The link between forward head posture and headaches has been well established in literature.
The two most common presentations of headaches we see at PostureHQ Chiropractic are tension headaches, or tension type headaches and migraines.
The underlying cause of tension headaches and migraines is in fact poor posture. If your shoulders roll forward and your head sits forward of your center of gravity, the muscles, ligaments, bones and discs of the cervical spine (neck) are placed under considerable strain and tension. This type of headache is commonly preceded or accompanied by neck stiffness or pain.
The muscles of the neck attach to the base of the skull. When these muscles are under tension from having forward head posture, people usually feel a great pressure at the attachment of these muscles. The meninges is the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord. With forward head posture the meninges become stretched, which places a great deal of pressure on the brain itself.
With tension headaches the tension or pressure feeling starts at the base of the skull. This tension sensation often moves into the temporal area or the skull (around your ears) then into the front of the skull, just behind the eye(s). This headache is a constant dull ache of the head; jerky movements or exertion often aggravate this headache. Some people experience a throbbing type pain with this headache also.
Migraines are generally a more severe form of headache, but poor posture is often the underlying cause. Migraines are more commonly associated with stretch and pressure of the pain sensitive structure that covers the brain, the meninges. Migraine sufferers not only have a throbbing head, but also have a heightened sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sounds (phonophobia). Migraine sufferers can also experience what is known as an aura. An aura can be the perception of a strange light, unpleasant smell or a ‘weird feeling’. Most migraine sufferers will instinctively want to sleep in a dark room for as long as it takes for the migraine to pass.
Painkillers, massage and other methods to relax the tight tense muscles of the neck associated with forward head posture often only provide short-term relief. Headache sufferers often get a number of headaches each week, some with multiple headaches per day.
One of the biggest contributing factors into headaches and migraine is forward head posture, as previously discussed. At PostureHQ we utilize a structural correction method of chiropractic known as Advanced BioStructural Correction™ to correct the underlying structural alignment of the body. This considerably reduces the forward head posture, which allows the constantly tight muscles of the neck to relax, and the sensitive covering of the brain (meninges) to reduce in tension. By correcting the underlying cause of headaches, clients see great symptomatic relief and far less reoccurrences long term.