You know that little neck movement you make when you’re about to say “DUH” to someone? Or ever feel like your eyes are about 6 inches from the computer screen and the only way to see the words is to keep moving your head closer? Then after a while of holding that position, you start to get all stiff and sore around your neck? If you know what I’m talking about, you’ve felt the strain this position puts on your neck. This is known as forward head posture and can contribute to neck pain, headaches, pain between the shoulder blades, shoulder pain, and more.
I think we can all agree that the longer we sit at work, in the classroom, or in front of a TV we tend to find ourselves slouched and slumped over, especially towards the end of the day. We all do it, if someone tells you they never have bad posture, they’re lying! Everyone knows that slouching and poor posture can lead to backaches and pains, but there are other lesser-known consequences that can develop as a result of this. Many of these can be avoided by developing good habits!
With any condition, home care is an important part of the treatment and recovery process. Minor modifications made at work, whether that’s adjusting the height of a monitor, positioning of the keyboard, using a chair with good back support, or getting up to walk a few minutes each hour will also go a long way. In the case of cervicogenic headaches, stretching out the tight muscles and strengthening the weak/underused muscles is the best way to tackle the issue
Headaches found to be coming from the cervical spine respond very well with conservative treatment. A multifaceted approach using a combination of manipulation, myofascial release, stretching, and strengthening exercises will provide the best results. Breathing patterns must also be addressed because it has an impact on everything we do in our daily life.
Almost everyone will deal with a headache at some point, making them a very common health complaint. In fact, almost half of the population is affected by headaches. They can range from a minor nuisance to severe and debilitating that impacts daily life. The 3 most common types of headaches are tension-type, migraines, and cluster headaches. Cervicogenic headaches fall within the tension-type group, which will be the focus of this series.
The average human head weighs about 8 pounds. Each day we all walk around with a bowling ball (our head) balancing on a toothpick (our neck). We are designed this way to allow for the full range of motion we all know and love. Even under the best circumstances, this places a lot of stress on our spine. But leaning forward even just 15 degrees pushes that weight up to 30 pounds, and with a 30 degree tilt its closer to 40 pounds!