Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain in Patients with Forward Head Posture: A Systematic Narrative Review

Seoyon Yang, Mathieu Boudier-Revéret, You Gyoung Yi, Kee Yong Hong, Min Cheol Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


(1) Background: Forward head posture (FHP) is one of the most common cervical postural deviations and is characterized by head protrusion or forward head placement in relation to the shoulder in the sagittal plane. Patients with FHP often experience neck pain and disability. The aim of this study was to investigate whether treatment programs are effective in the management of neck pain in patients with FHP. (2) Methods: A MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase, Cochrane Library, and Scopus database search was conducted for English language articles on patients with chronic neck pain and FHP published until 12 April 2023. To identify potentially relevant articles, the following key search phrases were combined: ‘forward head posture’ and ‘pain’. After searching, 2516 potentially relevant articles were identified. After reading the titles and abstracts and assessing their eligibility based on full-text articles, 16 articles were included in this review. (3) Results: Among the 16 studies that investigated the efficacy of treatment programs for managing chronic pain in patients with FHP, 11 investigated the effect of exercise programs, and 5 investigated the effect of manual therapy. Patients reported significant improvement in pain and disability after receiving treatment programs such as corrective postural exercises and special manual therapy techniques. (4) Conclusions: Various treatment programs, including postural corrective exercises and manual therapy, are beneficial for improving pain and disability in patients with FHP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2604
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • chronic neck pain
  • forward head posture
  • neck pain
  • treatment


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