3 THINGS about HEADACHES that can help YOU.

 

3 things I always discuss with patients who complain of headaches, assuming their headache is arising from the neck (cervicogenic).

 

Regardless of how long you've been having headaches, there is great research supporting simple/silly exercises to significantly reduce frequency, duration, and intensity of headaches.

 

1) Muscles in the neck can cause headaches. Trigger points/knots in your muscles around your spine, skull, and shoulder blades can all refer pain up to your head. Getting the knots out then maintaining change via simple exercises/stretches and postural awareness can seriously help.

2) Joint restriction at the base of your skull can hurt. Often due to stresses/strains from athletics, commutes, computer use, etc., your joints can get stiff and stuck. Then when you try to move it hurts. Easily corrected by hands-on mobilization and followed up with simple exercises.

3) Nerves that leave your spine and go up into your head come from your neck. They can get pinched in the tight muscles and joints. Releasing the muscles and joints takes pressure off the nerves and alleviates your symptoms.

 

That said, if you're not assessing, you're guessing. Finding out the actual cause of your headache is vital. Very often, long-term poor static positioning is involved. It's a motor control issue - you're using the wrong muscles to keep your head upright. We have muscles that are meant for fast and powerful movements which fatigue quickly, and we have muscles that are meant for all-day use. The latter are harder to fatigue. Ever heard of your "core"? These are the all-day use muscles.

 

In the neck, when we use the wrong muscles, they fatigue, cramp/spasm, then hurt which often creates a headache. A PT can teach you to control your neck, your headaches, and get you back to your life! Hooray.

 

Be Rare, Strong, and Independent with Dr. Jesse at RiNo Physical Therapy.

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