The Link Between Neck Misalignment and Migraines

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

If you suffer from recurring migraine with neck or shoulder pain, these symptoms could be linked together. It doesn’t feel like it, but the head weighs around 10 pounds. Poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle and the lack of movement puts too much strain on the neck and shoulders. This leads to chronic musculoskeletal pain. This is a common health issue among those who are always chained to their desks. It’s also common to workers with physically demanding jobs.

The pain in your neck, shoulders and head are all connected together through different nerves underneath. The muscles in the neck always work against gravity to hold the head. The repeated muscle movement disrupts the alignment of the neck, causing misalignment.

Dangers of a Misaligned Neck

A misaligned neck isn’t just painful. It could lead to nerve damage. It could also reduce blood flow and cause piercing migraines. When you’re stressed out, the nerves in the neck and shoulders get pinched. This leads to more pain. You end up overusing the muscles, grinding and stressing the muscles until they become sore or stiff. Too much strain on the muscles causes carpal tunnel syndrome and rotator cuff injuries. Unfortunately, misaligned neck also irritates the neighboring nerves. This leads to muscle spasms causing migraines and tension headache.

Correcting Misaligned Neck with Egoscue Exercises

The good news is, you can restore the right alignment of the neck through Egoscue exercises. Egoscue exercises use gravity to restore the right alignment in the neck and back. These routines alleviate pain in the lower back, neck, and the knees – all at the same time

Exercise 1:  Sit down next to a wall. Bring your back as close to the wall as possible. The head should be resting on the wall. Now, pull your shoulder blades back so they are touching the wall as well. Keep the hands rested on your lap. The legs should be extended outwards, feet together. Flex the toes to release tension. Now maintain this position for at least five minutes.

Exercise 2: This is a variation of the first exercise above. Lie face up near a wall. The buttocks should be as close to the wall as possible. Keep the head rested on the floor, pull your shoulder blades back. The legs should be stretched outwards against the wall. Keep the hands on your sides. Again, flex the toes. Maintain this position for five minutes.

Exercise 3: This move will require a chair. Lie with your face up on the floor. The buttocks should be touching the base of the chair. Prop your legs on the chair seat. The legs should be at a 90-degree angle. Let your arms fall at a 45-degree angle on the floor. Now maintain this position for at least 15 minutes or until the tension in the neck, shoulders and lower back is released.

Neck Massage

Apart from performing Egoscue exercises regularly, you can also massage the neck stiffness away. Allow yourself more time away from your desk and start flexing your neck muscles. Using your fingertips, massage the back of your neck and towards the lower ears. Massaging this area helps loosen tight, tensed muscles. You can also use a small neck massager to alleviate muscle pain and restore neck alignment.