Physical Therapy for Neck Pain and Headaches in Huntington Beach
Who doesn’t hate headaches and neck pain? They can ruin your day and take you out of every other aspect of life. At Change Sports Physical Therapy in Huntington Beach, CA we help people get out of pain and back to doing what they love. We do that all the time, and would love to help you. However, if you can’t make it to our clinic, we’d still love to help!
5 Ways to Address Neck Pain and Headaches
Here are five easy and simple things that you can look at to help you get rid of that headache or neck pain. Each of these points are can be elaborated on more.
Here are the 5 areas you can address on your own to help get rid of that pain:
- Self Soft Tissue Work
Posture’s effect on Neck Pain and Headaches
Posture (which I will define as the natural resting position of your body) is probably the most significant factor when it comes to neck pain and headaches that are caused from muscular issues. The position that your head rests in relation to your shoulder is important. The position your shoulder’s rest in relation to your chest is important. The amount of curvature in your thoracic spine is important. These are all postural issues that greatly affect your neck pain and headaches. It is not only choosing to “Sit up straight!” that matters. It is more a question of “Does your body naturally rest in a position that is optimal for good posture?” The common deviations that affect neck pain and headaches are: Forward head and rounded shoulders. Work on correcting these, and you will be on your way to reducing and eliminating that neck pain and headaches.
Ergonomics Effects on Neck Pain and Headaches
What is ergonomics? Simply put, it is how we interact with the things we use to work with. Case in point is your computer station at work. The position that you place your body in for a majority of time in the day, has a drastic effect on your neck pain and headaches. You can find tons of information and great tips on computer station set up, or driving seat set up, or other work related activity set up. When patients see us in our clinic in Huntington Beach, we train them how to set up their work stations so that the improvements they make in the clinic have lasting effects.
Self Soft Tissue Work’s Effect on Neck Pain and Headaches
Self soft tissue work is a very important habit to establish when talking about preventing muscular injuries and pains. In my book 7 Habits of the Healthy Athlete, I discuss the habit of self soft tissue work when it comes to athletic participation. It is no different when dealing with neck pain and headaches. With these pains, doing some self soft tissue work in the suboccipitals and the paravertebral muscles is key.
Stretches’ Effect on Neck Pain and Headaches
Most people think of this as natural. When something is hurting the tendency is to want to stretch it out. A lot of times the neck pain and headaches are the result of certain muscles becoming tight. In order to alleviate the pain, we can stretch them gently and reduce the tension that they are placing on our body. Specifically stretching our the upper traps, levator scapulae and suboccipitals can often cause immediate relief.
Modalities’ Effect on Neck Pain and Headaches
The DIY version of modalities usually boils down to heat vs ice. I wrote an article on this topic of which one is better. While there isn’t a straight answer for which one is better, there is an answer for which one will do whichever effect you are looking for. Heat will increase blood flow and ice will reduce it. Heat will increase inflammation and ice will reduce it. When it comes to neck pain and headaches, the reaction someone has to ice or heat may be different than another’s. However, you can experiment with which one feels better for you. As a rule of thumb, don’t apply heat to any new injuries. I would personally add, not to add heat to conditions where you have pain at rest. When you are not doing anything, do you still have pain? I believe that indicates you are still in the inflammatory stage of healing and therefore should use ice to get you out of that stage. In our free guide 5 Steps to Get Out of Pain, I explain these stages in more detail.
So there you have 5 ways you can start to DIY your neck pain and headaches! If you want some more detailed information check out the video below.
If you find that you need more help, we love helping people. Here is a video showing what we do in the clinic for patients who need a little more one-on-one help.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us