Improving Posture Could Relieve Postural Headaches
Tension headaches are often the result of stress or bad posture, which causes tightening of the muscles in the neck and the scalp.
- American College of Physicians
Headache After Slouching Too Long? You Know What to Do.
Postural headaches can be very painful and often quite chronic. The pain, usually a tight, dull ache, spreads out into the back of the head, the neck, and the shoulders. There may be a number of causes, but poor posture could possibly be one of the most direct causes of tension headaches.
If you spend a lot of time sit at a desk during the day, whether staring at a computer screen, typing mass emails or reports, talking on the phone, or reviewing paperwork, you probably struggle with postural headacehs. If you slump or slouch, let your shoulders or head droop, sit in an uncomfortable chair, you may be chronically affected by tension headaches from poor posture.
Sitting for long periods of time in incorrect positions can cause a lot of tightness in the back, shoulders, and neck which will then travel up the spine, causing tension in the head.
Incorrect posture places postural muscles at a mechanical disadvantage as they try to keep you upright against gravity.
Therefore, these misaligned muscles work harder and tire faster from trying to overcome the loss of leverage against gravity. Your shoulders and low back get achy but the muscles that run along the back of your neck are affected most. These muscles misalign and tighten, which can be followed by spasms.
When these back-of-the-neck muscles tighten they chronically pull on the back of your skull because this is where they attach. The constant tug of these muscles on the base of your skull creates tension and pressure. Eventually the tension radiates to other regions on your skull. If you have constant muscle tension on your knee you may be able to ignore it, but when its your head you won't be able to. This is why good posture is so important.
If you cannot easily move your head from side to side or bend it forward to touch your chin to your chest, you may notice the great amount of tension in your neck and shoulders. This is a telltale sign that poor posture is causing your pain.
Since you obviously cannot quit your job, what is to be done about these tension headaches caused by poor posture?
You should first work to improve your posture. Don't take pills and don't blame something else before attempting to correct a possible mechanical root cause for your pain. If you don't correct your posture, postural headaches will be a not so pleasant reminder that you need to take action. The great news is that most tension headaches are entirely preventable by improving your posture!
Robert Gearhart JR., Co-inventor of the BODY-ALINE