HEADACHES – HOW TO STOP THEM
Do you suffer from headaches? A lot of us do every now and then, but is it really your head? Headaches are often caused by muscle tightness in the neck and chest; the latter you will probably not even feel.
The “Pectoralis Minor” (chest) and the “Levator Scapula” (upper back to neck) are the two muscles responsible for this. A sign of these muscles tightness is when your chin pokes forwards as you stand normally or when you sit down at the office (especially by 5pm!)…
So, a “chin-poke” posture puts a lot of pressure on the joints in the neck and these two muscles, sending pain to the back and top of the head, and in worse cases causing pins and needles down the arm.
AM I AT RISK?
Headaches are common in people who are frequently putting their necks in these poor postural positions, such as:
- Office workers.
- Manual labourers.
- Gym-goers performing upper-body exercises with poor technique, especially ‘over-the-head’ exercises, or lower-body exercises with the neck in vulnerable positions, such as back squats.
- People who frequently use their phones (most of us!), leading to the condition called “text neck” which in turn leads to the postural faults mentioned before.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
- Be more mindful of your posture, in particular at work or when using your phone. A good way of doing this is to give yourself a “double-chin” whenever you find yourself slouching while you’re doing your work. This is to strengthen the deeper postural muscles in the neck and take pressure off the “Levator Scapula”. It sounds silly but it is effective!
- Stretch: Stretching of the “Levator Scapula” (see link below) for 30 seconds, twice a day.
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