Are you often complaining of headaches after slouching in front of a computer? Or is reading on a couch making your head hurt? Your poor posture might be to blame.
When you sit, stand, or lie down in a bad posture, you strain neck and back muscles, and that may lead to recurring headaches.
But don’t worry, there’s something you can do about it. In this post, we will talk about common postures that cause headaches and how you can correct them.
How Does Poor Posture Cause Headache?
Whether you work with heavy equipment or scroll through social media for long hours, your poor posture can cause headaches.
Bad posture and headaches go hand in hand. When your back, neck, and shoulders are tense or strained, the muscles around your head tighten.
You may then feel a clamp-like pressure around your forehead. Or experience a constant ache at the base of your skull. You may even have a headache extending upward from the neck.
Poor Postures That Cause Headache
Is your neck strain causing headache? Become aware of bad postures like forward neck, rounded shoulders, and raised shoulders and correct them.
- Forward neck: Forward neck or text neck is when you’re hunching over your smartphone or keyboard. This posture can cause stiffness in the neck, back, and spine.
- Rounded shoulders: Better known as laptop syndrome, this is a common occurrence among office workers. You may find yourself hunching over the desk or slouching forward, which can tense your back muscles and cause headaches.
- Raised shoulders: Raised shoulders are a natural reaction to stress. You may also raise one shoulder while talking on the phone. In the process, you’re causing intense shoulder muscle tension.
Symptoms of Poor Posture Headache
Not sure how to differentiate between a regular headache and a bad posture headache? Pay attention to specific symptoms like these below.
- Ache at the top of your neck or base of your head
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Lightheadedness and difficulty concentrating
- Pain from the back to the front of your head
- Headache that eases or worsens when you move your neck
- Massaging your neck constantly to provide temporary relief
- Ache on one side of your head
Relieve Bad Posture Headaches
Bad posture often becomes a part of your habit. It may take a while to improve it. Consciously correct it every time you become aware of it to relieve headache.
You can start by being mindful of how you sit while working or reading. You can also opt for massages and physiotherapy to loosen up stiff neck joints. Or even stretch and exercise at home to improve your posture.
Here are the most effective ways to relieve your bad posture headache.
Correcting your posture will help alleviate muscle tension. As a result, your headache may also get better over time. Posture correction will take a bit of practice. But over time, it will become your nature.
When you sit in front of a computer, make sure to neither slouch nor slump. Avoid crossing knees or ankles. Also, mind your posture while reading in an armchair, playing video games, and driving.
Massage and Physiotherapy
Physical therapy is a common treatment for back and neck pain. It involves applying pressure on specific parts of your body using the fingers and thumbs. It also breaks down muscular knots and increases blood flow.
After the therapy, you’ll experience reduced neck stiffness and improved neck motion. This type of therapy will also relieve tension and reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches.
Stretches and Strength Exercises
If the headache is not severe, you can also start exercising and stretching at home. Doing so will help improve your posture over time. Plus, it will reduce the stress on your muscles and relieve headaches.
You can start with simple exercises like chin tucks, cervical rotation stretch, and scapular pinches. These will decrease neck pressure, improve posture, and alleviate your headache.
Whether you work in an office or are a work-from-home freelancer, it’s important to assess your workstation from an ergonomic point of view. This will ensure correct posture and reduce neck tension, back pain, and headaches.
Adjust your computer screen so you don’t slouch or sit with raised shoulders. Also, use a chair that provides enough support to your back and neck.
We dedicated a post to why dry eyes at the office are so common. Check it out to find out how you can relieve your symptoms.
Other Headache Triggers
Poor posture and neck strain may not be the only cause of your headaches. Several other factors, like stress and sleeping in late, may be to blame, too.
Common headache causes include:
- Stress and anger
- Poor sleeping habits
- Strong odors from body perfumes, household cleaners, or air fresheners
- Pressure change
- Bright lights, glare, and disco lights
- Eye strain after prolonged computer use
- Dental problems
- Brain freeze from ice creams or slushes
Start Improving Your Posture Right Now
If poor posture is causing recurring and uncomfortable headaches, it’s time for action.
Take conscious steps to prevent or ease tension headaches. Minimize tension on your back, neck, and shoulder muscles. You can also take breaks in between long work hours. This will help relax your muscles.
If you experience back stiffness, too, try sleeping on your back. Use a body pillow and leave your neck in a neutral posture.
You can also exercise the pain away. Stretch your shoulder and neck muscles to relieve stress. Or opt for massage or therapy.
In the end, a few mindful steps to improve your posture will go a long way in easing headaches. Start taking them today!