Significance of Posture in Everyday Headaches or Migraines

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According to the American Chiropractic Association, over 31 million Americans suffer from bad body posture. Poor posture stems from modern-day habits or carrying heavy objects for so long. Many look down while using smartphones or spend extended hours working on a computer. Such practices increase the prevalence of lousy posture and result in chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain. The stiffness in these body areas eventually results in uncomfortable headaches or migraines.

Good body posture encourages proper alignment of bones and joints. It strengthens the body’s core muscles and boosts your well-being. Standing and sitting with appropriate alignment support your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Besides improving body balance, good posture keeps your blood vessels and nerves healthy. It improves blood flow and prevents chronic pain. 

The static head posture changes during the day; however, when it deviates from the ideal posture, it causes muscle tension. Muscle tension rises when fatigue sets in and your head continuously moves forward in a prolonged sitting position. You can manage this muscle tension with a chiropractor’s advice and following a few home remedies. These two things play a significant role in preventing chronic headaches and migraines. 

If you are more prone to headaches and it’s disturbing your routine activity, then reading more on this article will surely benefit you. Let’s learn the connection between body posture and headaches and see how you can get relief. 

“Headaches affect 52% of the global population. Headaches occur when pain-sensitive nerve endings react to the headache triggers. Consulting an expert would be useful if you have chronic headaches and migraines”. 

How Poor Posture Leads to Headaches or Migraines? 

Poor posture can contribute to headaches, although it is not necessarily the only cause. Here’s how poor posture can lead to headaches: 

  • Muscle tension: Poor Posture can cause muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. This tension can lead to headaches, particularly tension-type headaches. 
  • Restricted blood flow: Poor Posture can restrict blood flow to the head and neck, which can cause headaches or migraines. 
  • Nerve compression: Poor Posture can compress nerves in the neck and upper back, which can cause headaches. 
  • Increased stress on the spine: Poor Posture can increase pressure on the spine, which can cause degeneration of the spinal discs and lead to headaches or migraines.

While poor posture can contribute to headaches, it’s important to note that various other factors, such as stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, and certain medical conditions, can also cause headaches. If you’re experiencing headaches, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. 

What’s the Connection Between Body Posture and Headaches? 

There is evidence to suggest that poor posture can contribute to chronic headaches. Chronic headaches occur 15 or more days per month for at least three months. Here are some studies that have examined the relationship between body posture and chronic headaches: 

  • A study found that people with chronic tension-type headaches had poorer posture than others. The researchers concluded poor posture might be a risk factor for chronic tension-type headaches. 
  • Another study published in the journal Headache found that people with migraines had more forward head postures than those without them. The researchers suggested that this posture may contribute to the development of migraines. 
  • A systematic review and meta-analysis disclosed that people with chronic headaches, including tension-type headaches and migraines, had poorer postures than those without headaches. The researchers concluded that posture correction might be a valuable therapy for chronic headaches. 

While some evidence suggests that poor posture may contribute to chronic headaches, it is essential to note that poor posture is just one of many factors that can contribute to headaches. However, stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet also play a part in headaches. Therefore, addressing all possible contributing factors when managing chronic headaches is crucial. 

Poor posture can cause neck, shoulders, and upper back tension, leading to muscle strain and headaches or migraines. However, body posture can significantly impact the frequency and intensity of headaches. Here are some ways in which poor posture can cause headaches: 

  • Forward head posture: Spending long hours looking at a computer screen or mobile device can cause you to slouch and develop a forward head posture. It can further lead to neck and shoulder strain, triggering tension headaches. 
  • Hunched shoulders: When you have hunched shoulders, tension arises in the upper back and neck muscles, leading to headaches. 
  • Rounded upper back: Sitting in a reclined position for long periods can cause the upper back to become rounded. It can cause muscle strain in the neck and shoulder area, leading to headaches. 

Statistical Evidence on the Relationship Between Headaches and Body Posture 

  • According to a study, people with forward head posture (FHP) were likelier to experience tension-type headaches than those without FHP. The study found that for every 1 cm increase in FHP, the odds of experiencing a headache increased by 4.9%. 
  • A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that people with chronic headaches had more forward head posture, rounded shoulders, and a flattened curve in their neck than those without headaches. 
  • According to a survey by the American Physical Therapy Association, 72% of people who spend more than three hours per day using technology devices experience neck pain, contributing to headaches. 
  • In a study of office workers, participants who received a postural education intervention, stretching exercises, and ergonomic modifications reported significantly reduced headache frequency and intensity.

While these statistics suggest a link between poor body posture and headaches, it’s important to note that everyone is different and may experience headaches for various reasons. 

Tips for Posture Improvement and Minimizing Headaches

  • Sit Up Straight: Sit with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Keep your feet flat on the floor. 
  • Adjust Your Computer Screen: Position your screen at eye level to avoid looking down and straining your neck. 
  • Take Breaks: Take frequent breaks to stretch your neck, shoulders, and back muscles. 
  • Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise can help improve posture and reduce muscle tension. 
  • Get Proper Sleep: Improper and insufficient sleeping causes muscle tension, leading to headaches or migraines.
  • Consider Ergonomic Tools: Ergonomic tools such as chairs, keyboards, and mouse pads can help improve your posture and reduce the risk of headaches or migraines.
  • Stretch Yourself: Regular stretching can help improve flexibility and mobility, which can, in turn, improve posture. Focus on stretching the neck, shoulders, chest, and upper back muscles. 
  • Use strengthening Exercises: Exercises that target the muscles that support the spine can help improve posture. Examples include planks, bridges, and back extensions. 
  • Practice Posture Cues: Practicing posture cues throughout the day can help maintain good posture. Examples include sitting up straight, tucking your chin in, and rolling your shoulders back and down. 
  • Focus on Foam Rolling: Foam rolling can help release tension in the muscles and fascia, which can help improve posture. Focus on foam rolling the neck, shoulders, chest, and upper back muscles. 

Chiropractic Treatment for Enhanced Posture and Relieving Pain

According to chiropractors, misalignments in the spine can cause various health problems, including headaches. Correcting these misalignments can help improve overall health and well-being. Some evidence suggests that chiropractic treatment may be beneficial for treating headaches and poor posture. For example: 

  • A study found that spinal manipulation therapy may effectively treat inevitable headaches, including tension-type headaches or migraines.
  • A Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics stated that chiropractic treatment effectively reduced discomfort and disability in patients with chronic neck pain. 

Chiropractors may use a variety of therapies to treat headaches and poor posture. Though chiropractic center treatment may be effective for treating headaches and poor posture; however, more research is needed to understand the effectiveness of this treatment approach fully. It is also essential to consult with a healthcare professional before undergoing any type of treatment, including chiropractic treatment, to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your needs. Here are some examples: 

  • Spinal manipulation: This is a common technique used in chiropractic treatment, involving manual spinal manipulation to correct misalignments and restore proper function. Spinal manipulation may help reduce tension in the neck and shoulder muscles, which can contribute to headaches and poor posture. 
  • Soft tissue therapy: Various techniques such as massage and stretching help reduce muscle tension and improve the range of motion. 
  • Postural exercises: Chiropractors may prescribe exercises designed to improve posture and strengthen the muscles that support the spine. 
  • Ergonomic modifications: Chiropractors may recommend changes to your work or home environment to improve ergonomics and reduce the risk of poor posture. 
  • Lifestyle modifications: Chiropractors may advise on healthy lifestyle habits, such as proper nutrition, exercise, and stress management, to help reduce the risk of headaches and poor posture. 

The therapies may vary depending on the individual needs of each patient. Chiropractors will thoroughly evaluate the patient’s symptoms and overall health status before developing a customized treatment plan. 


It’s important to note that while some home remedies and chiropractic treatments can help improve body posture, they may not be sufficient for treating all cases of poor posture. If you’re experiencing significant pain or discomfort due to poor posture, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for better results.

Contact your Scottsdale Chiropractor, Dr. Abbas Khayami, D.C, at Better Health Solutions to learn more about the Significance of Posture in Everyday Headaches or Migraines.


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*This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition*

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