Tension Headaches are more common than people think with around 83% of women and 63% of men suffering from headaches caused from tension. Headaches are also something I see a great deal of in the clinic, with many clients complaining of headaches when coming in for other reasons.
So now would be a great time to tell you that everything connected! Tension headaches are usually caused due to weakness in the posterior chain. The posterior chain includes all the muscles that run from your foot, up through your calves, along the back, through your seat, lower back, along either side of your spine and finishing under your skull. Containing some of the largest muscles in the human anatomy the posterior chain is also known as the power house.
Posterior Chain Muscles:
- -External Obliques
- -Erector spine muscles
- -Posterior deltoids
A weak posterior chain will almost certainly cause bouts of lower back pain and tension headaches, this is due to it leading to poor posture which puts the muscles under tension by either over lengthening or shortening. Take a look around the office, train or wherever you are currently sat and look at the positions that is being adopted by most people. Does it look something like this?
I imagine the majority have a “c” shaped spine causing compression on some of our most vital organs.
Along with the “C” shaped spine, you’ll notice a chin poke from where the neck muscles are pulling downwards on the back of their skull to keep eyes looking forward and not downwards towards the floor as their spine curls forwards. These excessive forces are being pulled on the skull from both the base and the front as the posterior chain ends.
There are many ways you can pull yourself out of this position and live a headache free life. By correcting your posture and it being a main focus when you’re sat in the office chair or car and getting up and moving around every 20-30 minutes. Also by strengthening and stretching the posterior chain you can reduce tension headaches.
How can we help you at The Shire Clinic:
- Identify the source of muscle tension and give you a structured rehab plan
- Sports massage – a great way of removing tension from muscles
- Strength and Conditioning programme focusing on the posterior chain
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