When we think of headaches, we often time think of sinus pressure, lack of sleep, stress, or dehydration… but did you know often times headaches can be a directly related to poor posture? When it comes to proper posture, your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and ears should all follow the same vertical line, with your head directly above your neck and shoulders.
When you have poor head posture, you will notice your head resting forward and in front of your shoulders, otherwise known as “anterior
head carriage” with your ears in line with your chest instead of your shoulders. When this occurs, there is unnecessary weight that is exerted on our neck, including the joints, muscles, and ligaments. In fact, for every inch our head is forward, it increases the weight of the head on the neck by 10lbs! So how can physical therapy help? The stronger your core is, the better your posture will be. You will feel a huge difference in your posture with consistent postural and core training.
What are the symptoms of poor posture?
- Tension or band-like headaches that are felt in the temples or forehead
- Knots in the back of your neck and shoulders
- Irregular sleep, trouble sleeping
- All-over body aches & tightness
- Tightness through your chest and upper back
- Pins and needles or numbness in the arms
- A constant feeling of needing to roll your shoulders or stretch your neck
What are other causes for headaches?
- Sitting for long periods of time
- Bending over your computer or phone
- Carrying heavy objects
- Weak or tight muscles
- Underlying medical conditions, such as arthritis or osteoporosis
How can I improve poor posture?
If you have poor posture and are experiencing neck pain, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain and improve your posture:
- Make sure your computer screen is level with your eyes and about two feet away from your face
- Take breaks throughout the day to stretch and move around.
- Set reminds on your phone or via sticky notes to remind you…Be conscious of your posture!
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.
- Use a supportive pillow and mattress.
- Strengthen your neck and back muscles.
- Sling your purse diagonally across your body.
- Re-balance your posture through head and neck exercises –See a physical therapist to make sure you doing: a) the right ones, and b) you’re doing them correctly.
Chronic headaches can make your life a lot harder than it has to be. But there’s good news!
Our physical therapists are skilled providers with extensive training in this area. By using a variety of rehabilitation techniques, exercises and stretches, we can address the root of your pain with the highest standard of care. Don’t wait until it is too late, check out our stretching video below and schedule an assessment today and see how we can help you!
Always consult your physician to be sure you’re getting the correct diagnosis and treatment. To get an accurate assessment in order to properly address your pain, we can help. Contact one of our clinics near you!