Thank you for joining us for today’s livestream where we talked about headaches, migraines and neck pain, and how your neck could be contributing towards you experiencing headaches and migraines. Regular headaches can really take it out of you, so we’re going to be talking about why these may be triggered by your neck as well as what you can do to help.
We’re going to go into first and foremost, what can cause headaches. A lot of people are not aware that there are a number of nerves and blood vessels that travel through the base of the skull. When these become compressed, this can lead to us developing headaches as there’s a constriction of blood flow. In the video, we showed you what the impact a lack of space can have on the joints at the base of the skull – there’s quite a pinching going on. This is important to note because if you’re being given tablets to help with headaches/migraines, those tablets aren’t going to address your alignment so it’ll be a recurring problem.
In the poor neck image, the joints seem to be going in towards the skull, compared to the lower image where there’s plenty of space for these nerves. You can also see the difference in the two images of the alignment of the neck. The bottom ‘good’ image has a curve that is well maintained, while the image above of the poorly aligned spine is forward bending, it has lost its curve and the only backward bend is at the very top where those joints have become compressed.
Restoring alignment is going to be the main concern. To do this, we frequently recommend two stretches that will be helpful for you. Cervical extensions, where you use an exercise band placed behind the neck and gently pull as you lean back. We show you in the video how to perform this exercise properly. The rolled up towel exercise will also help to unload the cervical discs and take the pressure away from the spine. Using ice is also going to be helpful, as long as you’re placing it on the neck and then holding it in position with a towel rather than leaning your head forward with your hand holding the ice pack.