Physiotherapy Gold Coast

Frequent Headaches, Neck & Trapezius Pain?

Get your head back on your shoulders! If you’re having ongoing issues with headaches, neck pain and trapezius pain – poor posture may be to blame. Slouching, inactivity and days spent leaning over a keyboard can cause muscle fatigue and tension that ultimately leads to poor posture. As humans we are not born with a posture, we develop it over time depending on our lifestyles – so we’ve put together some facts and tips to help you manage a healthy posture. 

A quick look at the physiology

Have you ever thought of your head as a bowling ball, poised on top of your neck? Well, weighing in at approximately 5kg, it practically is. The joints atop the neck in the suboccipital region are sensitive to your head being poked forwards for an extended period of time. So too are the muscles holding your head in that position, these being the suboccipital, trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles. 

The change in angle of your head can create a load on your thoracic spine and muscles that can be as large as 20kg. This is opposed to the standard 5.5kg load when your head is poised atop your shoulders. Once this is realised it becomes fairly evident that poor posture will have a significant impact on these muscles and your thoracic spine.

Preventing headaches, neck and trapezius pain 

Working on your posture is often easier said than done, reversing a lifetime of postural development will not happen overnight. So patience is key. You can start replacing your office chair with one that offers good quality lumbar support, ensuring it is supporting your back/spine. 

Make sure you focus on sitting up tall, by doing this you are elongating your spine and opening up space between your joints. This ultimately will help your muscles relax while working. Stretching along with muscle strengthening, particularly your core, help drastically when it comes to improving your posture. If you work in a labour intensive job, we recommend when lifting anything heavy to use your hips, knees and thighs, not your back.

How can a physiotherapist help? 

Our treatment at Core aims to target not only the point of your symptoms but also their cause. This typically involves loosening the thoracic spine joints as well as the surrounding muscles. We also aim to provide you with guidance on how to strengthen your postural muscles. This will help you build up the endurance and strength to regain control of your posture. 

Headaches can stem from a wide variety of sources, so a thorough assessment is always the first step to ensure there are no other contributing factors to your symptoms. From there, a short course treatment can often assist you in a long resolution – and will provide you with the strategies you need to minimize this becoming a recurring problem. 

If you need help with pain or immobility to get you moving again, or need a tailored exercise program, book in for your treatment with one of our exercise, physio, or pain specialists. Call 1300 012 273 or head to our website and book a session at your nearest clinic.