A common complaint amongst a lot of people is the fact that they suffer from headaches.
This article is for anyone who still suffers from headaches, and the team at Your Mobile Physio want to let you know that you do not have to live with this dreaded condition.
What Causes Headaches?
Although there are many factors, two major causes of headaches are Stress and Posture.
The body stores emotional tension in different parts of the body and when we are under too much stress, the shoulders tense up and the muscles running from your shoulders up into your neck all begin to tighten up slowly.
Stress does not have to be a one-off event. Most of the time it is the continuous stress of finishing the reports by 5:30, rushing home in traffic, cooking dinner, washing up and then trying to relax knowing you have to complete the same routine over and over again. You have some good days, and you have some bad days. Eventually, you feel like you “have the weight of the world on your shoulders”.
Your shoulder and neck muscles begin to feel like concrete, but you somehow manage to get through till lunchtime. By the afternoon you are suffering from “a pain in the neck” which eventually begins to work its way up to the back of your skull.
Sometimes headaches can be dull as if someone has just hit a bat across your head, sometimes they can be throbbing, and other times they get so severe you even feel pain behind your eye.
Posture has two parts it can play in causing headaches: 1) Prolonged Posture or 2) Poor Posture
Even if you have a perfect posture, sitting at a computer with your eyes glued to a screen for 8 hours a day, five days a week will eventually cause tension in the shoulders and neck, purely because it is an unnatural thing to do. Our bodies were not designed to be stuck at a desk; headaches are a by-product of this.
An even worse situation is sitting at the same desk with a poor posture. A rounded lower back, slumped shoulders and a poked neck place tension on the joints of your vertebra. After a while, the joints become stiff; the muscles become tighter and more tension is placed on the nerves exiting your spinal canal. The right amount of pressure to cause pain to shoot up into your neck and up into the side of your head.
How can headaches be treated?
Firstly it is the physiotherapist’s role to eliminate the areas of tension that are causing your headaches. Tight trapezius, neck and shoulder muscles will need to be free and flowing. Deep tissue massage, heat and acupuncture work a treat to relieve this tension, while joint mobilisations will remove tension stored in your cervical joints.
Now that your body has been “reset” to its more natural state, it is time to teach you correct posture, so that your muscles will learn how to hold themselves. A stretching routine will be created to help you manage stiff muscle groups; these can be done during work to keep tension at bay and at home (in fact any time).
If you have had your condition for a while, it may take a few more sessions than usual to get you back to 100%. Naturally, as you receive more physiotherapy, your headaches should become less frequent, less severe until you experience them no more.