Headaches can be caused by a variety of reasons, but most people are unaware that they are often due to problems in the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is the mix of muscles, bones, joints, and ligaments that provide support for the body. Poor posture can cause problems in the skeleton and muscles, resulting in headaches. But just how can poor posture cause headaches and what can you do about it?
Posture refers to the way you hold your body when you are walking, sitting, lying, or standing. Proper posture is in place when the head sits over the shoulders, and the muscles are able to work efficiently. Bad posture makes the muscles work overtime to keep the body in balance. The awkward positioning of the body causes muscle fatigue or muscle tightness, and it can also reduce the efficiency of some organs.
What is poor posture?
Poor posture is any position you hold while sitting, lying, walking, or standing, which results in the tightening or shortening of the muscles. Slouching forward is considered poor posture, as it imposes extra wear and tear on the spine and nervous system.
Forward head posture or (FHP) puts the body out of balance, and inflicts undue stress on the neck and back. With FHP, the head is positioned forward of the body and therefore sits in front of the shoulders.
FHP increases the load that the discs have to bear, and often leads to the premature degeneration of the spine. For every inch the head moves forward, studies show that the muscles of the neck are forced to bear an additional ten pounds of weight.
Common causes of poor posture
Most of us can’t imagine life without smartphones or computers. But do you know that performing everyday tasks such as talking on the phone or working at the computer, can also lead to poor posture.
Talking on the phone, especially for extended periods can result in the contraction of the muscles of the neck. In addition, while you are typing away at your keyboard you are likely to be hit by more than eyestrain. If the monitor is not at a comfortable height, which means it may be too far below eye level, it often causes you to slouch forward, leading to muscle tension that can trigger a headache.
The structures of the neck can also face unnecessary pressure because of the way we stand or walk.
How poor posture causes headaches
If there is any tension in the muscles of the upper back, shoulders, or neck, it can trigger a headache. When the nerves of the neck become irritated or inflamed owing to poor posture, you are at risk for getting a headache.
Headaches are often caused by muscle tension and tightness in the muscles of the neck and back. The tension is actually a consequence of poor posture. It occurs because the muscles try to adapt to the restrictions placed upon them, by the abnormal position of the head and neck.
If the head is forward of the shoulders, the cervical spine is extended more than normal. In order to accommodate this position, the muscles located at the back of the head, which connect to the base of the skull to neck, tend to shorten and become strained. The shortened position of the muscles and associated tension can give rise to pounding headaches.
How can you get rid of your tension headache?
If you want to get rid of severe headache being caused by your poor posture, then you need to change your position. This may involve getting help from a medical professional, and making the necessary adjustments to your posture, so that your body is in proper alignment.
Poor posture can contribute to headaches and also long term health issues. So if you are having unexplained headaches, your poor posture may be the cause.