Do you get headaches? Do they happen daily, weekly or monthly? Seen your GP about them but still not really sure what’s causing them?
Then make sure you read this incredibly important blog as I’m going to show you why you need to be working on your neck’s “balance” to banish headaches for good.
Headaches are horrible. But what’s even more horrible is up to three quarters of people aged 18-65 have suffered a headache in the last year.
Now there are some sinister headaches out there but most people suffer from ones that can easily be treated and cured by a skilled physiotherapist. The problem is that not many people know this fact and that not every physio is skilled with the same tools.
Now let’s get into it.
Working on your balance after an ankle sprain makes perfect sense but you also need to work on that same balance with your neck especially if you’ve had a concussion, fall, knocked your head on something or a whiplash incident even if it was just that mild pulling on your neck as you get pulled out of the water when water skiing or wakeboarding.
Your neck needs to naturally know where your midline is and successfully come back to the same spot every time. Your neck and eyes also need to be coordinated so that you can move your head without your eyes moving and vice versa. When any of these factors are out they can cause headaches and dizziness.
Let’s run through 3 neck balance exercises we love to use here.
Neck balance exercise number 1:
Horizontal and vertical movements with a laser
This exercise is great to check if your neck knows where your midline is and it can accurately return to the midline every time. We do this using our motion guidance laser but you can get an idea on your performance by focusing on a point on your wall or mirror.
Initially we do this with our patients sitting down. As they improve we move them into standing and other positions that are challenging on their whole body balance. With the laser on your head and pointing straight ahead turn your head to hit the next target then come back to the middle. You can do this in any direction but we usually start with left, right, up or down. Once you get an idea of the movement the test is to then close your eyes and test how accurately you can come back to the same midline point.
Neck balance exercise number 2:
Being able to keep the eyes still as your head moves is super important for headaches and dizziness. Issues with gaze stabilisation is common after any head trauma whether it be as extreme as a concussion or even as minor as knocking your head on things at work frequently.
Start sitting down and as you improve move into positions that are more challenging on your balance. Keeping your eyes looking forward at one point turn your head side to side. Start with slow movements but try to increase the tempo as you improve.
Neck balance exercise number 3:
The laser maze
This one is quite advanced as it challenges your gaze stability plus the endurance in all those small postural neck muscles.
Again we start patients in sitting with the laser on their head and progress to harder positions. With the laser on their head they then go through the maze. We look for things such as smoothness of movement, accuracy, endurance, ability to maintain posture, eye strain and much more.
If you’d like to get help with headaches or dizziness then click HERE to book online or give us a call on (07) 4999 9773 so we can get you back to doing what you want to do and what you love.