Other Subject Area

Injury Prevention


International Journal of Exercise Science 16(1): 954-973, 2023. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of three different intervention strategies, postural education (PE) and two corrective exercise programs (CEPs), on the craniovertebral angle (CVA) in young adults with forward head posture (FHP). A prospective four-arm parallel randomized controlled trial with repeated measures was performed. Seventy-nine healthy young adults (55 women, 24 men; mean age: 20.08 ± 2.19 years) with FHP were randomized into four groups: PE group, self-myofascial release + stretching group (SMRS), self-myofascial release + stretching + strengthening group (SMRSS), and a control group (CG). Participant CVA (°) was assessed before and after a 4-week intervention. Seventy-two participants completed the trial. Mean difference comparisons of within-group change in mean CVA revealed an increase in the PE (MD = 3.1, p < .01), SMRS (MD = 3.8, p < .01), and SMRSS (MD = 4.4, p < .01) groups. Mean difference comparison of between-group change in mean CVA supported greater CVA change in the SMRS and SMRSS groups compared to the CG (F(3, 68) = 5.26, p < .01, ƞ2 = .188). All three interventions appear to be effective techniques for improving FHP in young adults, however CEPs may provide superior outcomes than PE alone. A 4-week CEP consisting of self-myofascial release + stretching may yield similar CVA enhancements as a CEP consisting of self-myofascial release + stretching + strengthening. Study findings can assist fitness professionals in designing evidence-based FHP intervention programs for young adults.