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Is your posture causing your headache / migraine?
Your Mum and Nana were very concerned about your posture; remember their advice?... “Sit up straight, Don’t slouch”… and now as we sit using our smart dvices… – “put that device away, it will ruin your posture”. These are all too familiar expressions of concern that we have heard from early childhood right through to our adult lives, and perhaps there is indeed wisdom to be appreciated from Mum and Nana.

However, I am here to tell you that your feet may be the cause of your recurring headache / migraine!

Your headaches / migraines may well be linked to poor posture. As you already know, hunching over computers, sitting long term in car seats that do not fit us well and slouching on the couch can all lead to back and neck pain which can also lead to a headache or migraine. 

FACTORS THAT may cause POOR POSTURE AND ASSOCIATED headaches / MIGRAINES, INCLUDE:

  • STRESS – emotional /  psychological /  physical /  spitirual
  • POOR MUSCLE TONE – lack of exercise / diseases
  • HIGH HEELED SHOES – always a challenge to the joints and muscles
  • PREGNANCY – altering spinal biomechanics with weight shifting
  • WORK STATIONS THAT ARE INCORRECTLY SETUP – for sitting or standing
  • CARRYING HEAVY BACK PACKS – for kids and adults
  • COUNTERTOPS THAT ARE TOO LOW OR TOO HIGH – for the very tall or short
  • HOLDING A SMALL CHILD OR BABY – usually one sided due to handedness
  • However, a major cause of recurring headaches / migraines is curvature of the spine (SCOLIOSIS) caused by a difference in your leg length.

Tension headaches due to scoliosis – ???

Tension headaches are caused by spasm and strain of the muscles of the neck that connect the neck to the head.  The tension in the muscles causes the headache by putting stress on the blood vessels and nerves that extend into the head.  But what causes the tight muscles in the back of the neck and head?

How you stand / walk has a huge influence on your posture and health

We all stand and walk throughout our day.  As we stand and walk, gravity pulls on our joints and muscles.  Under perfect conditions, and with optimal genetics, we are biomechanically designed to stand and walk in balance. However, only a small percentage of the populations stands and walks properly.  The majority of us are out of biomechanical alignment all dayevery day.  The resulting imbalance in the gravitational pull on our muscles and joints contributes to the gradual breakdown of our muscles, tendons and joints.  Initially this causes occasional joint and muscle pain when we are active on our feet for an extended period.  This can occur during a long walk, or while cooking for a large family gathering.  Eventually these imbalances cause osteoarthritis and sometimes joint replacement surgeries.  In the meantime, the simple act of tilting your head, to balance your vision, when your body is out of balance, can be the root cause of your headache / migraine.  Yes it’s that simple.

While you can’t always avoid the usual stresses in life, it is possible to make simple lifestyle changes that can help you to improve your posture. Yoga, Pilates and other gentle exercise that includes stretching can help to keep your joints stronger and more flexible. When you improve flexibility and strength, your posture may well improve. However, in my experience, once the exercises stop, the posture returns to its imbalanced state, and the headaches / migraine return.  This is when I start looking to functional movement problems due to faulty foot biomechanics.

Have you been told by an osteopath, chiropractor, physiotherapist, or tailor, that you have a leg length difference?  There are many reasons for this happening, and the solution is almost NEVER a simple heel lift in the shoe.  The science of functional vs anatomical leg length inequality is quite complex, and the underlying cause is likely genetic. You inherit your biomechanics from your parents. However, once the assessment is concluded, the treatment is simple, and does NOT involve surgery, injections, or even regular manipulations or adjustments for the rest of your life. 

To find out if you have a hereditary biomechanical imbalance, book an assessment with Dr. Cherye Roche today.  The initial New Patient visit last 90 minutes, and the fee is $150.  At this visit you will get all of your results from the postural assessment and the reports from a computerized walking gait analysis using the GaitScan® System (http://www.gaitdoctor.co.nz/gaitscan) to assess your individual walking gait pattern and any abnormalities in your foot function.

If you are really uncertain about how to proceed, book a FREE “Discovery Session” by Calling us on 09 414-2225.  Tracy, Louise or Jo, our delightful admin team, will be happy to get you into a Discovery Session with Dr. Roche to learn more with no financial risk.

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Cherye Roche

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