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August 29, 2008

Headaches, A Real Pain In The Neck

Ergonomics isn't just limited to office workers. Students also need to keep in mind that proper body mechanics is necessary while they study. I see folks schlumped into the learning resource center's chairs in all sorts of positions that are recipes for postural disaster.

One student, stressed out from school, increasingly has been experiencing headaches for the past month and a half. They came to me for relief of neck pain and I was happy to help, if I could. Laid out on the treatment table in a supine position, I asked where in their neck they were having trouble and answered the question before they could. All up and down the right side of their neck were knots, from the trapezius (GB 21) up to the suboccipital muscles. It's a pattern I recognize in myself that triggers migraine headaches.

I mentioned this to the student and recommended that if the pattern of headaches continues, that they check with their doctor. Then I performed gentle deep tissue therapy to work out trigger points, checking in regularly to make sure I was not surpassing the "hurts so good" threshold. Once I had their neck loosened up some, I implemented manual traction with craniosacral intention to encourage the suboccipital muscles to relax and queue the neck muscles to relax and lengthen.

Our time was limited, since it was right before out first afternoon class, so this was all I could fit into 15 minutes of work. Of course, I reminded them about drinking water, stretching and range of motion exercises, and suggested they try their favorite over-the-counter pain reliever to accompany the work (the combination works well with my husband's headaches). I will check in with them today to see how they are feeling.

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Posted by linda at August 29, 2008 8:50 AM

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