Did you know that headaches are among the top 5 reasons why people go to the Emergency Room for help?
The most common kind of headache is referred to as a “Tension Type” headache. It normally starts at the top of your neck or base of your head and then progresses up the back of your head. This can start to happen as a result of some kind of trauma like a whiplash motor vehicle accident or from having poor posture over a period of time. We live in an age where our postures are so often in a state of postural flexion commonly referred to a “Flexion addicted Society”. Here are a few pictures to illustrate.
The average weight of a woman’s head is 10-12 lbs and the average weight of a man’s head is about 12-14 lbs. That's more than most new-born babies and all that is balanced on just 7 vertebrae in your neck and supported by around 20 muscles that are responsible for moving your head around and keeping that weight balanced correctly. With forward head posture syndrome for every inch your head slides head forward you have to add an additional 10-12 or 12-14 lbs depending on your gender. So, for a woman a little as a 3” forward head can weigh as much as 36 lbs and for a man as much as 42lbs. This extra stress neck and mid back muscles and ligaments over time get over worked and tight causing neck pain and pressure on sensitive nerves at the base of your head causing headaches.
The following pictures are good illustrations of how you should sit and stand while using today’s high-tech devices.
Try the following to help in relieving your headaches:
- Work at keeping your posture in good form both standing and sitting
- Never work more than an hour at a time on a computer without a stretching break
- Drink plenty of water / you should drink ½ your body weight in water daily to be well hydrated
- Icing the back of your neck at the base of your head can be helpful in reducing neck muscle spasm/pain and cooling down the inflamed nerves that are causing your headache.
Paul G Wortley PT