A new study was published online, Nov. 2, this year in the journal Musculoskeletal Science and Practices. The authors are researchers with Cairo University and Dr. Deed Harrsion who is lead researcher and instructor with Chiropractic BioPhysics. CBP is what we base our posture/spine corrective rehabilitation program on.
In this study the authors were looking into the possible connection between thoracolumbar posture and cervicogenic headaches. Thoracolumbar posture is basically the posture of your torso. Your shoulders compared to your hips. Cervicogenic headaches (CGH), are headaches caused by issues with your neck. This can include the posture of your neck, sudden neck movements, or even holding your neck in the same position for too long. From a chiropractic point of view we look at dysfunction of the vertebral movement as a source of the problem or even the curve of your neck.
For this study the authors too 100 patients with a history of CGH and compared them to a group of 100 people with no history of CGH. They measured the thoracolumbar posture of both groups from the front and from the side. They found that worsening front and side posture was associated with an increased risk of CGH. These postures included forward body posture, and shoulders rounded forward posture. They did not look at forward head posture, but I hear they are going to look at that in a sperate study.
Understanding the significance of posture and CGH can be an important step in properly treating people. The forward body posture is a common posture we are seeing in many patients. If a patient has CGH it makes sense to evaluate posture, as this study suggests, treating the posture may help with long term improvement. Previous studies on spine related pain show that correcting posture creates a longer relief of symptoms than not correcting posture but still providing some care.
If chronic headaches are something you have been trying to live with, perhaps looking at your posture may help understand why you have them.