Understanding the Impact of Forward Head Posture on Sensorimotor Integration and Somatosensory Processing

By: Deed E. Harrison, DC

Forward head posture (FHP) is a common postural aberration that affects a large portion of the population. It refers to the position of the head when it’s positioned forward in relation to the shoulders, leading to an increased load on the cervical spine. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as prolonged sitting at a desk, excessive use of handheld devices, or poor posture. While it’s a common problem, the impact of FHP on the sensorimotor integration and somatosensory processing is less understood. Below is a recent investigation that used somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to assess differences in sensorimotor integration and somatosensory processing between asymptomatic individuals with and without FHP.

The study examined 60 participants with FHP and 60 control participants matched for age, gender, and body mass index. The researchers used somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to assess differences in sensorimotor integration and somatosensory processing variables between the two groups. The results of the study showed statistically significant differences between the FHP group and control group for all sensorimotor integration and SEP processing variables.

The study found that the group with FHP had less efficient sensorimotor integration and SEP processing than the control group. This suggests that FHP may be related to altered sensorimotor control, which can affect athletic skill measures in populations with FHP. This is consistent with previous research that shows a relationship between poor posture and altered biomechanics of movement.


FHP can lead to a range of musculoskeletal problems including neck pain, headaches, and shoulder problems. These issues can impact daily activities such as reading, using a computer, or driving. Additionally, the altered sensorimotor control due to FHP can increase the risk of injuries, especially in athletes who require fine motor control and coordination in their sport.

It’s essential to address this issue, especially in the context of sports performance and injury prevention. Treatment interventions that address FHP can potentially improve sensorimotor control and thus improve athletic performance. Sports medicine professionals can use the results of this study to develop targeted interventions for individuals with FHP, including postural training, cervical spine mobilization, and strengthening exercises.


This study sheds light on the impact of FHP on sensorimotor integration and somatosensory processing. The results show that FHP can lead to less efficient sensorimotor integration, affecting athletic performance and increasing the risk of injuries. Early intervention and treatment could be important ways to address the problem of FHP and improve functional outcomes. The findings of this study encourage further research in different spine disorders and symptomatic populations. With a better understanding of the impact of FHP, we can create interventions that can improve the outcomes of patient care, especially in the context of sports performance and injury prevention.

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Chiropractic Biophysics Non-profit, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to the advancement of chiropractic principles through scientific research. Dr. Don Harrison (deceased) and his second wife Dr. Deanne LJ Harrison (deceased) founded CBP research foundation in 1982; it was registered as CBP Non-Profit, Inc. in 1989 by Dr. Sang Harrison (Don’s 3rd and final life’s love). Through this organization Dr. Don and colleagues have published over 300 peer-reviewed spine and Chiropractic research publications. Further, CBP Non-Profit, Inc. has funded many scholarships as well as donated chiropractic equipment to many chiropractic colleges; always trying to support chiropractic advancement and education. Dr. Don Harrison was the acting president of CBP Non-Profit, Inc. since 1982. Currently, Dr. Deed Harrison (Don’s son) is the President of CBP Non-Profit, Inc. Read More

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