles are required to be loosened up before we can correct the position of your head.

If you have pain in the neck, it is likely that you may experience a sense of heaviness or tenderness in this particular area.

These muscles are usually over active in people with a forward head posture and can be responsible for symptoms such as dizziness or headaches.

a) Sub-Occipital release

Massage balls (or anything of the similar shape) make a great tool to release this area.

Forward head posture exercises

Instructions:

  • Place the ball under your head as to press into the areas underneath the base of the skull.
  • Practice rotating your head from side to side to emphasize certain areas.
  • Generally speaking, if it hurts, you are on the right area.
  • Aim to get a solid 2-3 minutes of this.
  • Do both sides.

Alternatively: If you do not have a massage ball, you can apply pressure to the same areas by pressing in with your thumbs.


Note: If you start to feel dizzy or your pain gets significantly worse, apply less pressure on the neck as you may not be used to the exercise yet.


b) Sternocleidomastoid release

scm release

Instructions:

  • Locate the target areas. (Sternocleidomastoid)
  • You should be able to feel a prominent band of muscle on each side of the neck.
  • Do not to press too deep as you may hit other sensitive structures of the neck.
  • Gently massage these muscles with a pinch grip.
  • Duration: 1 minute each side.

2. Neck stretches

a) Sub-occipital

neck stretch back

Instructions:

  • Gently tuck your chin in.
  • Look down.
  • With your hands at the back of your head, pull your head down.
  • Aim to feel the stretch at the back of your middle/upper neck.
  • Hold for a minimum for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

b) The “Car seat” stretch

Instructions:

  • Sit down on a chair that has a head support.
    • (The car seat is perfect for this!)
  • Gently lean your neck into the head support.
    • Aim to get as much contact between the back of your neck and the head piece.
  • Tuck your chin in and gently nod your head downwards.
    • “Elongate the back of your neck.”
  • Aim to feel a stretch at the back of the neck.
  • Hold at every red light traffic stop.

c) Anterior scalene

Instructions:

  • Look up and rotate your head to the side.
  • Place your hand on the collar bone on the opposite side to which you have rotated to.
  • Pull the skin on the collar bone downwards.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Alternate sides.
  • Repeat 2 times.

d) Middle scalene

Instructions:

  • Tilt your head to the side (Ear to the shoulder).
  • Place your hand on the side of your head and apply a gentle pressure.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Alternate sides.
  • Repeat 2 times.

3. Chin tucks

Now that those tight neck muscles are released, we can start to strengthen the muscles that are responsible for maintaining the correct position of the head.

a) Chin tuck

chintuck

Instructions:

  • Whilst sitting upright, gently tuck your chin in as to make a double chin.
    • (Yes , I know it feels weird and looks odd, but I guarantee you that the more you do this, the easier it will become).
  • Aim to feel a gentle lengthening sensation at the back of your neck.
  • A common mistake I often see is the person starts to move their head up/down. Make sure your eyes and jaw stay level, and move the head horizontally backwards.
    • Think of the movement like a book sliding back into the shelf.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 30 times.

As this exercise becomes easier, challenge yourself with the following exercise progressions…

b) Chin tuck (against gravity)

chin tuck against gravity

Instructions:

  • Whilst lying on your stomach and your head off the edge of a bed (as above), continue to gently tuck your chin in as described before.
  • Since you are moving your head against gravity, there is a greater challenge on your muscles.
  • Aim to hold for 5 seconds with 30 repetition.

c) Chin tuck (with resistance band)

retractionwithresistance

Instructions:

  • Apply a resistance band around the back of your neck. (see above)
  • Pull the band as to increase the tension on the band,
  • Proceed to do a chin tuck against the resistance band.
  • Aim to hold for 5 seconds with 30 repetition.

If you can do this exercises with proper technique, you are well on your way on developing strong muscles of the neck.

4. Chin nods

We also need to strengthen the muscles at the front of your neck (called the deep neck flexors) which work in conjunction with the muscles at the back.

a) Chin nods (head supported)

Chin nod

Instructions:

  • Lie down with a fairly thin pillow to support your neck
  • Gently perform a chin tuck (as above) and add a chin nod (as if to say ‘yes’).
  • As you perform this exercises, you may feel a slight stretch at the back of the neck, but also a small sensation of the muscles at front moving.
    • Remain as relaxed as possible. You should not feel the muscles at the front of your neck strain as you nod. Be gentle.
  • Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 30 times.

b) Chin tuck/nod over edge of bed

neckretractionDNF

Instructions:

  • Lie on your back with your head over the edge of the bed.
  • Tuck your chin in.
  • Keep your neck in a neutral position.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds.
  • Repeat 20 times.
  • Keep your neck muscles are relaxed as possible.
  • NOTE: If you find that you are tensing your neck excessively, focus on the other exercises until you can comfortably perform this technique properly.

5. Improve spine mobility

a) Thoracic mobility:

If the thoracic spine (upper back) is stiff and hunched forward (… which it is in most people who sit a lot), it can indirectly cause the Forward Head Posture.

Thoracic extension

Instructions:

  • Place a foam roller (a rolled up towel will work too) on the floor.
  • Lie down on the ground and position the foam roll so that it is in the middle of your upper back.
  • Stretch arms over head and arch backwards.
  • Do not let your ribs flare out.
  • Hold for 1 minute.

Check out the post: Best thoracic mobility exercises for more information.

b) Neck mobility

Your neck joints may be stuck in the poked neck position. Let’s free them up!


>Video from McKenzie Institute International.

Instructions:

  • Tuck your chin. (think about the movement as a book sliding back into the shelf)
  • Whilst maintaining this chin tucked position, proceed to look up/down.
  • Ensure that you do not poke your chin out excessively during the movement.
  • You should feel a “bruisy” (… but not painful!) sensation at the base of your neck.
    • If it is painful, limit the amount you look upwards.
  • Repeat 30 times.

c) Self neck traction

Video from Integrative Movement Specialists.

Instructions:

  • Lie on the floor with your knees bent.
  • Place one hand on the top of your chest, and the other hand behind your neck.
  • Proceed to pull the skin on your chest down towards your feet as you pull up with the hand under your neck.
  • Aim to feel a pulling sensation at the back of your neck.
  • Keep your neck muscles completely relaxed whilst performing this exercise.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times.

6. Open up the front of the chest/shoulder

If you have a Forward Head Posture, then you most likely have tightness at the front of your chest/shoulder due to shoulder hunching.

If you would like more information, check out this post: How to fix Rounded Shoulders.

a) Chest stretch:

Chest stretch

Instructions:

  • Place both hands on the door frame. (see above)
  • Lunge forward.
  • You should feel a stretch in the front part of your shoulder/chest region.
  • Try this exercise at different angles to get different areas of tightness.
  • Hold for a minimum for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

b) Front shoulder stretch

Front shoulder stretch

Instructions:

  • Whilst keeping your hands on a chair behind you, slowly squat down as low as possible.
  • Make sure you maintain an upright posture.
  • Keep you shoulder blades retracted throughout exercise.
  • Do not flare your elbows out.
  • Aim to feel a stretch at the front of your shoulder.
  • Hold for a minimum for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. 

7. Strengthen postural muscles

To prevent the front of your shoulders rounding forward and becoming tight again, you will need to strengthen the scapula blade muscles.

wall squeeze

Instructions:

  • Place both hands high up on a wall in front of you.
  • Lean firmly into your hands.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 5 times.

8. Learn to breathe properly

You might be asking yourself:

What has breathing got to do with fixing a Forward head posture?

(… A lot!)

The muscles which are predominantly responsible for the forward position of your head are the Sternocleidomastoid and Scalenes.

These muscles are also accessory muscles to your breathing.

During relaxed breathing, it is ideal to have your diaphragm as your main breathing muscle.

However, with breathing inefficiencies, these accessory muscles will tend to over activate which can then pull the head forward.

Diaphragmatic breathing

Instructions:

  • Assume the position as shown above.
  • Breathe in.
  • As you breathe out,  slowly push out ALL of the air out of your lungs:
    • Engage your core muscles (“draw belly button in AND gently tense your abdominal muscles”)
    • Lower your rib cage
    • Flatten your lower back completely
  • Whilst maintaining this position, take a deep breath in towards your abdominal region.
    • Imagine the whole circumference of your torso/abdominal region inflate.
    • Exhale the air out of your lungs as you gently engage your abdominal muscles.
  • Remember to keep your neck completely relaxed.
  • Repeat 5 times.

9. Extra tips

a) When sleeping on your back:

Do not use an overly thick pillow to support the neck as this will push your head forward.

Your ideal neck alignment should be maintained whilst lying down.

For more information: Best sleeping posture.

b) When walking/standing/sitting/driving:

Keep your neck as elongated as possible.

Pretend that the hair on the back of your head is being pulled up towards the sky.

“Float your head on top of your shoulders.”

d) Use your mobile phone properly:


Bring your mobile closer up to your eye level.

Click here for exercises for Text neck syndrome.


d)
Maintain good posture:

Check out the post: Ideal sitting posture for more information.

e) Optimise your workstation:

Check out my free ebook: How to set up your workstation.

10. Other areas to consider

If you are having difficulties addressing your Forward head posture, you may also need to address other areas of your posture.

1. Dowager’s hump

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Excessive flexion at the base of the neck (“the bump”) will push the head forwards.

2. Rounded shoulders

3. Hunch back posture

With a hunched upper back, the head is forced to kink upwards to maintain eye sight to the horizontal.


Closing words

Although many experience immediate pain relief, do not be discouraged if you do not see immediate results.

It surely hasn’t taken a short time for your Forward Head Posture to develop, so it is going to take some time for it to be corrected.

See how you go with that… And keep that chin tucked in!


BONUS download:
Here is a complete list (PDF) of all the exercises mentioned in this post! DOWNLOAD NOW!

What to do next…

1. Any questions?… Leave me a comment down below.

2. Come join me on the Facebook page. (Let’s keep in touch!)

3. Start doing the exercises!

About

I am a physiotherapist who has personally experienced the pain as a result of bad posture. I would like to offer you some of the solutions that I and my patients have greatly benefited from.

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490 thoughts on “Forward head posture correction

    1. Hey Daniel,

      Probably best to start doing it 2-3x a week and see how the body responds.

      More the merrier I say! (as long as the body can handle it)

      Mark

  1. Mark
    I’m glad to have found your website as I have no doubt that I have forward head posture. I have a desk job (mainly office-based lawyer). I bought a SUV in May (Peugeot 3008) and have found it impossible to get a comfortable driving position. At present I have a pinching between my shoulder blades. I know I over-compensate with the seat and at times I then have discomfort just above my right hip area. And just for good measure I get discomfort just below the lower part of each shoulder blade (the area you can touch if e.g. you reach with your right hand to your left side and vice versa). Is it just Forward Head Posture or is it also bad driving posture?

    1. Hey Gary,

      Sounds like you may have Rounded shoulders as well?

      For more info, check out this blog post: How to fix Rounded shoulders.

      If the shoulder are forward, it’s likely that the shoulder blade is not in a great position, which then can lead to inefficient use of the muscles around the lower part of each shoulder blade.

      Another thing I would consider is the shape of your upper back as you sit. If you are like most people in the car, it’s likely you sit with a bit of a hunch/thoracic kyphosis.

      More info here: How to fix Hunched back posture.

      Another thing to add is that many new car seats are horrible for posture! (but designed for safety on impact) Many head rests just quite forward which pushes the head forward. Bucket seats are also the worst!

      Mark

  2. Hi Mark! I’m an Intern Physiotherapist in Turkey. I’ve been researching about ‘foward head posture’ for a long time. There is no place to explain it well. Fortunately i found you. You explain perfectly. Muscle imbalances and the exercise you show are very good. I love them. Thanks for your works. Have a nice day…

  3. I just wanted to say that your site is amazing! I have just began working on my life long posture issues, so thanks for all the work that you are doing.

    Also, have you considered releasing your material on YouTube in the form of videos? It is a very dominant platform so you could potentially get much more exposure as well as profit.

    Best of luck!
    Edin

  4. Hi mark
    My name is lynda
    I.have forward head posture..i worsens when i walk.. as i walk cannot raise my head to look up.seems my right side is my weak point.i cannot even stay in store long my head n shoulders get sotired.i.. go to a chiroprsctor.says

  5. Hey mark, I have shoulder pain and very tense sub occiputal muscles. I’ve been doing your exercises and they have helped a lot but I am not sure what posture I should sleep in. Normally, I either sleep on my side or on my back but I don’t know if that’s good for me.

    1. Hey Horen,

      Ideally – on the back is the best as it promotes the most symmetry.

      However – sleeping on the side is fine as well! Just make sure you are well supported with pillows to keep the body as supported as much as possible.

      I have written this blog post that might help: Best sleeping position.

      Mark

  6. Hi Mark, I am just wondering. Do you have any exercises for my thoracic spine? I recently pinched a nerve in the area behind the bottom of my ribs and it hurts like crazy sometimes. I used to sit on the floor for long periods of time reading books and I had bad posture which is why this eventually happened to me.

  7. Hello mark!! I was wondering if you could make a YouTube about fixing posture. The pictures are not easy to follow. Thank you

  8. Hi Mark! I have several of the posture problems described in your articles (forward head position, rounded shoulders, and anterior pelvic tilt). What type of stretching/strengthening plan would you recommend for this, since there are 3 articles with 3 separate stretching/strengthening exercises. Would you recommend to work on 1 issue at a time or spend 90 minutes twice a week doing all of the exercises? Also, are you supposed to start out by doing all of the exercises 2x per week or just start out with the stretching exercises and then work your way up to the strengthening exercises? Basically, I’d just like to know what to do each week for these 3 issues. Thanks!

    1. Hey Meghan,

      I would start with one area at a time, 2-3/week, all exercises if possible.

      If you are very tight, you might need to just do the stretches for now with the aim of getting into the strengthening exercises.

      Mark

  9. Hello Mark, thanks for this website. I wore a neck collar (for a brief period) to stop forward head. My neck felt painful soon after so I am thinking it might not be good to use a collar?However the pain after using the collar could have been a coincidence. Would you recommend any collar or device to help us with f head posture? Thank you Mark.

    1. Hey Paul,

      Collars should really only be used for 2 days max… and this is more so for more serious neck issues (Like a bad motor vehicle accident)!

      Exercises are the way to go!

      Mark

  10. Hi, do you have any specific exercises for loosening the muscles at the base of your skull. (sub occiputal). My muscles there are very tense which is giving me headaches. I tried many of the exercises you listed here and they helped but I was wondering if you had more

    1. Hey Goren,

      I would always start with the releases.

      Follow it up with some stretches to the sub-occipitals.

      Have a look at this post here. (Go to the subheading “Sub-occpitals” for a couple more stretches that you could try out .

      Mark

  11. Hi. Thank you for sharing these exercises. I’m worried that my forward neck posture has resulted in my cervical vertebrae to be flexed too far forward permanently. I understand that by doing these exercises, it will help stretch and strengthen muscles to improve my posture, but I’m concerned that my vertebrae/bones have permanently become flexed/pushed too far forward. Is that possible? Is there a way to reverse the flexion of the vertebrae? Thank you.

  12. Head-forward posture is being blamed as a major factor in my TMJ. Nasal surgery has been recommended to open the airways, to address the head-forward posture as a need to breathe
    I’m working on your exercises to try to correct my posture, but wonder if you’ve ever heard of nasal surgery as being a “cure” to head-forward posture?

    1. Hi Heather,

      There is definitely a link between breathing, TMJ and your posture.

      However – I have not come across someone who has had nasal surgery to specifically cure forward head posture before.

      Are you a mouth breather by any chance?

      Mark

  13. Thank you SO MUCH for the helpful info. I have suffered for many years with neck and shoulder pain. Having everything available on one website with so many helpful explanations and tips is INVALUABLE. I only hope it’s not too late for these exercises, etc to help. I’ve been doing some of them on and off for years but never all, and never consistently. I’m almost 45 years old now and have been suffering with pain for 10+ years, partially due to an car accident and partially due to very poor posture. Now, too much sitting at my job (and truthfully too much sitting and phone-scrolling at home) is adding to it all. I am going to get to work on all your suggestions tonight!

  14. Great article!
    Many thanks, and looking forward to trying out these exercises, as have suffered with this for a number of years and my chiropractor isn’t really sorting out the issue

    55 year old male who 2 years ago moved into a desk job

  15. Hi Mark. After one day of doing these exercises, I feel slow (little) numbness in my fingers.

    What should I do?

    About me: A 17-18 years old young man from Asia

    1. Hey Hamid,

      You will need to back off on the intensity of the exercise that is causing the exercise.

      Sometimes if you force a movement that your body is not used to, it can cause symptoms like numbness (esp. when a nerve might be impinged).

      Mark

  16. Hi Mark,
    I have forward head position but I also notice that my head doesn’t aim straight forward but is rotated to my left. Any tips for this? I should be making sure my neck is straight when doing these corrective exercises right?

    Thanks!
    Amy

    1. Hi Amy,

      Is it just your head that is rotating to the left? Or is there some torso rotation as well?

      You generally want to keep your head straight when doing the exercises, so you might want to get to the root cause of your head rotation!

      Mark

  17. Hi Mark, I read your forward head posture correction tips. It’s really great and helpful. As a physiotherapist, you are doing great works. Continue sharing the helpful posture advice for us. Thank you so much for your valuable information.

  18. BEST SITE AND INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET!!!!!!

    Thank you so much for doing this for patients!!!!!!

    Wishing you a wonderful life in return!

  19. Hi Kevin,

    I believe I have more than one postural problem, namely forward head posture, slight rounded shoulders, APT and maybe a winged scapula.

    Is it possible that I have all these problems at the same time to some degree?

    If so would you be able to tell which problem would be best to start working to correct, in that it might help correct the other problems?

    Thank you for your help!

      1. Hey Keiran,

        It is very possible to have all of the said postural issues at the same time.

        In terms of where to start, you can start in any area. Get the most of it and then move to the next area. If your lucky, fixing one area might help with the others. But you will only know that when you trial it out,.

        Mark

  20. Hi Mark, Great information. I had a question..I get tight scalp muscles , especially on top of head. Could this be due to forward head posture. Thanks you !

    1. Hey Vibha,

      Forward head posture might be related!

      I would check to see if you have any issues with the:
      – Frontalis
      – Occipitalis

      Mark

        1. I also wanted to let you know that I first started observing this scalp tightness while walking. It used to be fine while sitting. Really looking forward to your inputs. I’ve been having this for couple of years now. Also please let me know how to resolve this issue. Should the same excercises be done as for forward head posture. Thank you so much .

  21. Hi Mark i am 35 years old and i have the forward head posture , let’s say i follow your recommended exercises daily , how long should take me to correct it , or even to see some decent results?

  22. Hi Mark,
    Thank you so much for this detailed explanation of forward head posture and the helpful stretches and strengthening exercises we can do to improve our posture. I performed both of the methods of standing posture evaluations and did not have noticeable forward head posture while standing. I am, however, seated most of the day and tight in all of the muscles you mention tighten from forward head posture. Would your second method of assessing if you have forward head posture work in a seated position as well? Have you found that some of your clients have forward head posture while seated and working and more upright posture while standing?

    1. Hey Marisa,

      It is quite possible to have a forward head posture in sitting and not so much in standing. This is usually due to the difference in the position of the spine/pelvis.

      Mark

  23. Hi, Mark,

    I have forward head posture. What is the best sleeping position for me? And what kind of memory soap pillow? There are a lot of them…

    1. Hey Kristina,

      On your back: Keep the pillow high enough to prevent the chin from jutting out, but low enough to discourage excessive flexion of the neck.

      You can also on go on your side.Make sure the side of your neck is well supported.

      For sleeping information, check out this post: Best sleeping position.

      All the best.

      Mark

  24. Hey do you have some exercises for your lower back?
    These exercises are very helpful but I also suffer from lower back pain

  25. Mark,
    Thanks for your help in correcting forward head posture.
    I have started sleeping on my back without a pillow. I used to prop my head up with as many as 2 pillows. Also I was think of watching TV from the floor in the prone position with my arms propping up my chin. Do you think that would be helpful?

  26. Hi Mark, there is a lot of useful information here and I’ve already noticed improvements in my range of motion and jaw/temporalis muscle pain from doing some of these exercises!
    I’ve found that a lot leads back to one muscle in the back left of my neck and if I focus extra on that it seems to help, every time I do a chin tuck there is a clicking sound that comes from that exact spot.
    On to my question: I have a chronic fatigue problem and some days even the lightest of exercise is too much and even sitting upright with engaged muscles can be exhausting. Can you recommend which steps you would advise for the extra rough days where I can’t do the full routine? I’ll need to make the most out of the 2-3 exercises I can manage on days like that.
    Bonus question: Have you considered doing a follow along video where you do the whole routine in real time? As more of a visual person this would be very helpful and as someone who gets tired fast it would be wonderful to get that little bit of extra motivation and also not being able to rush it.

    1. Hi Denise,

      Great to hear that you’re getting some improvements with the exercises!

      If you have tried the all of the exercises, you might notice that you respond better to some of them more than the others.

      These are the ones you would want to focus on if you are having a rough day with your chronic fatigue.

      In regards to a video – that is an awesome idea and it is definitely something I’ve thought about. I am a little bit camera shy but I’ll see what I can do !

      Mark

  27. Hey Mark, these exercises are very helpful.

    I suffer from neck pain which causes slight dizziness and I noticed that the main muscles that are causing this are the ones at the back of my head near the base. I’ve done all these exercises but I’d like to know which ones in particular would stretch out the muscles that I mentioned earlier the most.

    1. Hi Thombs,

      Here is a great stretch for the base of your skull.

      [Click here for image]

      Instructions:
      – Lean your back up against a wall.
      – Step away from the wall whilst still leaning on it. (2-3 feet should be fine, Go more if required)
      – Lift up your hips + lower back away from the wall so that only your upper/back shoulders and back of your head is in contact with the wall.
      – From this position, the goal is to flatten the neck arch onto the wall as to produce a stretch in the Sub-occipital muscle.
      – Whilst maintaining a decent amount of leaning pressure on the back of your head:
      – Gently slide your chin back (AKA “Chin retraction/tuck”). Think of this movement like a book sliding back into the shelf.
      – Gently nod your head downwards as to bring the tip of the chin closer to the upper chest.
      – Aim to feel a stretch in the Sub-occipital region.
      – Visualize the back of your head ELONGATING towards the roof as you perform this exercise.
      – Hold for 1 minute

      Mark

  28. Hi Mark,

    When I do the chin tuck it feels like the muscles on the right side are much stronger.

    How can I better isolate the left side?

    1. Hey Ross,

      Make sure that you are not rotating your neck (or starting from a rotated/tilted position).

      This could be biasing the right side.

      Mark

  29. Hi Mark,

    I have been checking into your blog every so often and continue to find it one of the best resources out there. I have quite a few of the concerns you cover including scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis (and head forward posture), as well as anterior pelvic tilt, winged scapula, etc (wow this sounds like a lot).

    I find the way you break down each concern, the muscle involved, the stretches/straightening exercises and recommendations to be beyond helpful. Although I have have a host of inbalances and curvatures, etc…your way of speaking helps to understand nearly all of my issues are all interrelated and helping one area can help another. It also helps normalize sometimes the frustration and hopeless feeling that can come with this chronic discomfort/pain…and knowing that sometimes bad habits can breed bad posture, but things can be improved, and it can be a very common problem.

    I find myself seeing one person’s video advising one kind of exercise, only to learn later it may be more detrimental (e.g., thoratic extention with head touching ground= rib flaring, which is *not* going to help someone that already has flaring).

    I find your recommendations align with with everything that I hear is the “right” way to target a specific concern, and I appreciate that it may be more involved, it may not give the immediate relief…. but I think that’s the fairest way to approach this.

    Through poor posture over a consistently long period of time causes these problems develop, and the fact you don’t say “this can get rid of x problem in x weeks” is very much appreciated. It is very subjective, and the severity really does effect the treatment duration and outcome so thank you!

    I will start trying to incorporate some of these exercises and bring them up when I see my physiotherapist.

    I’m just rambling but wanted to let you know how amazing a resource you have provided to us strangers of the interwebs :).

    1. WOW!

      I love this comment, Christina!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. Appreciate it!

      I hope I can keep bringing you more value 🙂

      Mark

    1. Hey Loric,

      WOw – that looks like an intense neck exercise.

      It will certainly strengthen the neck if done correctly!

      Another gentler option would be to use a resistance band.

      (see image)

      Mark

  30. Hi
    I came to it because I was searching for a forward neck stretch as I have been suffering from dizziness the past 6 weeks and the stretches my physio gave me weren’t making much difference. I did the stretches this morning (it was the sub-occipital stretch that my physio had not given me – and the self neck traction) and the dizziness pretty much stopped – I felt a massive difference in just one session! But now I feel kind of wiped out and out of it! Is that normal? Will it pass? And does it mean I was doing something wrong? Should I keep going? How long might this take to resolve so I can get back to normal or at least functional!
    Many thanks for writing that post! I will refer to it again and again!
    Tom

    1. Hey Tom,

      Sounds like your dizziness might be coming from compression of the Sub-occipitals!

      If you feel wiped out after doing the exercises, you might want to go a bit gentler on the exercises. Perhaps don’t hold the stretch for as long or as intense.

      Your body has been accustomed to this compression for sometime now, so when you all of a sudden release it, you can get some weird reactions!

      It should pass. But if any doubts, please see a professional to get it checked out.

      Mark

      1. Thank you! That’s really helpful – I’ll definitely take things easier and the dizziness is clearing…slowly. been going on weeks! I’ve just been told by a doctor (GP) that there’s no way neck/vertebra problems can cause dizziness!! It’s so frustrating to be told that when I am sure that’s at least part and probably all of what’s been making me dizzy. (Doctor has no better idea as to what it might be other than ear wax!)

        1. Hey man, how is this dizziness coming? I have bad posture and text neck and also noticing some dizziness/ vertigo esp when flexing my head down. Neck muscles feel all tight. I’ve been doing some of the above exercises and stretches but still getting a touch of dizziness when looking down or rotating my head. Otherwise it’s just headache behind eyes, neck tension, and just general fog/ out of it.

          Wondering how long till the dizziness fully went away for you.

  31. Hi, Mark…ok so have a question regarding head retraction…this exercise has baffled me and plagued me for years because I have not been able to really understand the explanations given on how to perform this correctly often times causing more pain and more forward head…so my understanding is that in forward head the neck/ head are leaning forward and a person will lift their head to see causing the lower area of cervical to be flexed and upper cervical to hyperextend…if this is correct I always asked how and why would a person drive their head horizontally backwards on a neck that is leaning forwards and a head that is leaning back….this just gave me more hyperextension and more pain…however I recently ran into a post on another site that stated the head and upper cervical are retracted together ..this makes better sense to me. I tried it this way and feels this may have been the missing piece…is this what one is doing with retraction? Retracting both the head and upper cervical? This may seem ridiculous …like one doesnt move without the other but I assure you I can pull my head back leaving my neck leaning forward…doesnt feel good but it can be done…and when people call this exercise head retraction that makes it more confusing…If head and neck are retracted together….what musculature of the neck should be doing the retracting… the posterior side or the anterior side? In other words are you pulling the head/neck back with posterior musculature…If so what is purpose of tucking chin if posterior musculature would hold head/neck in a retracted position? are you just trying to hold the head steady with chin tuck and the chin tuck really has nothing to do with the exercise? Please help me understand as I am certain I need this exercise as nose nodding is not helpful if one is still protracted but I am unsure of this no matter how many explanations or videos I see of this….and I have seen a lot

  32. Hi Mark, I have anterior pelvic tilt also, so when i am doing number 3’s chin tucks my lower back is arching automatically to compensate the resistance, how can i make sure i don’t arch it?
    Only for the one agains gravity, I found out that if I put a pillow on my belly it slows down the arching.
    But what about the others? Would bending my knees work?

    1. Hey Adam,

      Looks like there might be some compensation going along there in your lower back.

      Try to depress your rib cage into your pelvis as you perform the chin tuck.

      If you still keep moving your lower back, try to do a half chin tuck and slowly build it up without moving any other body part.

      Mark

  33. Hey Mark, I’m a big fan of your articles and resources! They’ve helped me quite a bit to solve some of my back problems and neck pain related to posture, as I spend a lot of time sitting and coding. I just donated to your PayPal!

    I reached out to you through FB message earlier today, but I’m not sure if you check that still. I would love to get your feedback on a physical therapy-related project that I’ve been working on!

  34. Hi Mark,

    Great website.. thank you for all the time you’ve put in to it. I did some of the tests you have on the various posture issues and I have several: Forward head, rounded shoulders, Hyperlordosis and (maybe) hunchback.

    My question is …. how to correct? Do I try to tackle these all at once (not sure I have that much time for the exercises in a day), or do one at a time? If so, which would be best to start with?

    Thanks!
    Matt

    1. Hey Matt,

      My recommendation would be just to focus on 1 area to begin with.

      Which one? You can start on any area. See how far these exercises will take you, then once you feel you’ve done as much as you can, move onto the next area.

      Some people like to start in the area of their pain. That is also fine to do.

      Mark

  35. Mark, is there any way I can pay you for a consultation call. Our family is desperate to get our son out of pain. Thanks, Pam

  36. Hello Mr Mark,
    I really want to thank you for all of this great information here at this site to help us that need to work on our forward head posture. My question is this. What do you think about incorporating one of those posture correction devices into the mix. You know those figure eight devices you wear around the shoulders? I’m thinking of buying one and would like your opinion on those devices. Like if you think they are worth it or if you know if they do help in fixing forward head posture a.k.a. text neck?

    1. Hey DMZABO,

      They are fine in the short term but I would advise that you do not become reliant on it to hold your shoulders back.

      This can make your postural muscles weaker in the long term.

      Mark

  37. Hello Mark,

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this amazing website. I have been holding my body in the forward head posture since the birth of my first child and am now on maternity leave with my second, always leaning forward in some way. I am doing your exercises 6 out of 7 days and after 2 week I can definitely feel the difference already and I am more mindful of how I carry my head and shoulders. Thank you for your comprehensive instructions! The best of all is ‘imagine pushing a book onto a shelf’ – I had been doing this exercise wrong for months since my physiotherapist gave it to me and he never corrected it! Your exercises have helped me more than any of the expensive physio sessions I had. I will donate to you with pleasure and am glad to be able to do so.

  38. Hi. I’m a 22 years old female from India. Can wearing a ponytail that doesn’t allow you to lean your head back to the wall or any seat or chair that you are sitting on cause forward head posture?

  39. Hi Mark,

    Firstly, thank you for a great website. I am 27 years old and I’ve had bad posture since I was a child. I’ve tried with some stretches and the neck releases, massaging the muscles with a ball or my thumbs and I get just a bit nauseous from it.

    Generally, I get very easily carsick (I get dizzy for a couple of minutes after coming off a treadmill) and sometimes at yoga from neck movements or rotating too much when dancing. My mum has vertigo and migraines so I know how it goes. I’ve always assumed that my nausea comes from my balance centre and movement but since I got a bit nauseous from pressing and massaging my neck I’m now wondering if there are some exercises here that I should avoid and/or to carefully choose where to press to not make something in my neck worse?

    1. Hey Cath,

      Sounds like your body is very sensitive around the neck region.

      I would still continue with all of the exercises, but go like 30-50% intensity. (eg. don’t press to hard, don’t go full range, don’t hold positions for too long) It is likely that your body will need to ease into this program.

      Continue at this intensity for the week, monitor how you are responding and modify as you see fit.

      If the dizziness is quite severe and you are quite concerned, you can go to the doctor for an ultrasound to the arteries in the neck area.

      This is to make sure that there are no potential blockages. (very,very, very rare though!)

      Mark

  40. i had disc bulge in c4 and c5, and early stage of loss of lordosis, Can you suggest best exercise? My pshyio suggested me to correct my posture, it till resove all my problems, is it true?
    Please help.

          1. Sure thing.

            Check out this post:

            Neck strengthening exercises.

            Scroll down to LEVEL 5 for the strengthening isometric exercises.

            Enjoy!

            Mark

          2. Hey Dinesh,

            It’s unlikely that the disc bulge will 100% “go back into place”, however, it is possible to retract a % the the bulging part of the disc.

            Mark

  41. Hey mark, I had scoliosis surgery… will I be able to fix my forward head and should I feel a slight burn sensation when doing the chin tucks?

  42. This is wonderful information!! I’ve had a forward head posture for over twenty years and did not know it. I’ve never had a doctor/physiotherapist acknowledge this was my problem and I continue to live in agony every day. I knew it was from sitting in front of a computer but I could not figure out what to do about it and no one seems to understand it. Several people “talked about a forward head” but other than recommending chin tucks suggested nothing. I simply could not wrap my head around it. I live in Calgary, Alberta Canada. If you could direct me to someone in this city that could help me I would be so appreciative. Thank you Sandra Mayor

    1. Hi there Sandra,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I don’t know anyone in Canada, unfortunately.

      But most physios should be able to help you out with the forward head posture 🙂

      Mark

  43. Hey Mark,
    I’ve been insecure about this my whole life, and recently someone pointed it out to me, which of course made me feel even worse. I was always told its genetics and generally not able to be fixed. I’m curious about trying your stretches. Can they reverse a forward slanted neck and head? To appear normal? If so, how long until I start to see results (Im sure everyone’s experience is different).

    Thanks for the knowledge!

    1. Hi Shelby,

      There are always aspect of your posture that can be improved (no matter how long you have had it).

      However- the general rule being that the longer you have had your postural distortion, the longer it might take to reverse.

      In terms of how long to see results, it tends to vary from person to person. You could even see/feel results even after 1 session.

      Mark

  44. Thank you Mark for everything you’ve done and this great site of yours. I have a question can forward head posture result in having a shorter neck? When I Look to my photos from when I was a kid before I had forward head posture my neck looked longer than what it is now.

    1. Hey Jamal,

      Yes – compression of the neck is associated with the Forward head posture.

      Correction of your poked neck will create more space between your joints and elongate your neck.

      Mark

  45. Hey Mark! Why shouldn’t I do the exercises over the bed using gravity if I tense the muscles at the front? Wouldn’t that be equivalent to lifting more weight? What if I do less reps?

    1. Hi Eden,

      It’s fine to do the exercise over the bed, but just make sure you are contracting the right muscles (and not compensating by over tensing other muscles).

      Mark

  46. I have found a lot of amazing exercises and explanations on your website. Thank you. I have fibromyalgia and lately the pain has been very bad in all the muscle groups associated with forward head posture and dowagers hump. I am only in my 30s so the thought of developing a hump is particularly embarrassing. In particular, thanks for the tip on correct chin tucks… doing it incorrectly was causing suboccipital pain even when I use a thin pillow behind my head when doing it against a wall or in bed as a previous physiotherapist suggested when I was hypersensitive to pain. The anterior scalene stretch was also a missing piece of the puzzle.

    Just one question: I found that doing shoulder blade squeezes is hard to hold when I am in a lot of pain. I discovered recently that if I do hold the squeeze until I can pivot and gently press on of my loosely hanging hands against the wall I can get the stretch aspect of the squeeze without the pain. Is this an ok thing to do? I worry I might inadvertently be putting pressure on a muscle or nerve I shouldn’t be.

  47. Hello Mark,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I feel soreness on one side of my neck after doing these exercises (similar to after a workout). I think the culprit may be the occipital release because I am extremely tight. Is this soreness normal/okay?

    1. Hi Z,

      It is quite normal to have some soreness after the exercises, but it shouldn’t last for more than half a day.

      If it is quite prominent, try to go a bit more gentle and see how you respond to that.

      (If in doubt, do less than what you think you can do)

      Mark

  48. Hi, i’m a great believer in physio and exercise but after a titanium hip replacement about eight months ago plus several prior left elbow dislocations and left wrist minor fracture my left arm currently won’t let my hand get to my mouth or head though straight up is ok and i can’t walk far without a limp. can’t knit either so though it gets a little better slowly, daily, any exercise seem impossible?

  49. Thanks Mark for your work. I have forward head, I guess I also have arthritis as I experience some pain and have Crepitus. Please gave you got any tips on getting rid of this crepitus? Do you think the exercises for forward head and general exercises for the neck will help the neck and therefore lessen the crepitus? Thanks, Paul.

    1. Hi there Paul,

      The crepitus may improve as the head is placed in a more neutral position.

      (but it also depends on how bad the arthritis is as well)

      Mark

  50. Hi mark,
    Great information, thanks. Can you explain something please? I definitely have forward head, rounded shoulders and dowagers hump. I went to a chiropractor who seemed unconcerned and said we all have varying degrees of natural curvature And suggested a couple of exercises. It is all feeling much worse and tight, so I went to see a physio yesterday. She assessed me and said yes there is some curvature of the spine, but nothing much and to concentrate on a couple of exercises: head tuck, side neck stretch and shoulder blade stretch. She said nothing was ‘fused’ after I asked her, but my spine is slightly curved-I’m unsure what that means. She said you can’t straighten a spine once it has curved. Am I doomed to a curved spine forever? I am permanently in forward head posture because I can’t straighten my neck. Does this mean it can’t be improved, but also can only get worse because I can’t straighten out of forward head? Thank you.

      1. Hi again mark. I have been doing the dowagers hump exercises every day and forward head exercises every few days, since January. I’m in discomfort most of the time now and my neck seems much worse. I can feel badly bent bones now and it is pulling too much to get my head up in a neutral position. It feels as though my curved neck has got much much worse in the last month. When I lie in bed, I can’t breathe properly. What has gone so wrong so quickly and what do you think I have done and could do now? Many thanks.

        1. Hey Rianon,

          You might be over correcting or forcing the position of your head.

          If this is the case, you will need to aim for a smaller % correction (eg. go only 10-20% of what you are currently doing) and/or focus more so on the stretching/releasing of the tight muscles that are holding you in a forward head posture.

          Mark

  51. Thanks Mark. I notice when I lay in bed I have forward head and AP Tilt (I sleep on side)! Any tips please? I tried sleeping on back with one pillow so I am in a better neutral position but just can’t fall asleep! When I start the exercises I guess my side sleeping position will help but any tips please? Thanks, Paul.

    1. Hi Paul,

      It’s all a matter of getting used to a new habit. Take times and consistency.

      If you sleep on the side and want to reduce your APT and Forward head posture, try to bend you knees closer to your chest (to help reduce the APT) and bring your chin slightly closer to your upper chest (to reduce your chin poking forward)

      Mark

  52. Hi Mark, brilliant article and I’ve read it many times over the past year and finally want to fix my posture.

    I’ve tried chiropractors etc but I think it’s something I need to do daily on my own

    Issues I have is when I stand tall, I get the double chin affect. Is that normal? I also feel like I’m walking like Jonny bravo.

    Plan to take a before and after pictures and will post here in 30 days

  53. Hello Mark, thank you for this website. When I walk around with my head held high I feel quite arrogant but I guess as I have been walking around with a forward head posture it will feel different at first when holding head up. Any ideas please? Also when doing exercises for the neck (like turning my head) should I perform them in my normal head position or because I have f head position should I exercise with my chin tucked in all the time? THANK YOU, from Paul

    1. Hi Paul,

      Walk around like you own the place! That’s how I do it 😉

      You want to maintain neutral head position as much as you comfortably can.

      Mark

  54. Hi Mark,

    I’m loving the quality of information you’ve presented here! Thanks for all your hardwork putting this together. Ive been working with a PT for tendonitis in my left shoulder, this guide is an awesome way to supplement those physio sessions. This has helped me become even more aware of my posture, which prior to PT was awful. I was suffering regular headaches and consuming IBuprofen on a regular basis. In the few weeks since starting these exercises my consumption of pain killers has plummeted. One question though…as my muscles adapt to my new posture is it normal to hear crepitus in my neck etc? My headaches, though less servere, also seem to manifest in different areas of my head. Its been quite the journey so far but Im excited to get my body back to normal! Thanks again for your work here.

    Cheers,
    Scott

    1. Hi there Scott,

      Crepitus may arise from the change in joint position.

      For you – likely from a tight/non-optimal position, to a more neutral position.

      As you have had your posture for some time (which I assume is a forward head posture among other things), there has likely been some changes to the surface areas where your neck bones join.

      (these areas can get a sand paper likely feeling)

      Nothing to be worried about though. Just keep up the exercises. Keep the neck strong and remember to move!

      Mark

  55. Hi Mark,

    If one were to do these exercises faithfully every day, how long would you estimate an individual would see a substantial improvement? Roughly how long until fully corrected (Forward head and shoulders)?

    Thanks!

    1. G’day Dave,

      Story from one individual here:

      I am in my mid-40s, with no back injuries or medical conditions apart from poor posture. I have been doing Mark’s exercise program about three times a week for a year now. I noticed some improvement in my head position after about three months. Each time after doing the exercises, I felt taller and could see my shoulders out of the corner of my eyes! Also, my neck muscles got stronger. At six months, there was a noticeable improvement in my posture. Now, at one year, I hold my head in a good position most of the time with no conscious effort. I am still doing the exercises (hoping for more improvement in my other issues, rounded back and dowager’s hump).

      So I would say give it a try! At first, the positive effect on your posture will only be visible straight after you run through the exercises. However, as you build up your muscles, you should start to see permanent improvement. It is a commitment of time, but it has been worth it for me.

  56. Dear Mark,

    Thank you for your website, very well explained.
    I have one question please.
    I am a 31 year old woman with a scoliosis since I’m 12.
    I always had a bad posture and my shoulder blades are unequal (one protruding and the other not) and my shoulder’s are also unequal (one stuck forward, the other not – most likely because I always find myself sleeping on the right side). It’s been 7 years now that I get migraines because of a stiff neck and shoulders, and my shoulders muscles are rock hard.
    I also have a dowager’s hump (only for 3 years, since I’ve began breastfeeding)
    I know that above doing the exercises, I need to be conscious of my posture and try to correct it as well.
    Thing is, when I do try to stay straighter, I HAVE to tuck my chin in (double chin) and even so, I’m still a bit head forward. And my lower jaw shifts position. I get a constant double chin now every time I put my head even a tiny bit straighter (ew)
    And I get migraines for doing that, and putting my shoulders backward stretches so much my tendrils that it hurts like hell. It’s been 10 minutes of straight posture in front of my computer now and my shoulder blades and dowager’s hump hurt like hell.
    Should I continue trying to keep very straight all the time even if it hurts a lot? Will it make my jaw get weaker if I continue, or if my muscle get stronger, my head will naturally change after a while and my chin won’t get weaker?
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Alicia,

      You have described some pretty common symptoms after starting the exercises.

      The most common reason is that you may be FORCING the posture.

      Good posture must always be as natural and relaxed as possible.

      If you find you need to force the movement, you need to focus more on the stretches and releases so that it becomes easier for you to hold a better posture.

      When you start to correct your posture, try to aim to hold this corrected position for 5-10 minutes to begin with. As the body becomes used it, slowly increase as to avoid painful flare ups.

      In regards to your chin, you should find the jaw becomes stronger as the head resumes a more neutral position.

      Mark.

      Ps. check out my new post: Scoliosis Exercises.

    1. See how it goes, Tamilselvan!

      It is quite common for the tight muscles around your neck to result in dizziness.

      If your dizziness still does not resolve, see what the doctor has to say!

      Mark

  57. Hi Mark, just wanted to start by saying thanks very much for putting together such an excellent guide. Certainly the best i’ve came across online.
    I wanted to ask a couple of quick questions if that’s ok. Firstly, I’m looking to start the suggested exercises asap and wondered how many times a day I should do these and whens best to do them morning/evening?
    My second question is I believe my neck pain stems from driving I just cant get comfortable in my car. It feels like the seat encourages me to tilt my head forward and I’ve watched a load of youtube videos to adjust it properly but nothing seems to work. I had issues with my lower back but these went away when I got a lumbar support and then my neck problems started. is it possible I moved the problem from one area to another?

    1. Hi Mark! (Great name by the way)

      Thank you for your kind words.

      At minimum, once a day should be fine. You can perform them any time you like. It’s all fine!

      You are definitely correct. The head rests in car seats tend to push the head forwards.

      This is more so to help
      1. Provide some support to people with Forward head posture and
      2. Help reduce strain on neck in car accidents.

      The problem with this, of course, it does not encourage a neutral neck position.

      When you changed the position of your lower back, it may have influenced the position of your neck.

      Here are some simple tips regarding posture whilst driving: Posture tips in the car.

      Mark

  58. Hi. Im suffering from forward head hunchback and rounded shoulders .How many times a day should i repeat these exercises for better results ?

  59. I have been doing chin tucks and feel some relief. My neck makes a crunching sound on the left side when I look up or forward. I also have a clicking sound when i turn my head right. I have no idea what it is, Is there an exercise that will help?

    1. Hey Jay,

      A forward head posture can lead to more compression of the joints in the neck. This mean the joints may be grinding against each other.

      This may be related to the sounds you hear as you move your head in certain directions.

      Mark

  60. Hi Mark,

    I know this is an older post, but I came across your website today when doing some research on the forward head posture. For the last 8-9 months, I’ve been experiencing a “heavy head” feeling (off an on), like my neck has trouble holding up my head and it gets fatigued feeling. I spend an enormous amount of time on a computer and also looking down at my phone. My posture isn’t great generally, and I’ve been known to fall asleep in my chair, with my head tilted to the side. Most of these issues started after a period of high stress/anxiety/insomnia (hence the falling asleep in my chair). The heavy head, plus a feeling of pressure/tugging in the back of my head (suboccipital region) and the same tugging/pressure in my temples, gave me great worry. I’m a hypochondriac and always assuming the worst. But after countless doctor’s appointments, no one has seemed alarmed by these symptoms and I was finally referred to physical therapy.

    When I stand against the wall, my head comes forward probably 3 inches or so. My question is, can the forward head posture cause the heavy head feeling, and a feeling of pressure in the head? It’s not painful. It just feels “odd.” It’s hard to describe. I’ve had periods of headaches as well that were relieved by some type of chiropractic massage. Any pain I have is very manageable, it’s more so the discomfort of the heavy head, which in turns triggers my anxiety because I jump to the worst conclusion. You seem very experienced, so I thought maybe I could get some reassurance from you. Do you think my symptoms could be posture-related? I’m definitely going to give these exercises a try. Thanks in advance! 🙂

    1. Hey Emily,

      The heaviness feeling you described is very common in those people with a forward head posture.

      The reason behind this is that the further your head is in front of you, the more your sub-occipital muscles need to work to essentially hold your head up right.

      Think about holding a heavy bowling ball. Is it harder to hold the bowling ball close to you or holding it with outstretched arms waaaaay in front of you? The latter of course!

      It’s exactly the same concept with your head.

      Mark

  61. Hi! Is it normal that chin tuck excercises start hurting somewhere in my back, or am I doing something wrong? It hurts somewhere between the shoulderblades (or a little lower).

    Thanks for the information about forward head posture!

    1. Hi Mikey,

      It shouldn’t hurt.

      You may need to perform the chin tuck at a lesser intensity and slowly build it up so that they body can tolerate. Never exercises into pain.

      Mark

  62. Hello Mark, my left neck hurts and my head is rotated to one side, my left clavicle also seems to be higher but that could be due to the tilt. My jaw is also clicking on the left side. I have done many excercises to correct this but the pain doesn’t go away. I did find some relief after stretching my left teres, masseter and flexor hallucis brevis. My posture definitely improved, but my neck is still tilted and the pain remains. I have done many neck stretches, but they don’t seem to work. Could this be an issue with the bones in my neck?

    1. Hi Stephan,

      With a higher clavicle on one side + a head tilt, I would check to see if your torso is tilting to one side.

      I have a blog post on this very issue coming out soon.

      Mark

      1. Hello Mark,

        I also have forward head posture with my neck and torso about 15-20 degrees to the left. I’m a righted tennis player and found that if I relaxed standing my pelvis would lean heavily to the left side and force my right leg and hip to hyperextend. This has improved drastically thanks to your blogs. However my left side is in good alignment and my right side tends to still hyper extend slightly. When i force my right side into alignment it feels like the right quad is doing the work and my chest rotation is close to normal and my neck remains 15 degrees rotated left. My worst pain now has become my right mid back under my lowest rib. If you had to guess Is primarily a hip torso or neck issue?

        (thank you for all your blogs my pain has already been cut in half in a little over a month)

  63. Hello!
    Do you think these exercises would help with correcting the lack of cervical lordosis that I have (I also have forward head posture)? Thanks! 🙂

  64. Hi Mark,

    I love this post/compilation. I do chin tucks all the time. I’m always thinking of new ways to incorporate chin tucks through out my day. I do it while I’m driving in my car too by pushing back against the head rest (example here: https://app.hip.fit/exercises/-L8zWKKUTfLrrzhx-ByM)

    I did have a question regarding Chin tuck/nod over edge of bed. While pausing in relax mode, how should we position the neck? Do we lower it down against side of bed at the edge? This is in between the 5-10s holds you recommend.

    I’m actually creating a web app that has PT inspired exercises where you can track and favorite your exercises. Here’s example of the bed edge chink tuck. https://app.hip.fit/exercises/-KMRr4ILcnfoBwxKtGcM

    As you can see, this is similar to one you suggest as a progression. Would love to get your thoughts on my web app as well.

    Really enjoy your writing, keep it up and thanks for sharing.

  65. Hi Mark,

    Is it important how i set up my head against the Wall before doing the Chin tuck?

    I mean, i used to look up (Chin is higher than neutral) and then lengthen the neck and do the chin tuck. Is it Better to start in a neutral Position or is this not so important?

    And why should i hold every rep for 5 seconds and not longer? I think as i did this exercise for 15-20 secondes a couple times the muscles at front of my neck where kind of too tired afterwards. Could this be a reason to hold IT Not so long? Thank you very much Mark.

    1. Hey Mark,

      You can start in that position.

      5 seconds is a good place to begin with. Feel free to increase gradually as the body gets used to the contraction.

      Mark

  66. Hi mark can i send you a picture over email for some advice on my postural issues? Just a quick assesment if i have dowagers or just forward head posture. Regards

  67. Hi mark,

    Is trying to continuously do a chin tuck while sitting for example throughout the day good or bad? I try to keep my chin tucked in as I would do during the tucks, but I’m worried that this might have a negative effect.

  68. Hi Mark! thank you for the time and effort you put into creating this post it is a great compilation of all of the best exercises. I have been going to physical therapy on and off for the past few years due to bad posture created by an unergonomic work environment so I was familiar with most of these. But like most people I have been slacking off on the exercises and not standing as much at my stand-up desk. So my neck and shoulder pain have been returning I get a lot of pain in my upper lats in the underarm and backside of the shoulder as well. anyway I am laying here trying the chin tucks and my arm begins to shake. Just curious if there may be something I should be doing to prevent this maybe other exercises I should be doing and also just curious what might be causing this to happen when I do the chin tucks. I do have a slight bulge in the C6 C7 area

    1. Hey Jackie,

      It may be due to the nerve being irritated when you perform the exercise.

      Can you perform the exercise but start with your eyes gazing downwards. Does this prevent the shaking?

      Mark

  69. Hey Mark,

    So with poked neck, does that mean I have a “poke” so to speak pointing out at the base of my cervical spine? Or is this simply a “dowager’s hump”. Can I still do chin tucks and the other stretches and my spin will correct and straighten normally OVER this hump? I feel like I have to do something else, I am just surprised if I can lift my neck up and over this bump.

  70. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the exercises for the forward head posture. I will start fixing this issue soon but I’d like to ask wheather it is better to sleep with a pillow or without a pillow if I’m trying to fix my forward head posture. I normally sleep on my side and my back.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Fatima,

      With respect to sleeping on your back when addressing a forward head posture, I recommend using as thin pillow as possible (… providing that your chin does not kink backwards – aka cervical spine hyper extension).

      Mark

  71. Hi Mark,

    I’ve noticed that when I do chin tucks, I get a bit of a tingling sensation in my fingers and some tension/pushy feeling at the top of my spine, is this normal?

    1. Hi Martynas,

      Try to look slightly downwards before you do the chin tuck and see if that makes any difference.

      Sometimes if you perform the exercise incorrectly, it may pinch some nerves in your neck!

      Mark

  72. Hi, Mark, can you provide a link for the base of the skull massager ball? I’d like to purchase one that’s at least the right size and pressure.
    Thank you.

  73. hi mark and thanks for your work.

    I have rounded shoulder, forward head with hunchback (is it possible that they are not associated ?) and lordosis. I’m 25

    when I do the chin tuck exercises I get pain in the shoulder blades, around and between. what should I do ?

    1. Hey Jal,

      I would need to see how you were performing the chin tuck exercise to give you specific recommendations.

      But generally, try not to jam your chin back and force the movement. Go gentle, and with time, you should be able to go further without causing other issues.

      If it still giving you issue, this would need to be investigated.

      Mark

  74. Hey Mark,

    I loved your article as this hits home for me. I work in the office and I have slight forward head posture. I’m considering this course: https://bit.ly/2I2AV1g to correct my forward head posture. What do you think about it?

    1. Hey Jack,

      I am not sure about the course as I have never heard of it before.

      You can always try out the recommended exercises on the blog post and see how it goes. (free of charge!)

      Mark

  75. Hi Mark,

    I felt a bit of tingling/numbness in my fingers while I was performing exercise # 5a and #6.
    Do you know the reason why? I do have slightly bulging disc in my neck area between C3-7.

    Any exercise is suitable for my neck? The symptoms I experienced the most is heavy head, as if my neck is unable to hold my head (feeling compressed) and sometimes pain.

    Your help is very much appreciated.

    Kind Regards,
    Bonnie

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      Looks like you may be hitching your shoulders too much when you do the mentioned exercises. This can lead to compression to some nerves in your neck.

      You can either:
      a) try to keep your shoulders down whilst performing the exercises and or
      b) perform the exercise with your arms lower (eg. at shoulder height)

      Mark

  76. What is the main difference between the chin tuck and nod exercises? You mention in the beginning of the chin nod section that “We also need to strengthen the muscles at the front of your neck (called the deep neck flexors) which work in conjunction with the muscles at the back.”

    Does this mean that the chin tuck exercises strengthen the back of the neck muscles? If so which ones in particular?

      1. Hello Mark,

        Thanks for replying.

        Ok clear, chin tucks strengthen the lower cervical extensor muscles and chin nods strengthens the upper deep cervical flexor muscles. The first feels strongest while performing in the lower back of the neck while the second in the deep upper front of the neck. That is how you know you are performing them correctly I guess.

        One thing I find interesting about the illustration is that it includes some of the capital extensor muscles. I thought those had nothing to do with moving the neck, only moving the head back.

  77. Hey Mark! I’ve been dealing with pain under the left rib cage and shoulder blade for two years and when I do the stretch by pulling my head down, it completely mimics the pain. This is actually the position I was in when the pain initially started! I was getting an epidural and sitting on the side of a bad with my head tilted down like stretch. I get an immense amount of pulling coming from ribs of shoulder blade on the left side. I also feel like it travel down to my forearm occasionally. Any idea what that is?! And if so, how to fix it?

    1. Hey Sarah,

      If you get pain that shoots down to the left shoulder blade when you look down, it could be one of the muscles that runs between the neck and thoracic spine (eg. Middle trap, levator scapula, multifidus, longissimus)

      For symptomatic relief of your pain, check out this post: Shoulder blade pain.

      Mark

  78. Hello Mark!

    I want to start off by saying thank you for the amazing article. I have somewhat seen some of the information in bits and pieces elsewhere but you’ve put it so nicely and extensively – thank you!

    So, I am a 21 year old male Computer Science university student and so I spend loads of time studying in front of a computer, which I believe has given me some degree of FHP. I don’t think its too bad but I also feel like I have a tiny (dowager’s) hump forming (I could be wrong). Could those two exist at the same time? I’m not sure how long I’ve had it although I wouldn’t believe it’s been too long. I read and know that joints fuse throughout one’s lifetime, would my joints have fused by this age? Is it reversible? And if it is reversible, will I have get super smooth alignment between my back and my neck?

    I’ve been doing the exercises for about a week now and I notice that not only has it become easier to maintain good posture while sitting and standing, but it I’ve also become a lot more aware of when I’m pushing my head forward.

    I just had those few concerns and I’d appreciate any insight you have to provide.

    1. Hi Rae,

      You’re still young! Now is the best time to do something about your FHP.

      Forward head posture can lead to the bump in the base of your neck. Fixing the FHP will thus help address your dowagers.

      Mark

  79. Hi Mark,
    I have little both APT, little bit kyphosis, little bit forward head posture , little bit flared ribs resulting in excessive hyperlordosis.
    So what do you suggest? As in fix these issues one by one or do all the exercises relating to these problems?

    1. Hi Ronnie,

      It is possible to fix 1 and it helps correct the other issues. You will need to find the main area that is driving the rest of your issues.

      However- this is best done with some guidance.

      If you don’t have a physio to see, I would suggest focusing on your most prominent postural deviation (your hyperlordosis) and see how you go from there.

      Mark

  80. Hi Mark!! I have the worst posture. I am always hunched over and my neck never feels comfortable anymore. Will I ever get to a point where I don’t hunch anymore if I continue to workout and stretch or am I doomed to be like this forever?

    1. Hi Alisia,

      As long as you are not fused together, you will be able to make progress.

      However – It may take some time and a whole lot of effort!

      If you don’t so something now, it may actually get worse 🙁

      Mark

  81. Thank-you so much Mark! I really appreciate this article.

    I have forward head position and have had a lot of neck pain for years. In the day, I try exercises and better posture, and I get some relief. But at night all my work seems to get undone in my sleep. I wake up in a forward head position and a lot of pain. I need to sleep in a variety of positions due to pain. When on my back, I have a flat pillow. When on my side, I try to have a slightly higher pillow so I am aligned. However, despite being aware of posture when I fall asleep, I still wake up with bad posture. What can I do for this night time problem?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Tara,

      As we are in the horizontal position from anywhere from 6-12 hours (depending on how much sleep you get), it is a long time to be in that position.

      You can try doing stretches before you sleep to try to loosen up your muscles.

      I would also recommend doing gentle neck traction to help with your tight joints.

      If you have forward head posture, you will require a thicker pillow if you are going to sleep flat on your back. Otherwise your neck will kink backwards and jam up the structures in the back of the neck.

      Mark

  82. Hello Mark,
    I am a little confused about some of the advice here. In particular, some of the stretches which stratch the back of the neck. Shouldn’t we be doing everything to tightten muscles on the back of the neck so the head doesn’t go farther forward? One of the stretches you suggest where you push your head down with your hand actually puts you in worse forward head posture as a fix.

    1. Hi Paul,

      In a forward head posture, the muscles at the back of your upper neck region are actually tight. So stretching them would work great for them.

      You can be more specific with that particular stretch if you that it might make your posture worse.

      What to do:
      – Whilst keeping your neck retracted, pull your head down as to bring your chin closer to your upper chest.

      Mark

  83. Hi. i am a 14 y/o who has had a slight bad posture since elementary school. However in the previous years my lower back has been uncomfortable, stiff, and at one point it was so uncomfortable and hurt so much to walk and sneezing or coughing KILLED me. I went to see my doctor, who told me that is was muscle strain, and that it would go away-.-… It’s gotten better but it feels chronic. whether just walking or running maybe 10 blocks I feel pain in my lower back, i cant describe the pain it more like uncomfortable-ness that doesn’t go away.
    I’ve also felt that my back is really stiff. if i stretch, i can really feel tightness almost everywhere. i also noticed that i have a poked neck and my upper back seems hunched/sway back?? i say this because it seems more back than the rest of my body-like my poked neck and my lower back which has anterior pelvic tilt.
    I have also had some neck pain probably due to my poor posture staring at work or on a computer screen everyday and poked neck. I’ve tried pulling my head down as one of your stretches showed- but i just cant. Its not painful, but is super uncomfortable in my upper back. I also cant do the yoga cat pose because of the similar feeling. Sometimes the feeling in my upper back but that the back of my neck is just so tight that i cant pull it forward with my might. How can i fix this?

    1. Hey Chris,

      For forward head posture: the exercises here are a great place to start. It sounds like you are very tight, so I would take it very gently to begin with. Sometimes when you are very tight, some exercises may be quite difficult at the start but get easier with consistent practice.

      For anterior pelvic tilt: Check out this post: How to fix anterior pelvic tilt

      For the hunch back posture: How to fix hunchback posture

      Avoid prolonged use of your computer. Take frequent breaks. Do your exercises. And check out this ebook: How to set up your workstation.

      Mark

  84. Hi Mark

    I’m 27 and I have been struggling a lot with these symptoms as of late. The dizziness and headaches is what is affecting me the most. I had some blood work done and it all came back clear. I know I have terrible posture as my job consists of me sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours a day. I try to straighten up my back but I tend to slip back into old habits. It affects me most when I am sitting down. I wake up with headaches and a stiff neck. The dizzy spells only seem to appear when I am sitting at my desk. Reading your exercises sounds promising and the detail is a huge help. I’m going to give it a go!

  85. Hi Mark!
    Thank you for sparing these exercises!
    I have been dealing with bad posture since I was a teenager, and this has lead to chronic headaches.
    I have a question about blood circulation. I feel like when my neck and backmuscles are very tense, my head often get really hot from time to time. Almost like the blood “is trapped” in my head. Does this sound like a result of muscle tension?
    Rebekka

    1. Hey Rebekka,

      I am not too sure about blood being trapped in the muscle… but you can definitely get a burning/hot feeling from over active muscles at the back of your neck.

      Mark

  86. When doing the neck retraction I feel a tight pulling sensation on both sides of the spine by the shoulder blades. Is that normal?

    1. Hi Garrett,

      It sounds like you are stretching the muscle that goes from the back of your neck to between the shoulder blades.

      This is a good thing!

      If in doubt – go gentle and don’t push pass any feelings of discomfort.

      Mark

    2. Hi Mark!

      I have a couple interesting things going on. I’ve noticed my right trapezius is lower than my left, also (and maybe as a result) my right sternocleidomastoid has a bulge and feels bigger than my left. The bulge is just near the voice box. Is this because Of the shoulder tilt and my muscles are trying to compensate for its unevenness? I’ve also been experiencing head jerks where Im at my desk and my head will slightly turn or jerk which also triggers my chin to twitch. Can these be from postural issues?

      Thank you!

  87. Hi,

    I am currently try the chin tuck and opening my shoulders part of physical activity, and recently bought an exercise ball for my spine. My core muscles are getting strong as well to help my posture, but my neck and shoulder blades get irritated to sit up all day sometimes. Is there anything less or more I should be doing? Does ice or heat help this as well?

      1. Dear Mark, when I move the chin backwards when exercising my shoulders lift up. How does one do the exercises whilst keeping the shoulders in the ideal position? Also when doing this exercise my neck feels pinched at the back is this because I have quite a pronounced forward head position and its working the neck hard? Thanks for the advice, Paul

        1. Hey Paul,

          It sounds like you may be using your shoulder muscles to help perform the exercise. This is quite common if your poked neck is quite pronounced.

          Suggestion: Try to move only half the amount. Keep the shoulders relaxed. Have only pure movement of the neck. You may be trying to do more than your neck will allow you to.

          If you have pinching of your neck whilst performing a chin tuck, I would suggest to looking down at a 45 degree angle and perform the chin tuck from this starting position. Try to avoid the pinching sensation at the back of your neck!

          Mark

    1. Hello Mark, Also when turning my head it nearly always-and has done for over six years- made strange grating noises. It is slightly better now. Does that mean I have a bone problem? I find the exceecises help- thanks, Paul

    2. Thanks Mark!
      Another question-sorry!
      When I move my head I can hear strange noises-it always happens. My neck doesn’t hurt so much like before- do the noises mean I might have arthritis or something? Muscles wouldn’t make that noise? Thanks, Paul

      1. Hey Paul,

        If it is a clicking noise, it is probably some of your more compressed joints moving. (and not necessarily arthritis)

        As you improve the positions of your joints, this should become less apparent.

        Mark

  88. Hi Mark!

    Thank you for this information. A forward head and rounded shoulders have been the bane of my existence since I was a young teenager. It’s also something that runs in my family. Not a day goes by when I don’t have some sort of ache going on. So would these exercises help me even though it seems hereditary?

    1. Hey Minka!

      For sure!

      Even if you have hereditary predisposition, you can still improve your head posture.

      On top of that, these exercises will make your neck muscles stronger which in turn may resolve your aches.

      Mark

    1. Hi Darren,

      Yes it can!

      However – so can a lot of other stuff like issues with the eye itself, brain issues, optic nerve problems and impaired blood flow to the brain. etc

      Mark

    2. Hi Mark

      These stretches are great I have forward head posture and a pinched nerve in my neck that causes headaches are these stretches ok for this and is there anyway I can speed the healing process I know it came from me working all summer long in my bed while sitting indian style on a laptop.

      1. Hi Michele,

        These stretches performed gently are fine to do, however, pay attention to how your body responds and adjust accordingly.

        If in doubt, get it assessed in person 🙂

        Mark

  89. Mark, I have forward neck , anterior pelvis tilt, and scolisis. I know you have a routine for anterior pelvis tilt too, but i don’t have time to do each specific routine everyday. What’s the best way to attack these in one simple routine?

    1. Hi Trey,

      You don’t have to do all of the exercises. (Although – I do recommend it when first starting out just to see how your body responds)

      If you find you benefit more from certain exercises, I would prioritise those over the others.

      This should cut down the duration.

      Mark

  90. Hi Mark, thank you for your advice, this article (and the rounded shoulders one) is great.

    I am wondering if you have any recommendations for yoga poses that can also improve issues with forward neck and rounded shoulders?

    There were too many comments to read, apologies if this was answered previously

    M

    1. Hey Mish,

      My favourite Yoga pose is UTKATASANA.

      Key points with Utkatasane:

      Keep your back straight. Do not puff your chest out.
      Lean forward at the hip. (The more you lean forward, the harder this exercise will be.)
      Keep your arms in line with your body.
      Remain lengthened through the spine. (Imagine someone gently pulling your head upwards.)
      Hold this position for as long as you can tolerate.

      Mark

  91. This article is very helpful, I was wanting to ask that as my job requires me to sit on a computer from 9-5 and I use my mobile quite often, so I have to look down on my phone. Will these exercises still help me get rid of my forward neck and poor posture even though I am always using my phone and use the computer?

    1. Hi Mariyam,

      The exercises will certainly help!

      But – you need to try to optimise your positioning at work to ensure the benefits of these exercises are preserved!

      Mark

  92. Hello Mark,

    I think that i have forward head posture and it s hard for me to swallow food or drink. It was like something is sitting in my throat. When i tuck my chin and push gently on my neck from the front. It was extremely painful that my tears burst out. Now it is hard for me to turn my head side to side and even laughing hurts my neck. I dont know what is going on and i ve tried some of the methods like rolled up towel and tucking chin and keep doing it every day but it is hurt. Please help it is freaking hurt..

    1. Hey Duke,

      Looks like you strained your neck muscles.

      You want to do these exercises very gently.

      Try to keep your superficial neck muscles relaxed as you perform the chin tuck especially.

      Mark

  93. When you say that your neck joints may be “stuck in the poked neck position” do you mean that the cervical lordosis may be straightened or reversed? Is that what you mean?

    1. Exactly right, Andy!

      The cervical joints become locked into a flattening of the natural cervical lordosis due to the prolonged forward head posture.

      Mark

      1. How can I restore this natural cervical lordosis? I don’t have forward head posture anymore but I believe I still have a straight lordosis

          1. I still have a lack of cervical lordosis even though i have pretty much fixed my posture. It is still reversed on X ray. Would the Mckenzie cervical retraction extension help restore it? (The one you included on this page, the neck mobility one)

      2. Are there any exercises to fix the flattened cervical lordosis? I have fixed my forward head posture but i still have a reversed neck curve.

  94. Hi Mark
    Thank you for these wonderful posts! they are by far the best exercises I ve ever tried. they helped me a lot to improve my posture while sitting at the computer and using my sketching tablet 8 hours a day. it just needs time and consistent effort to see the results.

    Also, I wonder if you have any advice, exercises or tips to get rid of karpal tunnel syndrome due to mouse clicks. I try some exercises like squeeze variations with a plastic ball and so far it is easing from time to time. I would appreciate to learn about its treatment from you.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Gozde,

      Thanks for the comment.

      If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, I would first make sure that your work station set up is optimal. You will need to make sure you look at your seat height, mouse position and height, table height etc). You can get my free ebook on this here.

      Depending on the severity, you may need to use a a) carpal tunnel wrist splint for a week or so to allow the area to reduce in swelling/inflammation, b) take anti inflam med and/or c) anti-inflam gel.

      Once your symptoms are settled, I would to gentle nerve glides to your nerve. Make sure you do not push it too far.

      There are things to look at as well, but these points would be a good start.

      Mark

  95. Hi Mark really interesting read thanks. Sorry if this has been asked already but regarding sleeping…would you say it’s best to sleep on your front rather than your back while trying to reverse the effects of forward head posture?

    Thanks
    Scott

    1. Hi Scott,

      I generally do not recommend lying on your stomach as it will force your to rotate your neck to the side.

      I recommend using as thin of a pillow as possible WITHOUT causing your neck to kink backwards.

      Mark

  96. Mark, does elevating your head while using a pillow add to reverse cervical curve and/or forward head posture? Is it better to sleep without a pillow if possible?

    1. It is better to sleep without a pillow if you have good posture.

      If your head is forward, it is better to correctly place a pillow behind your neck as to promote proper alignment.

      Mark

  97. marki idont get massage ball or tool ido this exersice by pool white ? and chin tuck exersice is head up and down ? God bless you

  98. Hi Mark,
    I have a knobbly lump at the nape of my neck and it seems counterintuitive for me to stretch the way you mentioned as it makes the lump stick out A LOT. Do you think I should do the stretch? All it does is make the hump ‘poke-your-eye-out’ noticeable.

      1. Mark/Bianca,

        I heard from my physical therapist that a this lump at the nape of the neck (as I have also had since my teenage years) is actually fat that has formed to protect the base of the cervical spine, due to the fact that it is jutting out from forward head posture. Is this correct, Mark, and is there a possibility that the lump will eventually dissipate as the forward head posture is corrected and the body no longer has a need to store the lump of fat in that area? Also…in order to encourage the breakdown of said fat…is there a gentle massage or any other type of action we can perform to help encourage the body to release it?

  99. Hello Mark. I had become aware of my forward leaning head a few years ago. I had been suggested chin tucks by a chiro I was seeing. Not so long after my son was diagnosed with a terminal muscle wasting disease. I am without words to describe the pain and suffering it has been on this journey (which is still happening). Somewhere in all his many appointments and with severe depression I loss track of my goal to correct my posture. I need to take care of my posture and health as my son becoming non-ambulatory is inevitable. I hope you would be so kind to answer some of my questions as I begin this routine. Today I did the wall test and tried my best to be natural to myself in posture. My wife measures about 2.25 to 2.5″ from the back of my head to the wall. Is this mild, moderate or severe? I can reduce the gap with a chin tuck but I am unable to touch the wall even then.

    1) Neck Stretches: Is the neck stretch you describe the Levator Scapulae stretch? With forward leaning head are Posterior and Anterior Scalene stretches and Trap stretches very beneficial in moving toward the goal? I saw these in a you tube video for FLH but I wasn’t sure if it was overkill. Time is a precious commodity so I prefer to keep my focus on just that which will have the most impact on FLH (even though all stretches are good).

    2) Chin Tuck: I am certain I am doing this correctly but it doesn’t seem like there is much travel/range. My wife who also has FLH, has incredible range. Is this common and likely due to the muscles being so short and tight? Also, would it be as effective to do hold for 30 seconds 5 times which is less reps but the same amount of time? Are the progression exercises meant to be in addition to the Chin Tuck. Or is it such that you do either a chin tuck, chick tuck against gravity or chin tuck against resistance (depending on which level you are at)?

    I am sorry for so many questions. I hope to hear back from you. Thank you for putting all of this up for others.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Sounds like you have a moderate amount of Forward head posture.

      1) The stretch I describe in the post is more for the muscles at the back of your neck. You can definitely do stretches for the anterior upper trapezius and anterior scalenes.

      2) Your limited movement in a chin tuck is likely due to the tight muscles holding your head forward. In this case – you should focus on releasing and stretching.
      In terms of the 30 seconds hold, that is fine to do as well and will be just as effective.
      You can do all of the chin tuck variations, but if you are short on time, just do the hardest one that you can perform properly.

      Mark

  100. Hi, so this neck pain have been up for me since middle March. I woke up to find out that I developed this sharp pain in my neck and I attributed it to poor posture, because I had some nights when I had to work all through the night and slept off on my laptop mostly with the forward neck posture. At first,i thought it was somrthing crackung my neck would do and it would be fine,but it did not. So I thought it was my neck bones that had some fracture, but x-rays fom the hospital showed nothing was wrong with my neck bones, and the Doctor recommended some pain killers and muscle relaxant pills, saying it was a musculo-skeletal pain and it would be fine, but the pain got worse. Everything you explained is quite the case with me. I never saw a physiotherapist though or had an appointment because I did not think it was physiotherapy related up until just now after reading your article. I really hope using your therapy would help me out, because the pain hinders me from concentrating at work and it affects my normal everyday activity.

    1. Hey John,

      Definitely go check it out with a physiotherapist.

      Once they find the root cause of your problem and give you some helpful strategies, you will be on your way to recovery.

      Mark

  101. Hi Mark,

    I am only 15 and noticed that I have rounded shoulders and a forward neck so I guess that I caught it before things got worse. How long do you think it should take before I correct my forward neck and rounded shoulders.

    1. Hey there,

      It really depends!

      But looks like you have age on your side.

      The sooner you do something about it, the quicker it will resolve.

      Mark

  102. Hey Mark,
    these exercises are so great, with those I finally feel some kind of progress concerning dizziness and my posture. A lot of other exercises didn’t help me at all. So thank you for your work 🙂

    But I have a question: I am practicing most of them on a daily basis for a couple of weeks now and while doing the neck mobility exercise (tuck chin in and look up/down) I noticed a pressure increasing in the front head area. It feels like a screw is slowly seized or something like that (sorry, hard to explain as non-native english speaker 😉
    In the beginning, a couple of weeks ago, I instead of this pressure felt a burning pain on the left shoulder while doing the exercise, which is mainly gone now. But I have a constant pain in this shoulder (on top) when stretching to the right side, where unfortunately no therapist could help me with unitl now.

    This increasing pressure sometimes leads to a (later on) headache if I continue the exercise. What could that be and/or what could I do (else) to prevent it?

    Thanks again for your hard work and sharing your knowledge, my physiotherapist was very pleased as well on how detailed your exercises are explained 🙂

    1. Hi Gomez,

      I recommend not looking up all the way if you are getting increased tension in your head. Your joints and muscles may not be ready to do the full movement yet.

      You may possibly be jamming them up instead! This can refer pain around your eye, sides of your forehead, back of your skull, down your shoulder blade.

      Here’s what to do: Even if you tuck your chin in and look up and down with a SMALL amount of movement, it will still be very beneficial in your forward head posture.

      Mark

      1. Hey Mark,
        thanks for your reply. I tried it with a smaller amount of movement and this definetily feels better! So I guess I will try to increase the movement VERY slowly over a couple of weeks and see what happens!

        Kind regards,
        gomez

  103. In the Chin Tucks Exercise section you mention:

    “As this exercise becomes easier, challenge yourself with the following exercise progressions…”

    Does that mean I can skip exercise A)chin tucks and move on to exercises B and C? or do I have to do those two exercises in addition to A?

    Thanks

      1. Thank you very much.

        I have one more question. I have been trying to find the same ball you are using with the shallow ridges for the neck message, but I can only find balls with spikes like the ones you show in the Pec major/minor massage video. Do you think a spikey ball will work for the neck massage or the spikes can be a problem?

        Thanks

        1. Hey Abdulrahman,

          You can use the spikey balls to massage the neck, but it can get quite uncomfortable the firmer you press.

          You can try using a lacrosse ball. It is better 🙂

          Mark

  104. Hi Mark,

    Thank for your website. I wanted post here to let you know I sent you an email through posture direct. I sent pictures plus a description of my spine slightly twisted. I wanted to know if there were different exercises for that as well. I do have the forward neck etc. In the email I explained a little more.

    Thank you again for your valuable time and knowledge.
    Susan

      1. Hi Mark,

        I am sorry if it’s a problem, but I don’t like using Facebook. If you can check your posture direct email to see if you received it there. If it’s a problem then I will figure Facebook message.

        Thank you
        Susan

          1. Hi Mark,

            Thank you for checking that email. While I was waiting I did more reading and testing and decided to start with all the muscle releases and stretches, then started with the anterior tilt exercises and work my way up. Thank you soooooooo much because just with the first day I have seen improvement. Its amazing. I also found out I had really tight calf muscles. I thank you soooooooo much for your help. I didn’t realize how important just doing the releases which helped me start strengthen the weak muscles. Hugs to you.

            Thank you again.
            Susan

  105. Hi, Mark
    I’m pretty slim but I have a huge double chin when I slide my head back in normal position which I think is just excess skin, If I continue to do the exercises and maintain posture will it go away?

    Thanks.

    1. Hey Joel,

      In the absence of loose skin/excess fat in the neck area, once your posture (as a whole) gets betters, the double chin will go away with it 🙂

      Mark

  106. Hi Mark.
    I have forward head posture and at the same time I have a problem with my thoracic spine colums. I think It’s curved towards the left side of my body but what I know for certain is that my head is slightly bent towards left and my left shoulder is higher than my right shoulder. can it be a result of forward head posture and are these exercises that you gave effective to cure it so it can be straight again like it was?

    Thanks Mark everything In here was useful and awesome.

    1. Hi Jamal,

      These exercises will help your head get back into a neutral position in the sagittal plane (from a side view).

      It sounds like you may be either tilted/rotated in your spine which may have caused your elevated Left shoulder.

      Feel free to send me picture of your posture on the facebook page and I can help you out there 🙂

      Mark

  107. Hi,

    I have all the symptoms of forward head posture and have pain in my back neck as well. I am suffering from vertigo from last 4 years and nothing could help me on this. I am not sure but can my bad posture be reason for that. I have started doing these exercise from 7 days and I am feeling quite energetic and less vertigo. could you please suggest for severe cases how much time would it take to cure permanently ?? I want to walk someday without vertigo 🙂

    1. Hi Mark, I am coming back after two weeks regular exercise suggested by you. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am feeling improvement in my neck pain and dizziness as well. Thanks again.

  108. Hi Mark, i have a question. I’ve read the article and i must say that i found it highly interesting. My question is, how would a daily routine look like? Should i do every exercise you mentioned together with the stretches? Also, i love working out in the gym, so do you know any exercises i can do there to further improve my posture?

    1. Hey James,

      I recommended doing all of them to begin with.

      As you become more familiar with how your body responds to certain exercises, you can start to omit or concentrate on some of them.

      At the gym, just make sure you keep your neck/head relaxed but in as a neutral position as much as possible.

      If you were looking for other exercises to help with posture, have a look at these posts to begin with:

      Rounded shoulders
      Hunchback posture

      Mark

  109. dear mark i have done 3 succide attempts in my life so far and all time unsuccesful just becoz of my walking gait becoz people make fun of me. please see me on video is it forward head or some thing else i m very worried regarding my gait . i have visit few physiotherapist but they don,t get my problem please help me. plz

    1. Hi Imad
      Be strong bro. So what if people make fun of you. If the world turns its back on you u turn your back on the whole GOD DAMN world 😊. U do your job the best way possible and don’t think about any thing.

  110. Hi Mark,
    I’ve have this pain for the last 2 years panning most off my upper back and neck (particularly the right shoulder blade) and upper chest area. Thanks to these exercises I feel like there is definitely an improvement in my ROM and the pain itself. One question: I feel like sleeping without a pillow helps with the alignment for my spine. However, I’m not too sure if this is advisable or maybe I should have something to support the curve in my neck? could you advise?
    Many thanks for this article its a life saver!

    1. Hi Kawser,

      Great to hear your pain is getting better.

      In terms of sleeping: Yes – sleeping without a pillow is better… in the ideal world.

      HOWEVER – since most of us have a forward head posture, we need that support on our necks when we lie down on our back. (some more than others)

      My Recommendation: I would use as little amount of support as possible without causing more pain. Personally, I use a very small rolled up towel in the curve of my neck when I am on my back.

      Hope this helps!

      Mark

      1. Hi Mark,

        Thanks that is great! I’ve now been doing this for a week and I definitely feel a significant difference. I am still getting this tightness around my right side of the back mainly under the shoulder blade. Is this from the neck also and can i maybe do something to release this? Also since i have been watching my posture i and having some lower back pain. Could this be from my body trying to get used to the new posture. I guess i should be strengthening my lower back. Thanks a lot!

        1. Hey,

          Try having a look at this post: Shoulder blade pain. Let me know if that helps.

          It is common to get some aches and pains when correcting your posture and that is likely that you are using muscles that you have not used before.

          However- just be careful that you are not OVER correcting your posture. Be gentle with your corrections. 🙂

          Mark

      2. Hi Mark,

        Thanks for this. I have been following this routine for the past week and it has helped my pain greatly. I was just wondering , i have pain under my right shoulder blade, is there something i can do for that? is this maybe due to the neck pain. Also since i have been doing these i have some pain in my lower back. Could this be due to the change in posture and just a matter of strengthening my lower back and core?

  111. Mark,

    My wife has a forward head posture problem, however she’s currently pregnant with a set of twins so I’m not too keen on doing anything excessive. However, any tips/ techniques for pregnant females?

    1. Dave,

      In regards to pregnant females, it’s fine to do all of the exercises mentioned in the post. Keep it gentle.

      I would recommend against doing any exercises where you have to lie on your stomach.

      Mark

  112. If I correct my forward head posture and use your 6 steps every night will my dowagers hump go away?when I feel my neck it is like my bones on the base of my neck is rounded is this dowagers hump?

    1. Hi Curtis,

      Yes – It does sound like you are describing a Dowager’s hump.

      And by doing the exercises, you should see some improvement over time 🙂

      Mark

  113. I’ve started the process of correcting my posture but with the proper posture it gives my face a very unpleasant double chin. A I doomed to have this when I correct my posture? It’s just. A lot of extra skin and I’m not overweight. I’ve had this posture since I was about 10 from pictures I’ve seen and I am 24 now. Please advise! Thanks

    1. Hey there,

      If it is due to excess skin, it is probably because the skin at the front of your neck has been over stretched over the years with your forward head.

      If it is bothering you, try not to retract your chin excessively. Think about your neck being elongated, as opposed to squished backwards.

      This way – you are still engaging the right muscles, but the double chin won’t be as apparent.

      Mark

  114. Dear Mark,
    I have been experiencing headache at the front of my head for almost 4 years. I encouraged myself to get MRI and the results show that I have forward head posture. I am glad that your recommendations are really helpful for me. Due to chronic headache, sometimes I also experience anxiety along with dizziness.
    When I raise my eyebrows, I can feel the tension at suboccipital region at the back of my head, so I think might be the cause of it. Can you approve that?
    I realized that when I am doing chin tucks, my headache is becoming closer to the back of my head. At first it was completely at the front, but now it is on top and on both sides, sometimes at the back of my head. Is it normal that headache is moving closer to the suboccipital region?

    1. Hi Mark,

      Movement of your eyebrows can cause co-contraction of the muscles around your skull (inclusive of the sub-occipital region).

      The headaches at the front and back of your head are likely related.

      (See image)

      When performing the chin tucks, just make sure you do it gradually and gently. It shouldn’t feel like you are forcing or jamming your chin back as this may cause more headaches.

      Mark

      1. Dear Mark,
        My headache is really diminishing right now but I feel dizzy all the time especially on my left side. My headache was intensive last week but I was not dizzy. Can you advise what might be wrong about me? How can I beat this dizziness?
        Thank you,

        1. Hi Mark,

          Great to hear your headaches is getting better.

          With your dizziness, if it is related to your tight/overactive muscles, the exercises should help with it.

          However, since there are many causes of dizziness, you might want to get it checked out just in case,.

          Mark

  115. Hi Mark,
    Finding this site has been a godsend. I am 61 years old and have worked in front of a computer for MANY years. The past 4 years or so I have had upper back pain and it is getting increasingly worse. Ended up in the ER one night with excruciating back spasms. CT scan only showed osteophytes which they tell me is not surprising for my age. I am now seeing a PT for my forward head posture and she is having me start with some of the same exercises that you show here. I had a couple of questions:
    Do you think the back spasms could be caused by the forward head posture?
    Do you recommend heat or ice for pain?
    And..I think I was a little over zealous in doing the exercises the PT showed me and was in even more pain than normal that evening. Is it possible that the correction process can do that?
    I am so happy to have found this site. It gives me some hope that there is eventually an end in sight.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Thanks for your questions.

      As the neck and upper back are closely interconnected, back spasm can most definitely be caused by a forward head posture. Your back muscles may be working extra hard to hold you a head that is all the way poked forward.

      Heat vs Ice. Really – it depends what you are trying to achieve. Ice numbs the pain, whereas heat helps muscles relax. Both of which can help you. If you are having spasms, I personally would recommend heat.

      Pain after new exercises is quite common. You are moving your neck in a way that it is not used to. If in doubt, double check with your PT to make sure you are performing the exercises correctly.

      Mark

      1. Thank you so much for your response! I know I am a work in progress but I am determined to rid myself of this pain. I think it is great that you take the time to help people with these issues as they seem to be so prevalent today.
        I especially like that you refer to Esther Gokhale’s stretch lying position. I read her book and have tried it in the past as well as the stretch sitting and find it does help. I live in the Bay Area and would love to attend one of her workshops one day.
        Thank you again!

  116. Hi Mark, After years of long stretches of using a laptop positioned on the arm of the sofa, my default position now is to be permanantly looking to the right. As a result my neck aches on the left side, the muscles on this side look thick and people are commenting on it. Are your forward head exercises sutable for my situation? Many thanks.

    f

    1. Hi Sarah,

      These exercises will still be beneficial for you, however, it looks like the greater issue is that your muscles and joints are biased to the right side (which ultimately make the left side work harder)

      To fix this, you will need to know which EXACT area of your body is rotated. Then, we need to target those area with exercises to de-rotate.

      If you want more help, feel free to private message me on facebook 🙂

      Mark

  117. Wow! This was a great article.
    Story of how I got here:
    I started realizing that I am always looking down at my computer. One time I read an article that talked about the cartilage in your nose and how if you have it squeezed for a long period of time it can “skinny down”. (I have a larger nose and wanted to know how to fix it. I noticed the top part of my nose was skinnier than the bottom, makes sense my glasses sit on the higher end.) It said that cartilage can be adjusted over time. So I moved my glasses to the bottom part of my nose to “Skinny” it out. I noticed when I did that my head moved drastically from down to up. (This was so I can see out of them-so kind of like grandma glasses for reading-instead I am looking straight to see at all.) When I felt the drastic angle of my head go from down to up-Well you know what I thought! I have bad freakin posture!

    I remember an ex of mine asking “Why do you walk with your head down like that?” I told him it was because of the sun in my eyes (at the time we were walking when he asked that) but I did not know if this whole look of my posture is what he really meant. (I laugh to myself now.) So I still put my glasses at the tip of my nose and then I noticed that the part of my neck that strained most was the “hump” on my back. Then I researched keywords to find someone talking about this issue. I have been diagnosed with “head forward” LMBO that is so funny.

    Anyway, I am working on my posture as we speak and finding better ways to sit at my desk and work on being more active. I saved this article and I am going to go back on it for stretches. (I also had a hard time with the posture because of my boobs, they arent too large. But I felt, just, OUT THERE, with them when I stood straight. Now I dont give two flies.) I feel the strain in my neck and wonder if these exercises will start helping with that, I can only assume yes, but I wanted to send this comment in as a big THANK YOU for sharing your expertise and to ask that question. Thank you again, you are very helpful. (Also attractive so kudos for that!)

    EVERYTHING LOOKS SO DIFFERENT FROM THIS ANGLE -lol how sad I have been living that way for so long. I also noticed when I was fixing my posture, I told myself “I have a heavy head! Geez.” So this all lined up quite well with my thoughts-again, thank you!

    1. Hey Victoria!

      What a funny way to have developed bad posture!

      I am glad that you have found this website. All that strain you feel in your neck is very likely from the forward position of your head.

      These exercise are PERFECT to help you with that!

      Have fun with your new viewing angle 🙂

      Mark

  118. sir my father has problem with his head he is 53 years old, and has a problem with his head from 7 months. suudendly his head is seen only upside, means he has problem with head when ever he seas tv or talking with some one his head move up ward while talking. and when he trys to move down wards he has a pain in his head and eyes. we have shown many doctors in nagpur maharashtra but the problem has not been solve. please hep.

  119. Hi. Would a lying cervical extension off the side of the bed have the same effect as the Mckenzie cervical mobility exercise that you mentioned above?

  120. Would a lying cervical extension off the edge of a bed, have the same effect as the McKenzie cervical mobility exercise that u have shown above?

  121. I’m 19 years old and I have been having chronic neck pain for 5 years all bez of forward head posture. It all resulted from playing too much computer when I was little.

    Whenever I look down (flexion) the back of my neck hurts the most. Cervical retraction has reduced my pain overall but the pain from flexion never really got any better.

    Do u have any idea as to what as wrong? And is there any exercises for it? Thank you.

    1. Hi Andy,

      If you have a poked neck, the structures at the back of your neck are likely very tight.

      When you look down, it will actually stretch these tight structures. The tighter you are, the more likely you will feel pain as you stretch them.

      I would continue to do the stretches and hold for a longer and longer duration as tolerated. As the muscles loosen up, you will feel less pain.

      Mark

        1. Hi Andy,

          The neck retraction with a nod is a great stretch to do.

          You can perform it whilst lying down as well.

          Hold for at least 30 seconds. Aim to feel the stretch at the back of your neck.

          Mark

  122. Hello Mark, thank you so much for this, i’m going to try it out right away! One thing I noticed with mine though is that it’s causing a pretty bad hunch at the top of my spine. If I fix my posture will this go away? I’ve had this problem for years and do not want to be permanently stuck with this hunch.

  123. Hi mark,

    I notice you mentioned pillow thickness for sleeping to reduce forward head posture, bu where is best to place the pillow, just slightly underneath the sub-occipital lobe? I also, typically sleep with my palms resting behind my head. Any ideas for good sleep positioning with a pillow and should I be placing my hands behind my head when I sleep?

    1. Hey Erick,

      I recommend placing the pillow in the curve of the neck and behind the head (whilst maintaining neutral spine).

      If possible, try not to place the pillow underneath the area below the base of the neck.

      It is fine to sleep with your hands behind your head provided that it is not causing any issues in your neck/shoulder/elbow region. I sometimes do it as well 🙂

      Mark

  124. I’m currently working my way out of bad posture and your exercise and stretches are very helpful in expanding my tool set.

    Thank you

  125. This is exactly what I needed, having suffered from this awful posture for decades but no-one seemingly able to tell me how to fix it. I loathe what it looks like and this will be what I use to correct. Thank you so much for this. There’s no need to reply either. You’re a gent.

  126. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for this helpful post! I am a DPT student and my forward head posture has increased with school. Pretty ironic I know. I tried the Mckenzie technique with the chin tuck and extension, but I feel fairly limited and have some pain going into extension.

    Do you know why this may be? Do you think it is safe for me to going into extension with my chin tucked?

    Thank you!

    Christina

    1. Hi Christina,

      There may be a certain limit as to how far you can take cervical extension when keeping the neck retracted.

      This is because this targets extension in the lower cervical region. Since this area is generally locked in flexion, it won’t let you extend it very far. (But the more you do it, it will help loosen up the area and encourage more of a neutral position)

      The aim is to go as far as you can comfortably go. A slight “bruisy” sensation is normal. There shouldn’t be any pinching or sharp pain.

      Hope this answers your question 🙂

      Mark

  127. Just wanted to let you know how helpful your website has been. Have had multiple rounds of PT and chiropractic care over the last several years. This has been this most effective information in helping me understand what and why my pain is going on and how to fix it. My scapular pain is so much better after just 2 days! And I’m so much more aware throughout the day of my posture. I’ve already begun to share this info with others who are having similar issues. Thanks so much! Hope you will consider doing youtube videos. 🙂

    1. Hi Lori!

      Thanks for letting me know this. I really appreciate it!

      It’s awesome to hear that these strategies have helped you.

      Cheers for sharing!

      Mark

  128. Hello Mark,
    I have a disc bulge in the C5-C6 region. It’s slipped to the right, but I have knife like pains on my left neck and shoulder. My chiropractor said I have lost the curve of my neck and have a forward head posture. I have the constant stabbing pains in my left upper trap. I don’t think its from the disc. Could this be tendinitis? Is the forward head causing this pain? Will your exercises work for me?

    1. Hey Jeffrey,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Findings on scans like your C5-6 disc bulge does not necessarily mean it is the cause of your symptoms.

      Forward head posture maybe a probable factor leading to your Left sided pain. And doing these exercises will mostly likely ease some (if not all) of your symptoms relating to poked neck syndrome.

      When it comes to ONE sided problems, you need to ask yourself things like the following:

      How’s your posture from the back view? Are you leaning to one side? Or rotating your body to one side. Have a think of the work station set up (if you have one), do you have to look to 2 computer and you tend to favour one? Is your head sitting on your shoulders evenly? Is one shoulder higher than the other? etc

      It is probably best that your chiropractor assess these factors as it may be causing your Left sided pain specifically.

      Hope this helps Jeffrey!

      Mark

  129. Hi Mark,

    I had a question regarding the chin tuck exercise. How far would you say we need to push our head back when doing this exercise? How do we know when we’ve gone too far?

    I’ve been doing this exercise to correct my posture, but I feel like I may be retracting my head too far back or with too much force.

    Thanks,

    1. Hey Shane,

      When it comes to maintain the ideal posture, you want to align your ear canal so that it falls in line with your shoulder joint (providing that your shoulder joint is in the right position).

      When doing retraction exercises, go as far as the body will allow you providing that it is not causing any pain or discomfort.

      You’ll usually find that you are at your limit when your throat is being squashed.

      Mark

  130. Hi Mark, I’m currently in school to become a Registered Massage Therapist and I appreciate this blog spot as forward head posture seems to affect many clients I treat here in our student clinic. That said, I have a person in mind whom has forward head posture and tends to experience numbness while preparing food in the kitchen and while driving. I suspect this client has Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, more specifically relating to the anterior scalenes and would like to provide some stretching exercise as home care. I was wondering if you can help recommend any further exercises you feel would be beneficial for this client.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Jessica,

      If anterior scalenes are causing nerve issue, it is even more important to do these exercises for Forward head posture.

      Additionally – I find that with people with over active scalenes, they tend to be breathing incorrectly. These people use their neck muscles to pull air into their lungs.

      Try teaching your patient Diaphragmatic Breathing techniques to allow for the scalenes to relax.

      You can also try doing Nerve glides such as as in the picture below:

      1. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! The Diaphragmatic Breathing and glides are a great ideas. Also, I’m thinking of working on the fascia around the clavicle/pecs and anywhere restrictions are felt and seen with decrease ROM which may be aiding pulling the C/S forward. When lying prone, this client has also been known to go numb around the inferior angle of the scapula on one side. After digging a little deeper, I am thinking that it may also be beneficial in strengthening the rhomboid muscles which are overstretched and the levator scapula which feels weak in hopes that it might just take some of the strain off the dorsal scapular nerve. Can you please provide your thoughts on this? Thank you for your help! Jes

        1. Hey hey,

          Working on the restricted fascia around the neck is a great idea too! Combining your release with neck movements will be even better.

          If you are suspecting that the Dorsal scapular nerve is involved:
          a) Gently release the scalenes. The nerve can get choked in this area.
          b) Check around C5 level. (This is a common region of the neck to be squashed especially if you have a Forward head posture or a Dowager’s hump.) You can try stretching away from the symptomatic side to see if that gives some alleviation of nerve symptoms.

          Mark

  131. I just finished doing your 6 exercises. I thank you for your knowledge and willingness to share. I was on my computer for about an hour and a half this evening. When I got off and sat down in another room, I had terrible pain at the base of my skull which radiated with clicking sounds; upwardly on each side of my head. I was desperate for relief. This is when you became a God send! Naively, I had no idea of my poor posture while sitting at my computer. I have actually been doing the opposite of retrieving my neck and chin inward. I have some relief and I will continue with your exercises. Thank you so very much and God bless you!

    1. Hey Robin!

      That’s awesome!

      With continued effort, a bit of time and determination, I am sure your pain will go away with these exercises.

      Mark

  132. hi mark. so i have noticed my forward head for about 10 months now and when i feel the vertebrae it feels like there is a lot of space between them on my neck and i can feel the vertebrae rounding. when it is like that is it just the muscles that need to be fixed or once the veryebrae are like that it is stuck like that

  133. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for this blog. I have been experiencing neck, shoulder and back pain for almost a month now. I do recognized I have forward head posture after reading your post. 10 months ago I started doing strength exercises (burpee, mountain climbers, squats with weights, plank…). Not sure if those exercises contributed to my pains and aches or were the pain solely due to my forward head posture. Anyhow, I just started (I just did it once before posting this comment) the exercises you recommended for forward head posture but the pain (neck and shoulder areas) got worst. Is it suppose to be that? Will the pain eventually decreased overtime as I continue doing these exercises? Thank you!

    1. Hi there,

      Try to ease into these exercises.

      If you push it too far, it can definitely flare things up. (But it won’t last)

      Was it a particular exercise that was the issue? You may need to focus on the pain-free ones first, and then progress as appropriately.

      Mark

      1. Thank you for your reply. The particular exercise that make it worst was the chin tuck. Not sure if I did it wrongly or because I wasn’t use to it. I will follow your advise to ease into these exercises instead of doing all of them in one sitting. Thanks again!

  134. hey I’m 15 years old. A little over two years ago i started playing video games nearly 6 hours every day. sometimes 13 hours and as time went by i began to get forward head posture, the big issue is that I’m nearly 190 cm tall and that made it even worse. i used to play with my friend who have done the same as me, just for ten years more than i have. then i had a big argument with my mom about the gaming. i stopped playing video games and started going more out. then my friends kindly told me that i should fix my posture and start working out ( i did my best to avoid getting sweaty and doing something that was physically hard, now i love the feeling of going exhausted to bed and taking a nice cold bath after two hours in the gym, i discovered that the feeling is actually great). Then i started doing fitness, and while i was looking on the internet i fell over this site. Now two months has passed and i begin to see a big improvement with my posture i have done all the extercises nearly every day in two months and will continue doing it as long as possible. Thank you so much for making this detailed guide it have helped me alot bless you.

    I’m sorry if you got bored reading it but i really wanted to get this out.

    ( i felt like getting old in a young age).

    your article is great.

    1. Hey Morgan,

      That’s fantastic news!

      I love it when my readers come back after a couple of months after doing the exercises and say that there has been a lot of improvement!

      Keep up the good work and let me know if you have further questions.

      Mark

  135. Hi! I have terrible neck and right scapular pain along with ulnar nerve discomfort that includes numbness from back through my elbow down to my pinky. It keeps me from sleeping and doing things I enjoy such as painting. Can bad posture and forward head cause this? I have experienced it for about 4 years now and it seems to just be getting worse. I have tried everything including massage, injections and seeing a chiropractor. Thanks for any advice!

    1. Hi Patty,

      A forward head posture can cause nerve issues like you have described.

      With ulnar nerve involvement, the C8/T1 joint in the nerve is usually the level involved.

      Have you had a scan to rule out any joint or disc issues at this level?

      Mark

      1. thanks for your quick reply. I had a lumbar scan but not a cervical scan. When I was going to the chiropractor he told me that c7 looked compressed though.

        1. You can try doing Ulnar Nerve Glides to see if that frees up your nerve. A quick google/youtube search will show you how to do it quickly.

          Also with Ulnar nerve issues, NEVER sleep with your arms in the bent position. Keep them straight. The ulnar nerve gets aggravated with prolonged elbow flexion.

          Mark

  136. Hi Ian currently 6 months pregnant and I have been experiencing neck and shoulder pain since the beginning of my pregnancy. sometimes at night I get tingling in my fingers. I see a physical therapist and it’s been helping. I was wondering if I can incorporate some of these excerisises in to what i do mostly shoulder pull backs and some light stretching. I get worried about it. I just wonder if I will I be able to fix it I am a 30 yr stay at home mom and student.

    1. Hey Crystal,

      You can do all the exercises on this page except for the one where you are lying on your stomach. They will help you!

      Tingling in the hand/fingers during pregnancy is usually associated with natural increase in fluid retention in your body which can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.

      Mark

      Ps. Not too sure who Ian is lol 😛

  137. Hi Mark,
    I have a little double chin right now.I wonder,if I do these exercises will it become more pronounced?I really want to fix my neck but also I don’t want a salient jowl.Please help me.

    1. Hey Maggie,

      Whilst doing the exercises with strict form, it is likely that it will give you a bit of a double chin.

      However, when you are not doing the exercises, you can just slightly tuck the chin in. This should not give the appearance of a double chin.

      Once your muscles/joints loosen up and you are able to achieve the ideal head/neck position, the double chin appearance will actually be less.

      Mark

      1. Maggie: as someone who had a pretty bad case of forward head posture and fixed it using Mark’s techniques, I confirm to you that it did not create a double chin. In fact, I’ve been getting comments from people telling me that I look taller and in better shape!

  138. Hello Mark!

    In less than two months of doing these exercises on a daily basis, I have reduced the distance between my head and the wall in a resting position from 4 inches to half an inch. I have been doing these exercises twice a day, 7 days a week for nearly two months. My migraines are gone and my neck pain has reduced considerably.

    I OWE you. Let me know if I can help in any way. In fact, let me know HOW I can help you!

    John from Québec, Canada

  139. Hi there thanks for this informative piece I will definitely try it out. I know you talked about sleeping position in your article I was wondering if you could further elaborate on that, as when i wake up from sleeping i find i am already in a flex hunched forward neck posture. What do you recommend in terms of pillow and sleeping positions to avoid this? As every time i wake up i am tense and sore and in that posture.

    1. Hi Al,

      If you are sleeping on your back, you need to make sure that your pillow is not too high. This will push your neck forward and hunched.

      Make sure the curve of your neck is supported and neutral head is maintained.

      If you are on your side, try to have your top arm supported by hugging a thick pillow. If your top arm falls forward, this will bring your shoulders and neck forward with it as well.

      Mark

  140. Hello Mark, I’ve recently been trying to correct my horrible forward head posture, and came across this website.

    I’m a 16 year old 6’2″male and I believe that my forward head/rolled shoulders are caused by the horrible way I had always sat in front of my computer.

    If I stand comfortably, my shoulders are hunched over my body and my head pokes out like a turtle. I’ve been doing these excercizes for a few days now and have been working on keeping correct posture throughout the whole day.

    If I continue to do this, should my neck point more in a vertical direction rather than angled out from my body as it is now? I’m worried that after working on it for a while, I will be able to hold good posture, but it will look awkward and forced like it does when I try now.

    I’m trying everything I can to fix my problems and would love it if you could help me out some more.

    Thanks
    Lucas

    1. Hi Lucas,

      Your body has learnt the wrong way to hold up your posture. This is your default position.

      It feels awkward and forced as you are fighting against your wrongly learnt default position.

      To fix this:
      – Strengthen the weak muscles
      – Stretch the tight muscles
      – Train your neuromuscular system to automatically hold good posture (this is all about practice)

      Once these are addressed, good posture will become natural for you.

      It has taken a long time for you to develop your posture, so it is going to take time to fix it.

      Hope this helps!

      Mark

  141. Hi Mark

    Your site is very helpful and I was hoping to ask a few additional questions regarding the appropriateness of the neck exercises you described for my particular neck issue. I have never had neck or back pain until the past year after having a baby. In early December I awoke with an intense pain in my lower neck that has not gone away and seems to at times be getting worse (can feel effects in my arms and back at times so I think there might be a nerve issue). I think the problem originated from assuming a hunched position while nursing and tending to look down at my baby when in this position. It seems that it may have been further aggravated by a couple of instances during which I fell asleep when nursing and woke up with my head hanging forward and my chin close to my chest. I know the exercises you described are intended for people who are sedentary for most of the day and/or spend a lot of time on computers or other devices. I wanted to get your opinion as to whether the exercises might be beneficial for me or whether you think I might have caused more serious damage than these exercises could remedy.

    1. Hello Lori,

      These exercises will most definitely help you out.

      I would just be a bit careful if you suspect you have a nerve problem.

      Do you have a Dowager’s hump? Check it out here.

      Mark

  142. Hi Mark!
    First of all Thank you so much to make this website! you had no idea how long I search something like this website on google and yea I almost given up. At first I open your website/blog I thought this detailed website at the end of sentences will sell something(book, pill, etc.) but you dont and I’m kinda wondering what is your motivation to make this website? and yeah been doing this exercise for the past 5 days and at the first day it’s hurt so much to do this but the next day it’s become easier. sorry for the long story :p
    and Mark here’s the question, hope you dont bother I ask a lot of question cause I’m really eager to fix my posture:
    Can I do Push up, Sit up or any other excercise and what simple exercise Should I do and don’t?
    Thank you Mark and I hope you all the best in career and your life. and Happy New Year Mark!
    P.S. Sorry for grammar mistake I’m still learning

    Haikal

    1. Hey Haikal,

      My inspiration for posting these blog articles was to originally help my own patients at the clinic. As I usually talk very fast and need to say a lot in a session, I find that having something to read afterwards helps out heaps.

      In regards to what other exercises you can do… you can do pretty much do anything that doesn’t cause your neck pain/posture to get worse.

      If it hurts – change the way you do the exercise, If it still hurts, then probably best to try a different exercise.

      Mark

  143. Mark,
    I have swayback – diagnosed by an X-ray. The most comfortable position for me to work on my laptop is sitting on the floor on a very dense foam pad leaning against a large foam triangle that is against the wall. My legs are straight out with my heels “falling” off the edge of the foam pad. Is it bad for me to do work in this position? Sid

    1. Hey Sid,

      I wouldn’t recommend sitting in this position for a prolonged amount of time. (Especially if you have tight Hamstring muscles)

      If your laptop is sitting on your lap in this position (… which I guess is what they were designed for), it will encourage your posture to slouch forward.

      Sounds like you need to strengthen your mid section of your body. Can you do any planks?

      Mark

      1. Thank you so much for answering! Yes. I can do planks and I will! I love my window seat, but it does appear that it encourages my slouching. Should I be sitting up in a chair instead of leaning back like that ? What about watching TV? Recliners are bad for me?

        1. Hi Sid,

          Try to find a supportive ergonomic work chair. It is much better than sitting on the floor.

          Recliners are fine, just make sure your head is relaxed back and not poking forward.

          Mark

  144. Hi Mark,
    Your website is great for posture information. Learnt quite a lot of things. Two questions…
    1) Can posture problems be corrected permanently with exercise, or effect remains only until you do exercise rigorously.
    2) When you say in exercise b to stretch

    Instructions:

    With your hands at the back of your head, pull your head down.
    Aim to feel the stretch at the back of your neck.
    Hold for a minimum for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

    If the head is already leaning forward, I want to know how this exercise helps, will it not pull it more. I am sure not, but how it works from bio-mechanics standpoint.

    Thanks,
    John

    1. Hi John,

      You will need to continue to do the exercises until your body is “neurologically wired” to hold good posture. I liken it to getting rid of a bad habit. It takes time. Consistency. And strategies to prevent yourself from going back to your bad posture.

      In regards to the stretch, the aim is to stretch the back portion of your neck. These muscles are very active in a Forward Head posture.

      The stretch is performed in a motion where the chin goes towards the chest, whereas, in a forward head position, the chin is goes away from the chest (… or pokes forward).

      If you were to do the stretch where the chin goes away from the chest (poking forward), then this would make the head posture worse.

      Hope this makes sense! If not, let me know 🙂

      Mark

    1. Hey Haikal,

      You sure can!

      Just make sure you keep that chin slightly tucked in and the back of the neck elongated towards the sky. Keep it RELAXED.

      (And don’t run with your chin leading in front of you. This is very common!)

      Mark

  145. Hi, for #1 you mentioned a particular muscle underneath the base of the skull that will be tight and needs to be stretched. What is this muscle called and why is it exactly tight again if one has FHP?

    1. Here is a picture of the muscles in the Sub-occipital region:

      (See image)

      Together – they cause Hyperextension of the upper neck joints when they are tight. This is seen in the Forward head posture.

      Mark

  146. Hi.
    I have pain on my shoulders and back of my neck. This started several weeks ago, seemingly suddenly. The only difference is I’ve been doing more computer work for longer periods of time. My posture is terrible. So I was thankful when muy employer emailed a self- care message with your website included.
    I’ve started doing the stretches you suggest because I do, in fact have forward head posture. I would like to fix this.
    I have a couple concerns. One is that I’ve noticed since the pain started, my shoulders hurt all night while I am on bed. I’ve been sleeping with little to no pillow. I sleep on my back most of the night because I have sleep apnea and I use a CPAP.
    The other concern is that during the day, when I’m up and around and not working on my computer, my shoulders and neck do not hurt a much, but if I’m holding an object and, for example pouring liquid into a cup, it feels like I’m going to lose my grip and drop the object when I move a certain way.
    I have changed my work space on order to sit properly. The field I am in has a high risk for repetitive stress injury and I’m getting up there on age and don’t want to become a statistic.
    Any thoughts will be appreciated.

    1. Hi Melani,

      It sounds like you are placing your body in a position where it is not used to.

      The main thing I would recommend is try to not stay in the one static position for too long. Get up, go for a walk, go toilet etc to break up the prolonged sitting.

      If you are not able to get out of your chair, try doing shoulder rolls every 15-20 minutes.


      30 Reps.

      The trick is do this exercise as regular as you can to prevent the pain from starting. Once the pain starts at work, it is often difficult to stop it in the short term.

      In the long term, you will need to try to fix your posture. (this whole website is dedicated to help you with that 🙂 )

      1. Thank you.
        I’ve setup my work station so that I am in the correct posture. My pain seems to be getting worse as the days go by, especially when I am sleeping. I wake up to excruciating pain in my shoulders. I’ve been sleeping with a roll under my neck that a chiropractor told me to use.

      2. Hi again Mark,

        Thank you SO much for your quick response to my question.

        I have another question. When starting to correct posture, is it common to start hurting in other places?

        1. Hi again,

          Yes – other areas can start to hurt as you may be using muscles that you haven’t really used before.

          (Just make sure you are performing the exercises correctly. If you do them wrongly, that could also make things worse :O)

          Mark

  147. Mark
    I am a 63 year old male who has suffered with Forward Head Posture for years. When I stand up against a wall as you demonstrated, my head is about 4 to 5 inches away from the wall. Is that severe? Given how long I’ve had FHP, is it possible to get my posture to a normal level with these exercises? Also can I develop Dowager’s hump by doing these exercises?

    1. Hello Robert,

      5 Inches of Forward Head posture (FHP) is quite a bit… *But it’s actually quite common!

      Generally speaking, due to the longevity and severity of your FHP, you might not be able to correct it a complete 100%. (and that’s OK)

      When addressing your posture, it’s always about aiming for progression and not perfection.

      In regards to the Dowager’s Hump, these exercises will actually help fix your Dowager’s Hump.

      Check out this post here if you want more info on exercises for Dowager’s Hump.

      Mark

  148. hi Mark..im a counselor and once i move downward my head or looking to my computer i feel like sudden weakness and dizzines..im worried about that..

    1. Hi,

      Weakness and dizziness may suggests more sinister issues.

      Before you do any exercises, I would recommend getting a scan first to make sure that it is nothing serious.

      Mark

  149. Greetings from Brazil, and a huge, huge thank you.
    To tell you the truth, In the beginning, I was a little skeptical, it just seemed too good to be truth… I was expecting very little improvement, but as I was going for anything to avoid surgeries I tried these exercises out some weeks ago, and today I have literally no pain at all. It just feels like I was given a a brand new neck.
    But I got a question: I have a sort of boney lump right at the base of my neck that I thought wouldn’t go away anymore, however, I don’t know how, with these exercises it is getting smaller and smaller… My question is: Can I continue doing theses exercises even without pain , just to see If I can get rid of this lump?

    1. Hi Pedro!

      Awesome to see that you have no more neck pain after doing these exercises.

      To answer your question – I would definitely continue to do these exercises even if you have no neck pain.

      I do them at least 2/week myself 🙂

      Also – it sounds like you have what we call a Dowager’s Hump (very common in Forward head postures). Click here for more info.

      Mark

  150. HI there I was wondering how long I should do these exercises for for me to see an improvement..do you think 1 month time is good?…i am 25 years old.

    1. Hi Shifa,

      You should be able to see/feel some difference (even if it is a small amount) almost straight away.

      However – it can take some time for your newly adopted head position to become natural for you.

      Mark

      1. Thank you for your reply..
        I was wondering if pilates and yoga will help me improve my posture as well? and how often do you think I should do them?

          1. Thank you Mark!, How often should I be doing pilates to help improve posture? and would you recommend a whole body pilates routine?

      2. Hi Mark would yoga and Pilates help with correcting posture as well? along with the exercises you have mentioned ? how often would you suggest to do yoga or Pilates ?

        1. Hi Barbara,

          Yoga and pilates are great for the whole body in general.

          Anything that keeps the body moving and strong is good!

          You can start off going 1/ week and see how your body responds to that and adjust accordingly.

          Mark

  151. Hi Mark! So pleased I’ve found you! I have had SPD with three pregnancies which has resulted in my pelvis tipping – I think this has affected my posture a lot as I lean to the right (sound out when I went for a lung x-ray and they kept having to push me upright!) this is also affected my head, I know I have forward head posture which has resulted in dowegers hump, I’m very self conscious. Is there any hope? I find certain exercises, although they don’t hurt my neck clicks with each move. I’ll keep persevering in the hope I can regain posture and confidence. Thank you.

    1. Hey Fran!

      It’s all about perseverance and consistency when it comes to fixing this problem.

      I always say: Small baby steps each time in the right direction!

      Clicking is a sign that you are probably moving stiff joints. That is a good thing! (just make sure it isn’t making any of your symptoms worse!~)

      Mark

  152. Thanks for great tips about this. Can you tell me how long it would take me to get my head into natural position if I do this exercises daily?From your experience with patients (two fingers protruding from wall)

    1. Hey John,

      If your forward head posture is purely due to neck tightness/weakness, it actually shouldn’t take too long to see improvements. I’ve seen patients have improved head posture after 1 session! … On the other hand, I have seen others that can take months.

      If it is taking a long time: it may be that you have another postural issue that is causing your forward head posture (like Rounded shoulders, Hunchback posture).

      Mark

  153. Hi Mark, Ive just seen your interesting post after searching for self help for a back of neck hump. I’m not overweight but I’m really conscious of this neck hump which I’m sure has been caused by bad posture. Would these exercises help?

    1. Hey Sue,

      If your neck hump has been caused by your bad posture (in particular a forward head posture), then these exercise will definitely help you.

      Please let me know if you need any extra help with them.

      Mark

  154. Hi Mark, i have been doing these excercises but one of my neck muscles at the back of my neck spine is now protruding. Is that from straining too hard doing the chin tucks. Not sure how to release it as when i look down it bulges out.

    1. Hi Danielle,

      Thanks for the comment and your email.

      Can you tell me where exactly you feel the neck muscles protruding? And which exercise in particular you think has caused it?

      Happy to talk to you here, or in email.

      Hope to hear from you soon 🙂

      Mark

  155. Hey Mark,

    When you do the test against the wall to see if you have forward head posture correction. Are your feet against the wall too or are they slightly in front of the wall? I know you place your back towards a wall with your bottom, lower back and shoulder blades completely flat against the wall.

  156. Hey Mark, when do you the test as to whether you have forward head posture or not. Are your feet against the baseboard of the floor as well?

  157. Hi Mark I got bad forward head posture and rounded shoulders it started with pain in my neck and mid back between my shoulders my muscles just tense up extremely tight now its moving to my shoulders and chest area there starting to tighten up I have trouble holding my right arm straight out and above my head and if I move my head quickly I get a little dizzy I have had an mri on my upper back and neck showing nothing any tips or exercises I can do to stop this from spiraling to the rest of my body

    1. Hey Kevin,

      Many of the muscles in your shoulder and neck are shared. Tightness in these areas not only can cause your dizziness, but can make it hard for you to use your arm.

      I think the first step would be to release all the muscles in your neck ( the same ones mentioned in this post) and see if that makes any difference.

      On top of that, avoid any movements or activities that may be exacerbating your symptoms.

      Mark

  158. Dude, thank you so much! At 23 now, I’ve been dealing with upper back/neck pain for about 5 years now. It often got so bad that it’d leave me nauseous and with headaches. It really frustrates me that after all these years, the doctors, including my pain management docs, couldn’t just look at me and tell me my posture was as bad as it is. I started pulling my neck back and it was like a blood rush to my brain! Like my head was so far forward all the time, that it wasn’t getting proper blood flow or something. I kept it in that position and the pain in my neck and shoulder went away completely! Something even codeine couldn’t do. I’ll start being more conscious of my posture and doing these exercises everyday. Thanks man! 🙂

  159. Hi Mark !
    while doing the neck mobility exercise , i feel great pressure on my neck vertebraes as if i move my head backward a little more , i feel like it may break !!! is that normal and should i continue doing this exercise? thanks in advance.

    1. Hey Bob,

      You are probably moving your head backwards a bit too much. (This should improve as your forward head posture improves). When you move your head back too far when you have a pronounced forward head posture, the joints in your neck can jam together.

      I suggest to continue to do the mobility exercise, but don’t force it back too far.

      Do what is comfortable. Go as far as your body will comfortably allow you. It takes time for the body to get used to these exercises.

      Mark

  160. Will this work?im a 13 year old who have been experiencing this for 3 years and i get anterior pelvis tilt wheni try to get a good poature pls help me out..

  161. Hi mark,
    I’ve been struggling with my back posture for some time now I feel as if my back is forming S shape the lower back goes right in and my upper back hunches had can you help me please.

  162. Mark,
    I have fwd. head issues, I’m getting numbness in bil. hands, thumb, index finger, second finger & ring finger. Will these exs. help release the nerve impingement?

    1. Hi Jeep,

      Sounds like you have a bit of nerve irritation.

      The main thing for you is to determine where exactly the nerve is getting irritated.

      I would focus on doing the chin tuck exercises. This will help make more room at the opening where the nerve comes out of your neck.

      However, I would encourage you to get a neck scan to rule out anything sinister.

      Mark

  163. Hey mark
    I came to this site after i started to find any position i was in were my head was leaning forward would create a number of symptoms. A chiropractor i saw a year ago told me i had scoliosis and scheuermann’s disease which was creating pain and pressure between my upper thoraic joints. He did not give excersise and the adjusting was helping to much. In the last few months i have found i have dizziness and have fainted a few times whilst in a prolonged sitting position. I also getting shooting pain down my arms and tingling down my legs usually while sitting. If i lean my head forward i get a vibrating feeling through my back and chest. A mri showed a small protusion between my c5 and c6 joints which doesnt really explain any of my symptoms since its only mild. Im going to try your excersise and i hope they help a bit 🙂 i found when i do tuck my chin in the symptoms go away pretty quick.

  164. Hey Mark thanks for your content.

    My question regards about the strenghtening of mid and lower trapezius to correct bad posture.
    Its not that necessary, although it may help?

    obs:
    E.g. exercises: facepulls, straight arm dips, support holds.

    Thanks,

    Caue

    1. Hey Caue,

      Those exercises are great for the mid/lower trap muscles!

      Just need to make sure you can support your full body weight in your arms for a prolonged amount of time.

      Mark

  165. Hey
    Well I’ve been having forward head posture for years cuz i had back problems. Now that the problem with my back is kinda better after wearing something to make it better the head posture is a bit better then before. But still i look bad and i don’t like it. All of exercises i have to do? And how minutes for each? And how times a day to do them? And please how long will take until i have a normal head posture? It makes me feel ugly , i want to have it normal as soon as possible. Thank you

    1. Hi Julinda,

      I would do all of the exercises 1/day to begin with.

      As you become more familiar with your body and its reaction to the exercises, you can start to focus on the exercise which you find most beneficial.

      In regards to how long will it take to get normal head posture… it really depends on how long you’ve had your issue. The general rule is that the longer you have had your bad posture, the longer it will take to fix.

      Neck exercises are your best solution to correcting your forward head posture.

      Mark

  166. Thank you so much! I have been struggling with neck pain and migraines for 10 years and I can tell I am getting a little bit of relief by doing this program. I am super hopeful that this will actually fix the rest of the problem. Thank you for putting together such a detailed program!

  167. This is such a great resource! I am a 32 year old and have a forward head posture, as a result of years of slouching while teaching small kids; also I was a painfully shy girl for my first 18 years and as a result often slouched to keep from being noticed. I have also developed a slight neck bump. I have no pain or discomfort, but would like to get this taken care of. Is this correctable with the stretches you have outlined? Any other tips? Should I see a chiropractor?

  168. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for putting this up. As well as the problems outlined here I also have an inability to lie relaxed on my back with my hands behind my head and elbows out to side. As soon as I relax the elbows out to the sides I get sharp pain through the fronts of my brachium (between my arm pits and elbows). Any thoughts?
    Cheers again
    Ben, Brisbane.

  169. Hi Mark, I have a desk job so Ive developed bad habits sitting at my desk. My bad posture has led to the inability for my jaw to open all the way recently. I have not developed pain in my jaw but my neck and shoulders are experiencing discomfort. Which exercises should I focus more on to help improve the function of my jaw?

  170. I’m in my late 20s and have had forward neck posture for years because I was a competitive swimmer that stopped cold-turkey when I started college. The muscles in my back stopped being used and sitting all day in college classes/studying destroyed my posture.

    Despite not being overweight, standing up straight with my ears aligned with my shoulders causes me to have unsightly double chin. If I persisted in trying these exercises, would this double chin effect get better since the problem is very tight and strained neck muscles? How long would you say that I would need to do these daily before I see some change?

    1. Hi there Elizabeth,

      As your posture (as a whole) improves, the exercise will become easier. As your neck and head regain the proper position in relation to your thoracic spine, the double chin will go away too.

      In terms of how long before you see some change: After a solid week of doing the exercises everyday, you should start to feel that the exercises become easier and less awkward to perform.

      In terms of correcting your forward head posture: That’s going to take some time and differs between individuals. The general rule is that the longer you have had your poor posture, the longer it will take to improve.

      Keep at it! Let me know how it goes.

      Mark

  171. I am currently in school to become a Registered Massage Therapist. I am in transition from forward head/sway back posture to correct posture. I am so grateful for this website and will be recommending it to my future clients. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    1. Hello Francine,

      Great that you are taking the steps to correct your posture.

      Please feel free to contact me if you need any help with the exercises!

      Mark

  172. Hi Mark,

    I’ve recently developed deep, very focused pain in my left shoulder, a likely result of hours a week cycling, poor posture, and a desk job. I’ve started physical therapy and many of your exercises are on the routine they’ve given me. Question for you: should I be doing all of the exercises on this page twice a day? You say it should take about 15 minutes, but when I add them all up, it’s much more than that. Just wondering how long to be working at this.

    Thanks for such targeted advice and exercises.

    1. Hi Sue,

      Thanks for pointing out that it takes longer than 15 minutes.

      I just recently updated and added more exercises the other day and forgot to change the time frame.

      But to answer your question:

      I think at the beginning to build momentum, try to do all of the exercises mentioned above (as long as it takes).

      As you become more familiar with how your body responds to each exercises, then you can start to focus on certain exercises that give you more benefit (and also eliminate any that may seem to be less effective).

      There are A LOT of exercises and it will definitely take sometime to complete them all. As your posture and pain improves, you will be able to wean down the time spent on the exercises.

      I hope this answers your question. 🙂

      Mark

  173. Hi Mark,
    Your website is great. It has all the required information in one single place.
    I am 32 yrs old. I am having neck , shoulder and upper back pain for 3 yrs from computer desk job. MRI says bulging disc and disc compression. I went to so many doctors, tried Ayurveda massage, Acupuncture and few physiotherapists. They couldn’t help much. The exercises I was taught wasn’t complete like you have posted. Your blog gives me new confidence and I am not going to let this pain control my life.
    I am going to do these exercises religiously.
    Can’t thank you enough for your help.
    Great job and God bless 🙂

    1. I wish I was taught about the importance of good posture in my school days when I as young. That would have become a habit as I grew up.

      1. Hi Mark,
        I have been following your advice and doing the exercises for 4 months now. I can see a tremendous improvement.. I am not totally pain free but can see a huge difference and I can’t thank you enough for this 🙂

        Can I be totally pain free by regularly doing all the exercises?? Also I have pain at the base of my skull.. the shoulder blade pain, lower cervical pain has reduced alot but the pain around the base of he skull is a new addition ? Could you please tell me what exercises need to be done for this ?

        1. Hi Laskhmi,

          Great to see that your pain is much better now!

          You most definitely can be completely pain-free, providing that you are addressing the exact cause(s) that are responsible for your pain.

          In regards to your pain at the base of the skull… my guess would be that you may recruiting your Sternocleidomastoid muscle too much (especially when you do Chin Nods).

          When you do the Chin Nods exercises, just make sure you are not tensing your neck muscles excessively. Everything should be fairly gentle. This usually happens when you do the exercise below:

          Perhaps remove this one (for now) and see if it makes a difference.

          Mark

          1. Thank you for the quick reply.. I will follow your advice and let you know how it goes.. the reduce in pain has made a great difference in my everyday life.. my mood is more cheerful and overall I am more happy. Thank you..

  174. Hi Mark, I fractured and compressed my spine about 14 years ago (L 7,8 & 11) from some improper lifting. At that time it was discovered that I was right on the borderline between osteopenia and osteoporosis as a 51 year old male. Now at 65 I’m seeing the forward head posture increasing each year starting about 7-8 years ago. I also have the rounded shoulders now and am trying to slow this process down and even hopefully reverse some of it. I will be doing these exercises you have shown, but the main question I wanted to ask you is that I enjoy riding a bicycle a lot and going on 15-20 mile rides 2-3 times a week. Is the bent over forward position of my bike riding causing additional issues or it is ok? I’m riding with the older type handlebars down low and below the top of the stem. I don’t usually ride for more than a couple minutes in an hour at that position, but rather usually just have my hand position at the top of the handlebars. I’m explaining this so you know I’m not riding a mountain type bike with (sitting up) posture, but rather an 18 speed road bike. I don’t feel any pain or issues when riding but have often wondered if this was either good or bad for my forward head position when I ride a lot like that in a forward bent over or humped position. Thanks in advance for your reply and for publishing these exercises.

    1. Hi Mike,

      It is fine to continue your cycling. And in fact, I strongly encourage you to keep at it especially if it is something you enjoy.

      You just need to invest more time in doing the exercises to counteract the forward head posture in the cycling posture. It is difficult (if at all possible) to have good posture on a low handle bike.

      My advice would be to just make an effort to avoid jutting your chin forward as you ride.

      Let me know how it goes, mate!

      Mark.

  175. Thank you very much Mark. I am starting your program today. I actually think this will help relieve thoracic spine pain, also. You provide a big help to some of us who have given up. I hope you have a very successful career. You are a very caring person. Best wishes.

  176. Mark, I had a bad disc problems in my mid thoracic spine that had to be diagnosed by discogram. Prior to the proper diagnosis, I had a fusion of the C6/C7 cervical disc. I have a problem with mine Head and Shoulders going forward. I believe that the exercise shown in your article will help me however I do have one question. Will the fusion in the cervical spine prohibit mean from regaining my head and neck posture? Is this something that would ruin my chances of benefiting from your exercise?

    1. Hi Jimmy,

      If you have had fusion, you will lose the ability to move those fused joints.

      However – the joints above and below can still be improved with these exercises for sure!

      All the best!

      Mark

  177. Hello Mark, I have APT which had caused hyperlordosis which in turn has developed into hyperkyphosis and forward head. Do you have any exercises that you could post that deals with the rotation of the hips. I’ve dealt with this pain constantly for almost 5 years. Headaches in the temples, offset hips and shoulders (scoliosis), dizziness, depression.. I’ve never went to a PT as they cost a lot of money that I don’t have.the chiro visits just work for a few days. It all kind of started when I learned to play the guitar, so my body started leaning to the left and the muscles in my lower right hip pulled and twisted in an injury, and they have been stuck that way ever since. Thanks in advance! Sincerely Dallas Smith.

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Choosing a pillow for a Forward Head Posture can actually be quite tricky.

      Unfortunately, there is no one pillow that fits all.

      You generally want to make sure that the pillow is not too thick as this will push the head forward. Try to maintain correct neck alignment (ear canal approx. in line with shoulder joint).

      On top of that, make sure the pillow is not causing any pain or discomfort.

      Mark

  178. Hi Mark,

    I have just been given your website by a Dr. in Tucson, Az. who is helping me retrain my brain through neuroplasticity training.

    I suffer from CRPS/RSD ( Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy )and fibromyalgia and as a result many muscle groups are completely atrophied. I have really been having a difficult time holding my head up.

    Do you think your exercise program would help me? I appreciate your time and attention to myself and countless others you have responded to and helped!

    Thanking you in advance,
    Bev

    Do you think I could benef

    1. Hey Bev!

      I’ve worked with people with chronic issues rooting from CRPS and Fibromyalgia.

      From my experience:
      The best thing to do is exercise.

      So, to answer your question, Yes! You can most definitely do these exercises.

      However – you need to make sure that they are comfortable, gentle and executed the correct way. You may need to modify some exercises if they cause symptoms to worsen.

      Please get back to me if you would like further help.

      Mark

  179. Wow this is great. I’m having an ‘aha’ moment. For years I’ve seen physical therapists, PMTs, pain management doctors and more chiropractors than I can count. Every has told me that my head is forward but not a single person gave me confidence it was fixable, let alone showed me exercises like this to do so. I’m so excited right now as I could be on my way to reducing my pain! Thanks so much for the great post. When you see people really commit to the exercises and fixing this issue, how long does it normally take? I’ve pain at least 15 or more years so I don’t expect miracles overnight but am curious is it weeks, months or years?

    1. Hi Sally,

      I’m very glad that you have found this post and on your way to fixing your symptoms!

      Forward head posture is actually more common than having proper posture now… and that is a scary thing. So you’re definitely not alone in this.

      In terms of how long it will take, it really varies from person to person.

      The general guide line is the longer you’ve had something, the longer it;’s going to take to improve/fix. You should see some positive effects almost immediately.

      Since you have had symptoms for over 15 years, I would recommend taking your time doing these exercises. Don’t force anything as this could aggravate issues.

      Please feel free to get back to me if you are unsure of anything! Here to help.

      Mark

  180. I am a 26 year old athlete (footballer) and 7 weeks ago experienced a bulging disc, as well as either a strain or minor tear in some of the occipital muscles in the back of my head. What is the normal recovery time for this? I still feel pain/slight headache after looking down at the counter 15-20 min straight when cooking a meal, or about 30 min after something vibrational such as walking.
    Also, I was told by my PT to do the #3 Chin Nods, so I have been doing so the past couple weeks, at least 1-2 times a day. Can this cause tightness in the front of the neck? I feel tightness vertically along both side of the throat and beneath chin (somewhat in the proximity of the lymph nodes). Could this be from activating these deep neck flexors?

    1. Hi there,

      You will definitely should feel the muscles at the front of your neck as they activate during chin nods/deep neck flexor exercise.

      However, if you are feeling it excessively in the superficial muscles at the front of your neck (which can give a sensation of tightness), you may be recruiting those muscles instead of the DEEP neck flexors.

      To over come this:
      a) Focus on relaxing the muscles at the front. The exercise should be smooth and gentle.
      b) Reduce the amount of chin nodding so that you can control the amount of tension in your neck.
      c) Try pushing your tongue to the roof of your palate. This can sometimes help recruit the deep neck flexors better.

      Let me know how it goes!

  181. I am a physical therapist assistant but having forward head ,, most likely due to the fact that I’m female 6’2″ and most of the cliental I work with is much shorter so I’m always bending down,,
    I will try the suggestions you mention ,
    Thank you for clear descriptions !
    Wish you were in NYC!
    Patricia

  182. Dear Mark,
    I am getting severe neck and upper back pain and stiffness since the last 1 year because of forward head posture. At 23 I feel like I am stuck in an old body . Will doing these exercises make the pain completely go away? I am doing the basic chin tuck exercise since a many months and don’t find much change. What is the secret to complete relief?

    1. Hi Sur,

      If your pain is completely due to having a Forward Head Posture, then doing all these exercises will most definitely help.

      If the pain persists, I would suggest something else may be causing your pain.

      That’s why it’s so important to have a look at the posture as a whole.

      Mark

  183. I feel akward walking around like I have a pole connected from my neck to my back. Is this mandatory? Is there another way? And do the exercises have to he in order? Im 30 yrs old and been carrying heavy back pack for years. Im self concious.

    1. It is quite normal to feel quite awkward when placing your head in the correct position. This is because your body is used to having it in the incorrect position. Keep persisting with it and will become natural for you.

      You don’t have to do the exercises in order, but I do recommend it.

  184. Due to a upper back injury I have developed the worst forward neck issues as a way of compensating for pain and I am really at a loss for how to correct it! After reading this, I hope with time. I’ll be able to correct my posture! It’s such a confidence killer at 20 to have poor posture!

  185. Hi mark. Im 66 years old and have bad muscle spasms that turn my neck..im going to try out your neck exercises. Is there anyone u know of in micigan that can help me..i live in macomb cty. Thanks cheryl smith. Im really out of shape and chiropractors ive been going to havent even given me exercises to do…

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      Neck pain sucks! I know first hand how it feels! But please do give these exercises a try. Exercises are the best way to help yourself from your neck pain.

      As I live in Australia, I can not recommend (or know) any practitioner in Michigan.

      Let me know how it goes.

  186. I have read article after article repeatedly, regarding Forward Head and Neck Postural.Sydrome. However, YOUR website was the MOST informative. I am sitting here in tears. You explained this ‘problem’ to me in full, and I am GRATEFULLY appreciative to your detailed excercises. They have TRULY helped me…and I have tried EVERYthing. The way you explain your excercises-in great detail-is what I needed. Im a 37 y old single mother who works 72 hours s week. Ive had this problem since 2007, which has led me to.such SERIOUS complication. I never write feedbacks on anything, but I felt RELIEF, I am.literally in tears….I just want to TRULY thank you! Your work is GRATEFULLY APPRECIATED! p

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