Let’s talk about headaches…

Ranging from mid-afternoon head pounding aches, to an agonising pain that leaves you sensitive to light and sometimes feeling sick…

Headaches are something most of us, if not all of us, have experienced at some point in our life.

But for some, headaches are a much bigger problem and can even affect everyday life…

Just like Linda who is a patient of mine – here’s the email she wrote in to me before she came to see us:

“Hi Nick, I’m 55 and have been suffering from occasional migraines ever since I was a teenager and I’ve never been able to get to the root problem.

Usually in the past I put my migraines down to stress or lack of sleep, and then I thought it might be something I’m eating instead.

The thing is, I took away all of the foods that are said to set off headaches like cheese and chocolate – but nothing really changed.

I don’t know if it’s true, but I heard once that tension in your shoulders can sometimes bring headaches on?

I thought you’d be the best person to ask.

Is this right or am I being silly? Do I get headaches because of something I eat?

I’m tired of getting migraines when I least expect them!

It’s awful when they strike in the middle of shopping.”

– Linda, 55, Revesby

= = =

Let me tell you, Linda certainly was right about tension in your neck and shoulders being related to this common problem!

And I can imagine you would have found it hard to believe me if I told you that 87% of headaches come from tight and tense muscles in your shoulders and neck.

You’re not alone, most people don’t realise that it’s often nothing to do with the foods we eat at all…

…but the culprit is often tension that you never even know existed in your neck in the first place.

Probably because you’re so used to it, or you just brush it to the side thinking a “stiff neck” just comes as part of the package of getting older.

But if I asked you right now – if you ever find yourself resting your head in an awkward position while watching TV…

Lean your head forward when you read before bed…

Or stick your neck forward when using your phone or computer…

I bet your answer would be ‘yes’.

All of those things cause your muscles in your neck to become tired, which means one thing – lots of tension!

Which is exactly what was going on with Linda.

For years she was working an office job where she spent hours each day leaning her neck forward looking at a computer screen.

No wonder why when we helped ease her neck tension, her migraines became less and less of a regular occurrence!

So what can be done?

Now I know that if your job requires working on a computer you’re not going to be able to suddenly stop looking at one.

And I’m not going to tell you to stop reading, or never watch TV again, but what I am going to tell you is three things you can start to do today, to help ease neck tension that leads to all sorts of headaches…

1. Be aware of the position of your neck

If you notice that your neck is pushed forwards, tuck your chin in towards your neck to help straighten it and put it back into the right position.

2. Relax in a warm bath

Muscles love to be warm, and warm muscles mean less tension. So run yourself a nice warm bath, lay back and relax.

3. Talk to our team

You can speak to one of our Physio’s about treatment to help get to the root cause of your headaches and treat the issue too.

All three of these options are better than reaching into the cupboard or your bag for painkillers when the pain strikes – like most of our clients were once told to do.