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Massage and stretches to improve posture and reduce headaches

Mar 9, 2018

My name is Kate Lawton, and I am a soft tissue and sports massage therapist.

Soft tissue therapy and sports massage can be used to treat clients who have a musculoskeletal injury, pain or dysfunction caused by any of life’s stresses and from all sectors of the community, not just sports people.

I treat many people who work in an office environment and are sitting at a computer all day, who have developed tension headaches from poor posture. Many of the clients I treat do not realise they have headaches until they get treatment and the headaches disappear.

The muscles in your neck and at the base of your skull (sub-occipitals) work to keep your head balanced on top of your spine. Your chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor) also have a big effect on your posture, when they are tight they cause us to have rounded shoulders. When you are sat working on the computer, we often slouch causing these muscles to become shortened and tight. It is this shortening that causes muscle ‘knots’ which in turn cause the common problem of tension headaches, which can also trigger migraines.

By using many different massage techniques and stretches you can lengthen these shortened muscles, free up the ‘knots’, get rid of those headaches and improve your posture. You might even gain a few inches in height!

Here are some stretches to help improve your posture and ease the tension.

Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP before exercising or send an email to (enquiries@physio-logical.net) for advice and guidance.

If you are suffering from tension headaches and would like some treatment with us, please contact us.

Upper Trapezius

  • Put one arm behind your back.
  • Gently lower the opposite ear towards your shoulder.
  • You can increase the stretch by gently easing your head over with your hand.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, repeat twice, three times a day.

Levator Scapulae

  • Put one arm behind your back.
  • Rotate your head to the opposite shoulder as far as is comfortable.
  • Drop your head forward.
  • You can increase the stretch by gently easing your head forward with your hand.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, repeat twice, three times a day.

Pectoralis Major and Minor

  • Stand in a door way.
  • Hold one or both arms up against the wall, Depending on the angle of your arm you will stretch different fibres of the muscle.
  • Step/Lunge through the door and you will feel a stretch across your chest.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, repeat twice, three times a day.

Sternocleidomastoid

  • Rotate you head to one side as far as is comfortable,
  • Then tilt your head to the same side, as if you are trying to touch your ear to your shoulder.
  • You will feel the stretch down the front of your neck.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, repeat twice, three times a day.

If you are suffering from headaches, lower back pain, neck pain, general muscle tension, or want to improve your posture then please get in contact with us via enquiries@physio-logical.net or 07835 712306.

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