Why Are Neck Pain and Headaches So Common?

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We are all subject to neck pain, upper body / shoulder stiffness and migraines these days. The reason for this is because it is very common now for people to work at a desk, hunched over a computer. A lot of us are always driving. Working with our arms in front of us, head down. Writers, hairdressers, computer programmers, massage therapists… The list goes on and on. How do you use your body at work?
There are commonly two different reasons for head and neck pain. One, when we do work with our arms in from of us, it causes a shortening of the pectoralis muscle, elongating the rhomboid muscle. This is what often causes hot spots in our upper back, and why you massage therapist probably likes to linger there a little longer. Two, our neck muscles on the back of our body (posterior) are often clamped down do hard that you cannot even feel your occipital bone. (The bony ridge on the back of your head where all your neck muscles attach) Headaches and migraines are usually caused by the group of “ capitus “ muscles (pictured above). When this is going on the tiny lines in your skull, or skull sutures become compressed and restrict blood flow. It also can cause a severe feeling of pressure. This is what causes migraines, for most people. In my work I have often noticed that people who suffer from migraines are often A-type personalities, they grind their teeth at night, or they are so stressed that their shoulders are riding high up with their ears.
If you suffer from any of these things, try asking your massage therapist for a myofascial release massage, or deep tissue. You can also try stretching during the day while at work, to try to re-align your body, so that your muscles are not in conflict with one another to straighten out your back and neck.

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