Many people attribute their headache to stress, too little water or just having a bad day. But in reality, the majority of tension-type headaches are caused by pressure on the neck, made worse by poor posture.
The movement of neck retraction is one of the most effective exercises that can be used to reduce the head pain produced by poor posture.
In my clinical experiences, I have noticed that people who get headaches from their necks are more likely to have lost the ability to perform neck retraction. Neck retraction is essentially the movement of a chin tuck (see the accompanying video).
Within our treatments at The Newcastle Headache Clinic, we always look to improve people’s ability to perform both active and passive neck retraction. Active retraction re-trains muscle control in the deep neck muscles around the upper neck joints. Passive retraction stretches tight soft tissue around these joints.
Both treatment options combine to improve the performance of neck retraction. This in turn helps to restore the normal resting positions of the upper neck joints and reduces soft tissue strain, thereby decreasing referred head pain.
These simple retraction techniques are designed to be self-administered to ensure that our patients are able to manage ongoing issues with tension-type headaches in their everyday life.