The Connection Between Posture and Headaches 

Week 3 - The Connection Between Posture & Headsaches

Bottom Line:

Ergonomics is the study of the posture and positioning of your body. It sounds pretty boring until you consider that millions of people are suffering from headaches every day that are related to their posture! Whether it’s an assembly line, a computer, a tablet, or your phone, you’re likely spending a lot of time looking down. Research has found that up to 20 pounds of pressure is placed on the neck for every inch the chin extends forward or down. This increased pressure can irritate the tissues of the neck leading to everything from premature degenerative changes to chronic headaches. 

Why it Matters:

Maintaining a healthy posture not only helps reduce the stress and pressure on the spinal joints of your neck, it also helps dramatically reduce your headaches. The first step in regaining proper posture is to establish normal motion. This is why Chiropractic adjustments are likely to become your new best friend! Our care is focused on finding the areas of your spine that aren’t moving correctly and gently helping them regain their normal range of motion. After we’ve worked with you to restore proper movement, we can then focus on strengthening the muscles that support your neck and back. This personalized type of care is how we’ve been able to help many people (just like you!) establish better posture and reduce the frequency and severity of their headaches. 

  • Every inch of forward head posture adds up to 20 lbs. of pressure on your neck.
  • This added pressure can contribute to tension headaches.
  • Research has shown that Chiropractic care can dramatically improve your posture and, in turn, reduce your headaches.

Next Steps: 

Take a look around your workstation the next time you’re at the office. Is it set up in a way that’s ergonomically correct? If not, or if you’re not sure, just let us know! We would be happy to set up a time to come to your office, evaluate your workplace, and share our specific recommendations to help keep you and everyone you work with feeling great!  

Science Source(s): 

Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults with Headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 34, Number 5. 2011

Efficacy of Manual and Manipulative Therapy in the Perception of Pain and Cervical Motion in Patients with Tension-Type Headache: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. (2014) 13, 4-13 

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Stiff neck and trigger points.

Myofascial trigger points in the neck muscles are one of the most common causes of neck pain and stiffness. Poor posture and stress can cause muscles in the neck to become overworked and strained. When this happens trigger points will form. These points of contracted muscle will cause pain, referred pain (often into the head), as well as stiffness and weakness. Trigger points won’t resolve on there own, a manual release such as trigger point massage is required to treat the problem.

Kids and Sports…….

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Some very interesting information from an article by our friends at physiology-pedia.com:

In the United Kingdom there are a large number of children and adolescents who are participating in sport. The government is currently spending over £450 million on improving the quality of the Physical Education and sport activities that pupils are offered [1]  leading to high numbers of participants in sport, not only inside of school but outside as well, 96.7% of children aged 11-16 and 84.1% of children aged 5-10 participated in sport outside of school [2].
The young person with athletic potential is likely to have enhanced physiological and physical attributes compared to their peers [3]and can therefore be defined as a young athlete.
Low back pain (LBP) occurs in approximately 10% to 15% of young athletes[4] . Schmidt et al (2014) found that competitive adolescent athletes compared to aged matched individuals have increased prevalence of back pain[5].
LBP  is defined as pain localised between the 12th rib and inferior gluteal folds, occuring with or without leg pain [6].

There are significant differences between the nature of LBP in adults and young athletes [7]. The most common causes of LBP in young athletes are spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, hyperlordosis syndrome (posterior element overuse syndrome) and discogenic pain[7].
The growing spine introduces certain variables that predisposes the back of the young to specific injuries such as pars interarticularis injury; reported to occur in up to 47% of young athletes [7].
It is of great importance for an athlete with persisting symptoms to undergo a thorough assessment [8].

The impact of the structural problems is considered alongside other aspects such as psychological, social and cultural issues [9]. This approach facilitates compliance with the rehabilitation process and promotes recovery [9], as there is evidence showing athletes with a prior back injury are 3 times more likely to develop LBP [10].

 

Young athletes are not immune to the injuries and conditions that plague adult athletes and need to be assessed and treated just as adults do. While the methods and techniques may vary depending on the age of the child, we need to be sure that we avoid the old tropes of “no pain, no gain” and “you’re a kid, you can’t be hurt”.

 

References
  1. Jump up Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Education. Getting more people playing sport, February 2013.
  2. Jump up Department for Culture Media and Sport. Taking Part 13/14 Annual Child Report. Statistic Release September 2014.
  3. Jump up to: 3.0 3.1 3.2 Armstrong N, Van Mechelen W. Paediatric Exercise Science and Medicine. Oxford University Press, 2008
  4. Jump up d’Hemecourt PA, Gerbino PG, Micheli LJ. Back injuries in the young athlete.Clin Sports Med. 2000 Oct;19(4):663-79.
  5. Jump up to: 5.0 5.1 5.2 Schmidt CP, Zwingenberger S, Walther A, Reuter U, Kasten P, Seifert J, Günther KP, Stiehler M. Prevalence of low back pain in adolescent athletes – an epidemiological investigation. Int J Sports Med. 2014; 35(8):684-9
  6. Jump up Krismer M, van Tulder M. Strategies for prevention and management of musculoskeletal conditions. Low back pain (non-specific). Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2007; Feb;21(1):77-91.
  7. Jump up to: 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Micheli LJ, WoodR. Back pain in young adults. Significant differences from adults in causes and patterns. Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine1995;Vol 149
  8. Jump up to: 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Standaert C. Low Back Pain in the Adolescent Athlete.Phys Med RehabilClin N Am.2008; 19(2):287-304
  9. Jump up to: 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 Purcell L and Micheli L. Low back pain in young athletes. Sports Health. 2009;1(3): 212-222
  10. Jump up Greene HS, Cholewicki J, GallowayMT, Nguyen CV, Radebold A. A history of low back injury is a risk factor for recurrent back injuries in varsity athletes. Am J Sports Med.2001;29(6):795-800.

Condition of the Month – (Cervical Radiculopathy)

Winnipeg Chiropractor Radiculopathy

“Your nervous system is basically a big electrical circuit. Your spinal cord transmits all of the electrical nerve impulses between your brain and spine. From there, individual nerves emerge from your spine then travel to supply sensation and movement to specific areas of your shoulders, arms and hands. This allows you to move and feel sensations like touch, heat, cold and pain. Anything that interferes with this transmission can cause problems.

A condition called “Cervical Radiculopathy” means that one or more of the nerves emerging from your neck has become irritated or possibly pinched. This often results in pain numbness or tingling in the specific area of your arm that is supplied by the irritated nerve. Symptoms may vary from a dull ache to a constant severe sharp shooting pain, and are likely aggravated by certain positions or movements.

If you or someone you know suffers from any of these symptoms, call our office today. Our team has knowledge and tools to help you feel better quickly!”

ADL Advice – Deconditioning

60+ Yoga

“Proper maintenance is required for most things that we care about and this is particularly true of our body. The natural aging tendency to become more sedentary leads to a loss of strength, flexibility, mobility and balance. This will occur as a certainty unless you make a conscious effort to stay in better shape.

Make time in your day to walk and stretch more. Even little efforts can be very beneficial, like choosing parking spots that require more walking and taking the stairs versus an elevator. Not everyone can expect to become an elite athlete but we can all strive to improve just a little bit every day.”

Many Options for Fibromyalgia

woman suffering from neck pain at outdoor. healthy concept

A comprehensive review of fibromyalgia research published in the past 20 years revealed over 400 different treatment interventions. The abundant choices indicate that none of the current therapies cure the problem, however many can help manage symptoms. If you suffer from fibromyalgia and need help sorting through your options, call our office for help today.

#Fibromyalgia #ChiropracticCare #PainManagement

Bourgaize S et al. Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome: Two sides of the same coin? A scoping review to determine the lexicon of the current diagnostic criteria. Musculoskeletal Care. 2018 Oct 23. doi: 10.1002/msc.1366. [Epub ahead of print]

Trigger points and headaches

Trigger points in a number of muscles can refer pain into the head causing headaches. One of the most common muscles is the trapezius. This is a large diamond shaped muscle in the upper back and neck. Trigger points in the upper portion of this muscle are the most common trigger points in the body. These points will refer pain into the head, behind the ear and into the temple. Trigger points usually won’t resolve on their own, a therapeutic intervention is required to release the point.