Tips to prevent headaches due to poor posture:
- Headaches are often as a result of poor posture (forward head, chin poke), where unnecessary strain and muscle imbalances are placed on the cervical spine and neck / upper thoracic muscles.
Headaches may respond by lying on the floor with a thin book under the back of the head (not the neck)
for 5 minutes
- Posture is a subconscious activity, so becoming AWARE of your faulty posture is the first step in changing habits causing muscle aches, pains and headaches!
- First, try to correct the faulty posture by gently pulling back the chin (you almost want to make a mini “double chin”), keep the chin parallel to the floor and align the ear with the midpoint of the shoulder (see picture below)
- The shoulders should be relaxed (not pulled up to the ears) and ever so slightly pulled back.
- Gentle cervical traction (3 – 4kg) can be very useful to relief headaches and associated arm pain, especially if the referred pain is below the elbow.
- Cervical traction of a longer duration (20 minutes) relieves and eases nerve root pain.
- The short term use (six weeks) of a collar may be useful to relief headaches with exacerbating activities, such as driving, working and reading.
Reference: Berger, P. 2003. The journey to pain relief. 1st Edition. South Africa. Hunter House.