The largest and heaviest part of a human being is the head. In children, the head accounts for about 25% of their height. In adults, it weighs anywhere between 10 and 14 pounds. This considerable load has to be balanced by a complex system of neck and shoulder muscles. In adults with normal muscle balance and posture, a forward curve on the neck is evident when in an upright position. This curve offers optimum balance between mobility and strength. Neck trauma such as whiplash interferes with this balance resulting in tight muscles and a rigid neck.
When the head bends forward to read or type, the neck straightens and the head’s weight must be counteracted by the tightening and contracting of muscles located in the back of the neck and upper shoulders. People who spend long hours at the computer do this continuously and the muscles rarely ever get to rest. The result after prolonged periods is trigger points, muscle knots, tightness and spasms which cause neck pain, a bad headache and migraines. Eventually, a classic painful headache known as a trigger point headache may come on. Trigger point headaches are also referred to as a tension headache. These can be headaches behind the eyes, neck headaches or back of neck pain.
It’s pretty incredible amazing how these trigger point headaches behind your eyes, ears, temples, back or top of head work. These trigger point “landmine knots” in the neck and upper shoulder muscles actually refer or radiate pain to the head causing headaches. There’s nothing like sitting with forward head posture or having a whiplash trauma to greatly activate these trigger points.
Often, the shoulder muscles are involved in this imbalance. With time and without treatment, the forward head posture may become permanent and a ‘round back’ may develop. This poor posture is not only unattractive but it also causes the spinal cord and nerves to stretch causing pain.
Observing the individual from the side profile usually reveals if there is forward head posture. If detected, it is a clear indication of strain to the neck muscles and ligaments.
Unfortunately, when most people get neck pain, migraine headaches or tension/trigger point headaches, they turn to prescription pain killers. Medical consultation also normally leads to a prescription for Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatories and in some cases some topical ointment. However, these never cure the problem and merely block the pain. In fact, resorting to pain medication each time you have a heavy feeling in the head can have some serious side effects.
That heavy feeling in the head, trigger points, and tension headaches can only be properly addressed by a qualified neuromuscular therapist and posture alignment therapist who works to correct muscle imbalances, bad posture and trigger points. Whether it’s headaches in the back of the head or a sinus pain headache, a neuromuscular therapist will help get to the bottom of the causes of the headaches.
If you’re a Los Angeles headache, migraine, or neck pain sufferer or looking for a pain management or pain relief specialist, call now.