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Saturdays: 7.30am - 2.30pm

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168 Karrinyup Road, Karrinyup WA 6018 | Monday – Friday: 7.30am to 6.30pm & Saturdays: 7.30am – 2.30pm

Karrinyup Wellness Centre

What is the Impact of Forward Head Posture?

What is the Impact of Forward Head Posture?

This is a great question and one that is commonly asked by many clients stepping through the doors of our chiro clinic!

You might have seen a poster in some of our treatment rooms called “Text Neck”. It gives a fascinating insight into forwarding head posture with varying degrees of weight transfer on the neck and shoulders and its potential to cause stress around the spine and therefore, potentially lead to early degenerative wear and tear processes.

The numbers are huge as the head moves forward from a neutral spine position. The following description is an excerpt from an article from the Australian Spinal Research Foundation [1].

“In a neutral head position (with the lateral posture line running straight through the earlobes and shoulders, with shoulder blades retracted), the average human head weighs 10-12 pounds (4.5-5.5 Kilograms). However, as the head moves forward, this number increases drastically.

  • At 15 degrees, the head weighs 27 pounds (12.3 kilograms)
  • At 30 degrees, it increases to 40 pounds (18.2 kilograms)
  • At 45 degrees, it weighs 49 pounds (22.3 kilograms)
  • At 60 degrees, it exerts a force of 60 pounds on the cervical spine. (27.3 kilograms)
  • At 90 degrees, the force could not be measured.

The study’s author went on to say that as your head tilts forward, you are loading the front of the disks [2].”

Sustained forward head posture is doing far more than just placing inordinate amounts of pressure on your discs, joints and muscles and leading to early degenerative joint processes, therefore pain.

For instance, a 2020/21 study(s) [2, 3, 4, 5.] has found that forward head posture may lead to abnormal afferent nerve impulses and sensorimotor control affecting muscle activity, proprioception, and breathing patterns, and neck pain.

Basically, this means that the sensory and motor impulses that your neck is sending to your brain are being abnormally disrupted.

Proprioception is your body’s way of sensing where it is in space. If the messages being sent to your brain from your body, are abnormal in the manner it can negatively affect things like your balance, spatial orientation and motion sickness [1].

The study also indicated forward head posture was associated with aberrant autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity.

Your ANS is split into two sections; your parasympathetic system (rest, digest, reproduce and repair) and sympathetic (flight and fight response).

The study indicated, that sustained forward head posture may be associated with an increase in our sympathetic nervous system response. This means that our body may be overreacting to stressors and/or distorting its response to normal and regular stimuli and creating an unnecessary stress response [1, 3, 4.].

Hence, this is why it is important to maintain a neutral posture either, sitting, standing or even lying down. Normal or great posture cannot be understated because it allows the brain to cope with day-to-day stress more easily and provide more accurate feedback when performing complex tasks that require you to have good balance and coordination [1, 3, 5.].

With the above information, it is our personal belief that this may just be the tip of the iceberg in regards to correlating poor posture with negative health outcomes and that further study still needs to be done over the next few years.

However, from the latest research, we can see that head posture matters and the  massage therapists and chiropractors at Karrinyup Wellness Centre are here to help you if you feel that yours is less than ideal!

Dr Jason Perry


  1. Clare McIvor, (2020). “New Study Shows How Forward Head Posture Affect the Brain,” Australian Spinal Research Foundation, http://spinalresearch.co.au>new-study-shows-how-forward-head-posture-affects-the-brain/
  2. Staff Writer, (2016), “Stress on the spine: the downside of prolific social media use,” Australian Spinal Research Foundation,https://spinalresearch.com.au/stress-on-the-spine-the-downside-of-prolific-social-media-use/
  1. Ibrahim M Moustafa, Ahmed Youssef, Amal Ahbouch, May Tamim, Deed E. Harrison (2020), “Is forward head posture relevant to autonomic nervous system function and cervical sensorimotor control? Cross sectional study, Gait and amp: Posture (2020)
  2. E. et al The Impact of the Position of the Head on the Functioning of the Human Body: A Systematic Review. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2020;33(5):559-68.
  3. P.A. et al. The Influence of Sagittal Plane Spinal Alignment on Neurophysiology and Sensorimotor Control Measures: Optimization of Function Through Structural Correction. Neurological Physical Therapy (2021) pp 1-28.


Dr Jason Perry
By Dr Jason Perry

B.Sc. (Chiro), B.Chiro (Hons), B.Sci (Sports Sci) Dip. H.Sci (Remedial Mass) DOCTOR OF CHIROPRACTIC

After five years of intense study at Murdoch University, Dr Perry graduated with honors and began his new career as a Chiropractor! Since graduating Dr Perry has completed extensive training in Neuro Organisation Technique (NOT), Advanced Biostructural (ABC), a technique that specialises in postural correction, as well as both acute and chronic pain syndromes, Sacro-occipital Technique (SOT), Applied Kinesiology, Diversified, Webster Technique (Pregnancy), Trigenics (soft tissue muscle release), Dry Needling and Kinesio taping.

When in practice, Dr Perry’s main concern is to help each individual person and their families to become the best that they can possibly be. This can mean at school, work, during sports or any day-to-day activities that you like to do – even those household chores that have just got to be done!

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At the Karrinyup Wellness Centre we have brought together a team of chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists, kinesiologists and a dietitian all dedicated to providing a holistic approach to your health care. Every member of our team shares a common passion and drive: to help every person in their care to improve and reach their health and wellness potential naturally.

Servicing the areas of Karrinyup, Carine, Doubleview, Scarborough, Trigg, North Beach, Gwelup, Marmion, Duncraig and surrounding northern suburb areas.

168 Karrinyup Road Karrinyup WA 6018(08) 9341 3020

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