Does your child have headaches? It could be due to the neck muscles.
There is evidence (O’Leary et al 2003) that people with persistent headache and neck pain have
Altered coordination between deep and superficial muscles
Greater neck muscle fatigue under sustained low loads
Deficits in kinaesthetic sense of the cervical spine and head (a deficit of neck proprioception)
Watch the video below so you understand what muscles should be firing with neck exercises and which ones should not!
This evidence also shows that addressing these muscle control problems, with specific gentle exercise strategies, results in a reduction in neck pain and associated symptoms. Great to know that these types of issues can be fixed!
If your child has the following, then it could also be a trigger for headaches:
Restriction of motion, characterized by muscle tension and tightness in the neck and shoulders.
Postural abnormalities of cervical spine (also known as “bad posture”), which can accompany looking at the computer or phone constantly.
Increased tenderness of the neck and shoulder muscles
Watch video below for an exercise to help neck pain!
It has also been found that there are changes in the cross-sectional area (aka size) of neck flexion and extension muscles in adolescent migraine and tension-type headache (Oksanen et al 2008).
Therefore, impaired and altered functional capacity of the neck musculature (such as strength and endurance) may be either a cause or consequence of recurrent or chronic headache.
If you or your child have recurrent headaches, contact us to determine if a consultation and treatment is right for you to help your pain!
Harrison and Danielle Vaughan are co-owners of PhysioFit of NC and physical therapists in Wake Forest, NC. We specialize in the Feel it to Heal it Approach to aid in improving musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. We treat you one on one in individualized sessions so you get the most value and time out of rehabilitation sessions.