At Solutions Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, we often treat patients who have headaches when driving, working on a computer, or sometimes just when getting out of bed in the morning. This pain can be incredibly frustrating. But exactly why are you hurting?
Many people may not know this, but the pain of headaches can often be coming from muscles in the neck.
Cervicogenic headaches are headaches that occur due to tight muscles and stiff joints in your neck. These muscle get tight from repetitive head and neck motions, holding your head and neck in one position for a long period of time, poor posture, whiplash, car accidents, and depression or anxiety. When these occur, small muscles at the base of the skull go into spasm sending pain signals to the brain and causing your headache.
Try these exercises to help
Upper Trap Stretch
The upper trap is one muscle that can refer pain to the head and cause headaches. You should feel this stretching the side of your neck and top of your shoulder. You don’t need to stretch hard. This shouldn’t hurt. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Relax for 10 seconds, then hold the stretch again. Do 3 30 second holds, 3 times a day.
Prone “T” exercise
The upper trap muscles can get tight because the muscles of the shoulder blades are weak. These muscles can actually help support your head and nech when they are working correctly. You can do this exercise on a gym bench or on the edge of your bed. Hold for 5 seconds at the top. Start with 2 sets of 10.
Now is the time to give these a try! If you’ve tried them and they don’t get easier, it hurts to do them, or you still have pain with every day life, then you need a full assessment to get to the root of your problem. At Solutions Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine, we’re experts at evaluating headaches and neck pain and can help you develop a plan to resolve it.
Call our office at 703-299-3111, or click here and a member of our team will schedule you an evaluation with one of our highly skilled physical therapists.
Working to keep you living your best life,
The Solutions Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Team