If you’re busy all day… and maybe at the desk you may begin to feel tense… uptight… and even get a headache. What can you do beyond your typical aspirin? (How many times have you reached for an Aspirin thinking that was a valid solution?).
(If the answer is “yes”) – You’re not alone.
But, what if there was more going on beyond the discomfort and pain itself. I mean the tension and pain are all indicators that your body has reached a limit. Much like the sound of an alarm in a burning building. [In that case we know that the actual problem is the raging fire… not the sound of the alarm. So, remember your body is no different – the pain is like the sound of that alarm. ]
How do we begin to solve this? By putting out the fires.
Here’s three really important things you can do when it comes to headaches as a result of increased tension in the upper trap and neck muscles. Remember, everything is under the control of the brain – so if there’s changes in your spinal column creating shifts and potential pressure on the nerves that’s going to be one important factor right away to consider. (You can see in the picture below an example of how your spine may shift – and that the nerves connect & control all sorts of different functions in your body).
Now, on your own begin to think about how you can help relax and activate muscles lower down so that neck discomfort and (possible) headaches don’t become more of a problem.
I would first of all start to become more aware (#1) of this and work on relaxing your shoulders and letting them drop (think less tension at the top of the shoulders and focus on breathing).
Try keeping a little band in your desk (#2) so that you can actually train yourself to activate your upper back muscles and relax your neck. As mentioned before – the band pull apart works great.
With this I would perform a set of 12 – 20 in the morning and afternoon while at my desk.
The other movement I would work on…which is something I haven’t mentioned in a while is activating the lower trap region.
Find a bench (or even the ground), lay on your stomach and position your hands in the “Y” position overhead… (#3) now lift your arms toward the ceiling. Pause when your arms are just above your body and bring them back down. Think about contracting the mid-back region (in the area we call your lower trap – the lower portion of the diamond shaped muscle pictured to the right).
Here’s what the movement would look like…
Really focus on relaxing the base of your neck. Notice how I turn my thumbs up.
Aim to complete these two movements at least 2 times per day.
And don’t forget – if your spine is shifted and stuck it’s often not going to change on it’s own. It could be affecting your health in ways you feel and more importantly in ways you may not feel. The only way to find out if you’re shifted is to review your case with a Neuro-Structural Chiropractor.
Much of your habits dictate your overall health. So by making small positive changes in your habits you begin to change your health.
If you have any questions please let me know?