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How Bad Posture Causes Headaches

February 21, 2011

A new study, just published in Spine Journal, reports on an investigation of the muscles of the neck and their relationship to cervicogenic headaches (headaches that are caused by misalignments and stress in the neck.)

This got me thinking of a problem I see in over 50% of patients that come to my office:  Forward head posture.  This position (see picture) puts the neck in an extended position, which puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the nerves that go to the muscles in the back of neck, right under the skull.

As you can see from the picture above, for approximately every inch your head moves forward, it gains 10 pounds in weight, as far as the muscles in your upper back and neck are concerned.  That’s because they have to work that much harder to keep the head (chin) from crashing onto your chest. This abnormal positioning also forces the suboccipital muscles (the ones that raise the chin) to remain in constant contraction, putting pressure on nerves in your cervical spine. This leads to an increase in tension in those muscles resulting in recurring headaches.

The authors of the current study concluded that “various clinical manifestations may be linked to this anatomical relationship.”  This is where chiropractic comes in and the stress put on these upper neck structures from forward head posture becomes an important thing to evaluate.

If you are suffering from headaches of any kind, take a look at how far your head is in front of your shoulders (they should line up ear over top of shoulder.)  Posture correction exercises and chiropractic treatment has had great success correcting this problem and when corrected, can lead to less pressure on the upper neck and you can begin to experience a significant reduction in the frequency and intensity of headaches.


For more FREE informative articles and videos like this one please visit our website at Chiropractor in Atlanta.  In the Atlanta Ga area you can reach us at (678) 223 – 3900.

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