The pain behind the eye, the throb at the base of the neck, the tightness across the top of the shoulders and the relentless attempts to stretch, poke or drug your way out of the pain. Sound familiar? Is is the lack of water, the red wine, the pollen in the air or something in the diet? Whilst these can most definitely be contributing factors, more often than not, headaches are brought on by the position of your neck. i.e your posture.
Everyone hates it when things are related back to posture, but bare with me a second. Our heads are heavy. Really rather quite heavy. If these heavy heads are sitting forward of our shoulders, the brunt of the tension of holding it up gets relayed down our neck and onto the top of our shoulders. (remember back to physics? Lever arms and all that jazz?) So our poor little spine joints are working overtime to not only move our head from side to side but just to hold our head up and not let it flop forward.
The joints at the very top of our neck (or base of our skull), as a result, lock up to try help out and this is often the spot you’ll find yourself poking to relieve the pain, even tho sadistically, it can make it feel like your eye is about to explode until the point that it finally releases.
So how do you try and fix headaches yourself?
Use a tea-towel at the base of your skull to pull the top of your neck forward whilst leaning into the towel simultaneously. (we’re trying top get those top joints moving and the joints just below that to move back over your shoulders).
Stop poking your head forward!!! Sit up straight, tuck your chin in (mini double chin is OK!) Drop your shoulders away from your ears and gently draw them back so they aren’t rounding.
Have regular breaks from your computer/desk. Get up every 20mins. You don’t have to go on a great expedition. Just stand up to allow your posture to re-set, then sit back down and get back to it.
Massage the knots on the top of your shoulders (you know you have them) and use a heat pack to get the muscles to relax. The tighter they are, the more they pull on the neck and the vicious cycle repeats.
Go see your amazing physio, because let’s be honest, whilst you could do all the above on your own, getting someone to do it for you is just that much more enjoyable.