Head Forward Posture and Headaches

As we have become a society that has becomed accustomed to standing in a slouched position with our backs. We also have a “head righting mechanism” which ensures that our head will always be level with the horizon. If we are slouching with our backs, there will need to be some compensation in the shoulder/neck area to bring our head into line by tilting the head up. There will be shortening of some muscles in an attempt to bring your head into a level position. Often the dominant muscles that shorten will be a set of smaller muscles at the base of your skull called the Suboccipitals. Each muscle in the neck area, when tight, will produce headaches in predictable areas. The Suboccipital muscles will produce headaches around the back of your head.
With any muscle that is shortened, there will be muscles the perform the opposite function that will become lengthened/stretched. These muscles, in a stretched position will find it difficult to support and function as it should and is in risk of going into spasm. It is possible that these muscles can produce headaches in their predictable referral pattern.
So there are the causes of headaches for different muscles either put in a shortened or lengthened position in the body’s attempt to stabilize the head for a body that is in a slouched position. My therapeutic goal is to reduce the slouch of the body through Massage Therapy, exercise, body awarenes and reduction of “slouch triggers” that occur in the person’s life (placement of computers, bad habits ect.). This is all in an attempt to reduce the need the of neck to make drastic changes to level the head. Balance is good for you.

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