Dr Brad Ivanchuk here. I am a Burlington, Ontario chiropractor at Life Chiropractic Centre on Guelph Line. I am also an American Posture Institute Certified Posture Expert and Postural Neurologist, and a canfitpro certified Personal Training Specialist.
Most likely everyone reading this has had a headache at one time or another. A sinus headache, a cluster headache, a tension headache, a migraine
In fact over 8% of the population or 2.7 million Canadians have been diagnosed with migraines. And almost everyone has experienced a tension headache to some degree.
So, what is the difference between a tension headache and a migraine (arguably the 2 most common types of headaches)?
Tension headaches are typically a steady ache and stiffness in the neck – usually along the base of the skull. The pain can often times radiate to the top of the head or even to the forehead/eyes/temples.
Migraines on the other hand are much more severe, intense, piercing and often times incapacitating. They usually happen on one side of the head and are associated with an aura (visual disturbance), nausea and vomiting.
There are many different causes of headaches; lack of sleep, poor diet, medication side-effects, sports injuries, car accidents, whiplash, concussions etc. but posture is a very important and often-times overlooked consideration.
Forward Head Posture (Tech Neck) is not only associated with neck pain and back pain, but it is also associated with headaches as well.
With every inch the average 12 pound head shifts forwards, there is an extra 10 pounds of load put on the neck and upper back muscles to hold the head upright.
One inch of forward head posture then will put 22 pounds of load on the neck and shoulders,
2 inches – 32 pounds, 3 inches – 42 pounds and so forth. I recently had a patient with 5 inches of forward head posture and the load on his neck and shoulders was over 60 pounds!!