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Headaches, Migraines and Neck Pain

February 19, 2009

Do you know others who battle with headaches, migraines and/or neck pain?  The head and neck are the most vulnerable parts of the body, especially the spine inside your neck.  Not only does the neck support the head (which weighs approximately 10-15 pounds), but it also allows forward, backward, lateral and rotational movement of your head.  In addition, it must transmit the flow of nerve impulses through your spinal cord to your head, face, hands and the rest of your body.  Besides discomfort and annoyance, chronic neck pain and headaches are a sign that something is wrong.  bad-postureBad posture is a lifetime scenario for most people.  If your head weighs 10 pounds (which is the typical load) and is in alignment directly above your shoulder, the effective load on your spinal tissues is just 10 pounds.  However, if your head has moved forward, the load is increased by a factor of ten with each additional inch of forward posture.  SO, if you are carrying your head 2 inches forward of where it should be, your head is loading 30 pounds to the supporting tissues.  If you are carrying it 3 inches forward of where it should be, then 40 pounds of pressure is being stressed through your neck and shoulders.  As a result, your health and performance can decrease while the neck pain, headaches and fatigue that often come with living with these problems increase!

In fact, when your head is carried forward for many years, there is a greater incidence of developing arthritis in the spine.  Bad posture also affects the soft tissues and can change the blood flow to the spinal cord itself.  Forward posture has also been associated with disc damage.  Sustained poor posture robs the muscles of oxygen and causes tissue damage.  Tendons, ligaments and discs undergo changes that can become permanent.  This is probably why many individuals who have bad posture cannot correct it by themselves!

Our response to stress is another common cause of neck pain.  Deadlines.  Rush-hour traffic.  Over-committing ourselves.  Work pressures.  Family obligations.  Did you ever meet someone who was a “pain in the neck?”  Each of us is susceptible to our body’s unconscious response to people and circumstances.  These perceptions can show up as episodes of neck pain.

If the weakest link in our bodies is our neck, stress shows up there.  While chiropractic care cannot reduce the stress of your busy life, it can help improve your ability to handle and tolerate it.  More importantly, it can do this without the dangers and complications of drugs or surgery! 




2 Comments leave one →
  1. tripplex5663 permalink
    February 2, 2011 11:59 pm

    Excellent post. I want to thank you for this informative read, I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up your work. Loveland CO Chiropractor Loveland CO Chiropractic

  2. drhewitt permalink*
    February 3, 2011 11:15 pm

    Thank you! And thanks for reading!

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