There are more than 300 types of headaches according to the International Headache Society. At one point in your life, you’ll experience a headache, which affects about 60% of males and 70%-80% of females in their 40s. The World Health Organization (WHO) determines that at least one time each year, about 47% of the population will suffer from headaches. For most headache sufferers, taking over-the-counter medication has become a habit.
A headache is a complicated condition, but commonly caused by problems with the function of the upper neck muscles. Mental and mechanical stresses have been identified as the most common causes of neck pain, which eventually lead to headaches. If these are the underlying causes, physiotherapy can help relieve headaches. Below are some of the physio steps you can do to relieve your headache naturally.
Breathe properly to improve blood chemistry. You breathe shallower when you are stressed, which increases the concentration of carbon dioxide in your blood and changes its pH level slightly. Throughout the day, stop and focus on deep breathing, taking in breaths for 6 seconds and releasing them for 8 seconds. Use your diaphragm muscles to make your belly expand when you do this.
Strengthen the muscles of your mid and lower back. Your mid and lower back muscles weaken due to prolonged sitting. Unknowingly it causes strain on your neck muscles, which can lead to cervicogenic headache, a secondary headache that is caused by the pain in the soft tissues or bony structures on your neck. Strengthen the weakened areas through physio exercises recommended by our physiotherapist.
Stretch your chest and neck. Most people sitting in front of a computer have a tendency to slouch, which weakens the upper back muscles and tightening the neck and chest muscles. Stop what you’re doing from time to time to stretch your chest. Do this by squeezing your shoulder blades together while keeping your neck relaxed for 30 seconds. Do 5 repetitions each time. You can do this exercise several times a day. Move more.
Improve your posture. Slouching brings your neck forward and the more it protrudes, the more weight and tension are placed on your neck, which can reach an equivalent of 60 pounds of strain. Talk to your physiotherapist on the proper exercises to improve your posture.
Drink plenty of water. Tea, coffee and soda are diuretics, meaning they cause you to eliminate water frequently. Your brain and your body need to be hydrated to properly function. Toxins due to dehydration can cause headaches. Keep headaches at bay by drinking water throughout the day.
Headaches that are musculoskeletal in nature can be relieved by physiotherapy. Give it a try and see if your headache responds better.