If you suffer from headaches and neck pain, then you have probably wondered what causes headaches. You are not alone. More and more people struggle with pain because of the sedentary lifestyle most people are living. It is time for a change. You deserve to be pain free and performing your best and there is usually an easy fix at the root of it.
Does My Poor Posture Cause My Headaches?
In one word, Yes. When a person has poor posture they inadvertently put excess muscle tension on the muscles of the upper back and neck. Science proves that once these muscles are hyper-activated, pain processing in the brain become hyper-aroused making the pain worse. Once you know what causes headaches, then you have the power to end them.
Do I Have Bad Posture?
But let’s first explore if you have poor posture or not. Humor me and engage in a short posture test. Ready? Sit up tall in your chair and lower your shoulders. Ok. How far did your shoulders go down? Try it again. Sit up straight and lower your shoulders. Did they go down a little or a lot? Did you feel them go back and then down? Many people are slumped over their computers or phones and don’t even realize that is giving them headaches and other pains. For most people who work at a desk or are on the phone often throughout their day the decrease in shoulder height is remarkable. If your shoulders went back and down significantly then your posture could use improvement. The cause of headaches many times is muscle tension from bad posture, but what is creating it?
What Causes Bad Posture?
Poor posture is caused mainly by:
- Sitting at a desk too long.
- A keyboard that is too high causes the arms to be higher and puts tension on the shoulder and neck muscles.
- A monitor that is too low makes you look down which tightens those muscles too.
- Carrying heavy bags can put strain on your muscles.
- Excessive phone use that has you in a forward position.
What Causes Headaches from Bad Posture?
Poor posture is the main culprit for the increase in the tension in the muscles around your neck and shoulders. As you sit in your chair longer and longer the muscles will become increasingly tense. This means the muscles shrink and shorten and get tighter. As your shoulders creep up the muscles are getting tighter and tighter. This tightening causes pain. The pain causes more tightening and on and on.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Headaches?
The best way to get rid of headaches easily and for good is to improve your posture. Once your posture is improved, then you must keep it there. By improving your posture, you will decrease the tension and tightening of the muscles and allow the muscles to relax. The relaxing of the muscles allows for the pain to subside. Thus, the brain is able to process the signals more efficiently. Efficient processing of pain means less pain for you. Wah-lah!
How Do I Improve My Posture?
Learn to Keep your shoulders back and down.
This might mean setting a timer at the beginning. Like every habit you must teach yourself to become aware and then make the changes. Set a timer for 15 minutes on your phone and when it goes off pull your shoulder back and down. Before you know it you will pulling them back and down out of habit. Not long after that you will realize that your shoulders are no longer creeping up into a tense mode anymore.
Stand up from your desk once every hour.
Last year the hubs got me an Apple watch for Valentine’s Day. I am not a big cell phone person, so I wasn’t sure I’d like it. Well, I love it. Especially the Stand Up app that taps me once an hour to get up. I do it every time. Muscles need blood flow to work their best. So get up and move them around a bit. I have trained myself to get up and give my body and brain a break every hour (anyone who knows me knows I could work at my computer all day). My healthy habit keeps me feeling and performing my best.
What Do I Do If I Have Headaches?
If you suffer from chronic headaches and neck pain then your muscles have been so tight for so long that your spine can be impacted. Tight muscles pull the boney spinal segments out of place. Our highly trained Chiropractic Physicians are trained to re-align your spine so that you can feel better. Then your job is to learn correct posture habits to keep your spine aligned.
Want to learn more about how brain functioning contributes to headaches and how Neurofeedback Therapy can help. Visit Dr. Trish Leigh‘s educational blog post on to get rid of headaches for more information.