Sitting Posture and Headaches
It is not easy to pinpoint the source of a headache: while certain headaches certainly correspond to specific triggers, the majority of headaches are cumulative and specific to the individual: your headache is a manifestation of synergism between genetics, physical and mental health, environmental and other factors. While these are broad categories, the point is that there are innumerable factors pertaining to your headache. Managing the symptom by masking the pain is ineffectual; like procrastinating with any problem large or small, it is unsustainable. A factor that you may not immediately consider is posture, and it serves as a great case in point.
For those deskbound workers, the office can be a barbaric place for the back. Without a proactive plan in place for stopping it, physical and mental stress is likely to accumulate and whether it be over a matter of days, weeks or months, the body is going to reach a breaking point. Persistently poor posture in the workplace contributes directly to headaches because it puts the spine out of balance. When we slouch down, or slump forward, we are putting a disproportionate amount of weight burden on the spine. The muscles, usually already in a state of weakness, are called on to compensate which often results in painful muscle spasms. Often times, this pain is referred from nerves in the neck to the head, manifesting as a headache.
Treatment for chronic headaching must therefore be as cerebral in order to combat the wide range of irritants. Keeping muscles strong and the body limber is critical, because if you are going to put it through 8 hours of (mostly)sitting, it needs regular conditioning to combat the weakening that is happening. Learning to love posture is the next great step, because you spend most of the time sitting. And finally, learning to break the cycles of accumulating tension by stretching regularly on the job is a great way to stay headache-free.
Before all this, we need to get you pain free. No health plan can be successfully implemented if your body is holding you back; we lend you a helping hand to get back to a pain threshold that is manageable so you can focus on living life to the fullest, both within the workplace and without.
Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C.
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