Posture & Headaches – The Relationship

Headaches and Posture Relationship..

Headache disorders are one of the most common problems seen in medical practice.
Headaches are classified according to the IHS into two main groups: primary headaches, and secondary.

The first group includes: migraine, the cluster headache, the tension-type and not associated with structural injuries headaches (left in the picture).

Then, when a headache occurs for the first time in close temporary relation to a cranial, cervical, facial, neck, eye, ear, nose, sinus, dental or mouth disorder known to cause headache, it is coded as a secondary headache to that disorder [1] (right in the picture).

It has been investigated the relationship between head posture with pain and disability in patients with neck pain [2]. The conclusions of these studies describe how people with headaches and neck pain have significant differences. These postural abnormalities in the cervical spine might be responsible for the activation of Triggers Points in these muscles. One frequently noted abnormal posture is an excessive forward head position, or forward head posture (FHP). Hyper extension of the neck or increased cervical lordosis is a common consequence of FHP. FHP is usually associated with shortening of the posterior cervical extensor muscles (suboccipital, semispinalis, splenii, and upper trapezius muscles) as well as shortening of the sternocleidomastoid muscle [3].
The trigger points are claimed to be a common source of musculoskeletal pain in people presenting to manual therapists for treatment [4]. Therefore, a correct treatment of these points and a correction of the cervical position can resolve in short and medium terms the symptomatology derived from this type of headaches.

Please get in touch if you suffer from headaches for advice! Bodyworks Edinburgh physiotherapy will provide you with a full assessment to get to the bottom of what is causing you your headaches.
info@bodyworksedinburgh.com or 0777 412 033

By Aranzazu our Physiotherapist 🙂

References:
1. The International Classification of Headache Disorders Headache by The Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS).
2. The relationship between head posture and severity and disability of patients with neck pain. By Chris Ho Ting; Thomas Tai, Wing Chiu, Anthony Tung.
3. Trigger Points in the Suboccipital Muscles and Forward Head Posture in Tension-Type Headache. By Cesar Fernandez; Cristina Alonso-Blanco; Maria Luz Cuadrado; Robert D. Gerwin and Juan A. Pareja.
4. Changes in pressure pain in latent myofascial trigger points in the upper trapezius muscle after a cervical spine manipulation in pain-free subjects. By Mariana Ruiz-Sáez, César Fernández-de-las-Peñas, Cleofás Rodríguez Blanco, Raquel Martínez-Segura and Rafael García-León.