by Dr. Jon Gindhart, DC
Anterior Head Carriage (AHC) is the term used to describe the forward position of the head on the neck. You can see this by looking at someone from the side to see if their ear is forward of their shoulder (this may even be you!). The more forward a person’s head, the more stress is placed on the neck. An article in Physiology of Joints stated that for every inch of Anterior Head Carriage, the effective weight of the head is increased by 10 pounds! For example, an average head weighs 12 pounds, so for three inches AHC the effective weight of the head is 32 pounds, and for four inches, it would be 42 pounds! No wonder people complain that their head feels heavy and their neck and shoulders are always tight. That’s a lot of extra work the neck muscles have to do to support a 42 pound head.
Rene Calliet, MD, stated that the following things can happen with AHC:
- It can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine
- It may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity
- It can irritate the large intestine, resulting in sluggish bowel movement.
All of this means that many problems and symptoms can be created by AHC, including neck pain, shoulder pain, headache, migraine, fatigue, low back pain, brain fog, tingling in the hands and fingers, and very tight neck and shoulder muscles.
So make sure to get your head, neck, and spine checked to see if AHC is causing these issues with you. Here at The Well of Life Center, we specialize in postural correction to return the head and neck to a balanced and neutral position. This will bring the shoulders back (without effort) and allow you to breath deeper. This has created a significant change in our clients who have suffered with many of the above symptoms for years.