As someone who has experienced headaches on/off for years, I know how debilitating they are.
And here at the clinic it’s incredible just how many people we see who tell us that they’ve suffered from headaches so often, that they just consider them to be a regular part of life they end up dealing with.
It amazes me however, how many people simply ‘accept them as part of everyday life’ and simply deal with them with anti-inflammatories or painkillers rather than working out the root cause.
For me, it was too much time with my head looking down onto clients during treatment and not enough gym time strengthening my upper back.
Unfortunately drugs provide temporary relief, while masking the damaging effects that are occurring at a muscular and joint level.
I received an email in our inbox last week from a client who had seen me on facebook talking about neck pain, it read:
“Hi Ajay, after watching one of your videos online, I wanted to reach out to see if you could help me!
I just turned 50 and I’ve been dealing with on and off headaches for the past 10 years. Recently they have started to worsen and I think it is associated with an increase in work stress.
My job involves me sitting in front of the computer for most of the day, and then handling heavy parts on plane engines.
I visited a GP recently, and he sent me for all sorts of brain scans only to reveal that my brain is fine, so instead he prescribed anti-inflammatories, while they give me short term relief, the pain is back the neck day!
What is your best advice on what could be causing them? If you could just achieve a 20% reduction I’d be happy!
– Allison, 50, Leichardt
Now this is such a common story I hear in the clinic, I got on the phone ASAP and explained to Allison on the cause.
Over the years I have seen some pretty regular patterns when it comes to headaches and their causative factors. Most of the time it comes down to poor posture and weakness in the upper back/neck muscles.
And although pain killers or anti-inflammatories may give you temporary relief, unless you address the postural problems and get your upper body stronger, the headaches will persist.
One of the best things to do, is use what I call ‘X-taping’.
It is a simple taping technique which holds the shoulders is a position and stops you from slouching which is one of the main triggers when it comes to headaches.
You can watch a video of Nick showing you how to do this taping here:
This taping technique is really effective at getting you out of the position which we know causes headaches.
However, although this will help with managing your headaches always remember – strength is the answer!
As per usual with our approach, it needs to be combined with strengthening for a long term impact.
So what are the best things you can do right now to get stronger?
My favourite exercises to reduce headache symptoms are performed in this video by Nick:
1. Military Press
2. Low Rows
3. Face Pulls
I also recommend clinical Pilates, which is an excellent way to strengthen the entire body, not just the upper back and has been shown in research to have excellent outcomes for those suffering from regular headaches.
If you need more tips to ease neck pain and headaches, you can download the free report that I put together which has plenty of tips on ways to reduce neck pain and headaches naturally. Simply hit ‘reply’ and i’ll email you the book straight away.
All the best,