It’s estimated that HEADACHES affect over 5 million Australians. That’s a lot people, like you, that are having to deal with the pain, the discomfort, the associated lack of concentration, lack of energy and decreased ability to focus.
You might also be facing decreased productivity at work, a shorter fuse with the kids or your partner and for some people it can be a large triggering factor in depression.
There are many causes of headaches from dehydration, medication use, stress, hormonal and allergies to name a few. A surprising number of headaches are what’s called CERVICOGENIC headache. – meaning your headaches are coming form your neck.
Research in the journal SPINE, showed that up to 20% of people suffering from chronic headaches, their headaches were coming from the NECK.
Your neck is made up of your skull and seven bones called vertebrae. Muscles attach on to the vertebrae allowing your head and neck to move and to maintain upright posture.
What I’ve seen in practice over the past 21 years is the association between someones posture, the tension in their neck and shoulders and the severity and frequency of their headaches.
In short….the worse someones posture and the more tension they have in the neck and shoulders, the more headaches they suffer from.
Forward head posture (FHP) is a poor habitual neck posture defined by hyperextension (craning) of the upper cervical vertebrae and forward translation of the cervical vertebrae. It is often associated with increase in rounding of the shoulders and mid back (hyperkyphosis).
In simple terms – In FHP the head sits forward from the shoulders and often with a “hunching” of the upper back.
So What? Is it a big deal? Is it just cosmetic?
Here’s what the Journal of Physical Therapy Science had to say…
“the present study makes it clear that the characteristics of thoracic shape and mobility during volitional deep breathing are impacted by head position, and that FHP may adversely influence respiratory health and fitness.”
Here’s what the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society had to say….
“CONCLUSION: Older men and women with hyperkyphotic posture have higher mortality rates”
Here’s what the researcher Almeida concluded.
“Adult patients with asthma exhibit specific postural disorders that correlate with pulmonary function and body composition. The assessment of postural variables may provide a better pulmonary rehabilitation approach for these patients.“
So, as you can tell this is a pretty big deal. Your posture can affect how you breathe, how you look, how you feel AND how long you live. WOW!
If this is you, If you’re getting headaches and if your posture is not as good as it could be, or if it’s worrying you, please follow these steps.
- Make sure you’re well hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help eliminate dehydration from the major cause of your headaches.
- Improve your posture. Sit for less and hold yourself upright in a tall relaxed posture. You might want to check out my video HERE.
- See a Chiropractor. Chiropractors are experts in making sure your spine is working well and that your posture is as good as it can be. Through adjustments and postural training this can be the missing piece of not only the headache puzzle but your overall health as well.
- Decrease stress levels. STRESS is a major cause of headaches. This is often silent and builds up over time, so take some time out of your day to “unwind”. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, visualisation exercise can all help.
If you’re still suffering and haven’t got the bottom of your headaches then I’d love to hear from you. You can shoot me an email, drop me a message on the socials or give the practice a call on (03) 7005 7672
Walk tall, smile lots!
Dr T. (The Headache Whisperer)