Headaches Cherokee, Storm Lake, Ida Grove, Spirit Lake, Pocahontas, Denison, IA

Headaches

Headaches have a bad habit of making their appearance at the most inconvenient times. The middle of the workday, early in the evening when you have hours of responsibilities ahead of you, or even first thing in the morning when you are trying to pay attention to your morning meeting — headaches don’t care how important the work ahead of you is. When they start, they are hard to stop.

There are all sorts of reasons why headaches may develop. From environmental factors like weather changes and exposure to certain perfumes or other scents, to stress and allergies, headaches happen to the best of us. However, there are some headaches that may be a bit more predictable than others. Factors like your posture, the type of mattress you sleep on, the pillow you use, or even the desk chair you sit in at work can all impact your risk for experiencing regular headaches because of the intricate network of nerves and muscles in your neck.

When Neck Pain Leads to Headaches

The majority of the time, neck pain starts out as a seemingly small concern. A crick in your neck here or there may start to develop more frequently, and before you know it, your experience of neck pain is something you are dealing with daily. It isn’t always the result of something large. While being in a car accident or experiencing another sort of injury can definitely lead to chronic neck pain, the cause of the issue isn’t always as simple to identify. Sometimes it is a bad habit that you don’t really think twice about, like your habit of watching TV as you fall asleep, keeping your neck at an odd angle as you rest for the evening, or maybe as a result of your posture as you type at your desk every day, hunched over at the shoulders with your neck catching the brunt of your slouch.

These poor habits are common, and most of us consider them to be harmless. Sure, you know it isn’t great for you, but what is actually going to happen? It’s a lot easier to slouch as you type, and who doesn’t want to catch a few late-night laughs as they fall asleep? But the reality is that these seemingly irrelevant habits could be putting undue stress on your neck, and if you aren’t careful, this could translate to regular and uncomfortable headaches that are difficult to get rid of.

The Problem With Posture

Working with a physical and occupational therapist can help you to identify whether or not your headaches may be the result of neck pain or strain. One of the most common causes of headaches due to neck pain is a forward head position. Forward head position means that when you are resting your head, you are continuing to hold your head slightly forward, which is a type of slouching position.

You can identify whether or not you have a forward head position by standing straight against the wall and determining whether or not your head rests against the wall as your back does. If your head does not touch the wall when you are standing straight, then you aren’t fully standing up straight! As years go by and day after day you continue to hold your head in this forward position, you can start to experience pain as a result of strain in the muscles of the neck.

When this is an issue, working with a therapist may be able to help. Stretching the muscles in your neck to alleviate neck strain can reduce the severity and regularity of your headaches. Stretching the muscles that have grown tight along the back of your neck as well as those along the shoulders can help you find relief from the tension that is causing your pain.

When dealing with neck pain, it is important to remember that safety has to come first. While there are many simple activities you can try at home to begin stretching your neck muscles, working with a physical and occupational therapist is the only way to ensure that you are stretching in a way that won’t potentially lead to greater injury. For more information, contact our physical therapists at Cherokee, Storm Lake, Ida Grove, Denison, IA centers Sports Rehab & Professional Therapy Associates.