Article by Rylie Teeter, CEO
Headaches – I know them well. At one point in my life, I was suffering from headaches more often than not. As the daughter of Roger Teeter, I understand that treating symptoms doesn’t bring long-term results, so I started my journey to get to the source of the problem. It took me years to find a routine that brings me sustainable headache relief and I am going to share some of my tricks in this post.
Today, headaches are becoming epidemic, and tech neck is just one fraction of the damage. The entire body is impacted by the many hours we spend seated and twisted – our heads jutted forward and tilted down, arms forward to type, shoulders slumped. Add the increased pressure on our spine in the seated position and it all stacks the deck.
Our bodies try to compensate for our poor and monotonous postures, and muscles begin to contract in response (and not always symmetrically), so we not only hunch but also have uneven shoulders and/or hips. We feel tension and pain as a result, but these postural changes can also have a host of other impacts, such as loss of balance and reduced lung capacity.
In my case, my headaches wrapped around my skull, impacting my eyes and causing spasms around my right ear. At night, I had to keep pressure on the right side of my neck to dull the pain so I could sleep. Over-the-counter pain meds didn’t touch the pain and the tightness caused my brain to feel foggy and congested. Here is where the whole thing gets complicated: where we feel pain is not always the root cause. This is thanks to muscle connections and a domino effect.
It turns out there was a chain reaction taking place. It’s hard to say what direction it travels, but I know that relief for me takes a combination of neck and shoulder stretches. And more importantly, it’s the daily activities and strengthening exercises that keep the pain at bay. This process of discovery is what birthed many of our recovery products and secured the knowledge that health and vitality take more than one solution – it takes conscientious living.
Here are my tricks to find headache relief
The Neck Restore reduces tension and pain with firm, yet comfortable pressure to the upper neck.
Strengthen muscles to get better support
This is often the missing piece of the puzzle. We stretch and massage our aching muscles, but forget to consider that the muscle is aching because it’s doing double duty. When our head is forward, the suboccipital muscles are strained. They hurt so we rub them – but it is the weakness of the front of the neck that allows our head to stay forward. It’s important to both relax the suboccipital and strengthen the neck to properly support the head.
Watch the video above to see suggested stretches to release tight muscles and exercises for both the neck and shoulders to encourage proper posture.
Maintain good posture
Your shoulder blades should sit flat against your back and your head should be square on your shoulders. Practice this: imagine a string is at the very top and center of your head and being pulled straight up. This should bring your ears directly over your shoulders.
If your muscles are tight, then getting in good posture may be difficult to impossible, and perhaps uncomfortable. Consider regularly foam rolling as a way to ease muscle tension and soreness.
When you’re sitting at the computer, ensure your monitor is at the right height and directly in front of you so you are not turning your head. Place your keyboard and mouse so your shoulder blades can remain flat against your back and your shoulders are not raising into a shrug.
Keep this same mindset when setting your distance from the steering wheel or taking up your favorite position on the sofa. If you find that sitting properly is difficult, try the Core Restore either as a lumbar support or sit on it to create an active sitting surface that engages your core muscles. (Important: when using the Core Restore in your car, only use it as a lumbar support so as not to impact safe driving).
Avoid anything that causes inflammation
For me, that meant saying goodbye to alcohol, but for you, it could be something else. Did you know that sugar is inflammatory? Be thoughtful about what you take into your body and monitor any correlating trends in how you feel as a result.
I hope my tips help you see real results!
I would like to note that there many causes of headache and sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a headache specialist that patiently helps decode if it’s TMJ, hormones, sinuses, muscle, skeletal, etc. – and even more frustrating that there is a separate specialist for each potential source, leaving a person bouncing around and confused.
Stay strong, try a lot of options, and listen to your body – with perseverance you should find your relief.