The Link Between Headaches and Structure

top rated chiropractor for headaches

This article was provided by Dr. David Guest, a chiropractor at Britannia Chiropractic in Ottawa, ON. If you would like to learn more, please visit

Headaches can be a terrible interference and annoyance in your life and can often seem to come from nowhere. They at times can be debilitating and for those of us who have suffered from headaches, you know that when your head is screaming at you 10/10 it affects your work, relationship, and how you interact with your family. Headaches can be caused by a variety of underlying conditions and illnesses, from injuries to serious infections. Many people don’t know that poor structure/posture is one of the most common causes of headaches, accounting for up to 22 percent of clinical cases.

If you are experiencing frequent headaches or migraines, poor body and spine position could be the cause. Spending your days hunched over a computer without taking breaks, sprawled on the couch for hours on end, sitting in a car or working in poorly organised workspaces can all lead to back and neck pain, which can then lead to headaches.

Headaches Caused By Poor Posture

Poor posture can lead to neck problems that commonly lead to cervicogenic or tension headaches. These headaches occur because of muscle tension in the neck and jaw. This tension can become painfully tight and full of knots, causing pain to radiate over your head. Luckily, these headaches can be prevented by fixing your neck problem.

Neck problems can originate from a number of musculoskeletal and neurovascular structures in your neck, including joints, discs, neck muscles and spinal cord coverings. A dysfunction in one of these structures can cause pain signals to be transmitted into your brain stem, which your brain interprets as a headache. I like to use the analogy of a room showing signs of wear and tear in the walls. Perhaps there is a crack present that gets worse over time. A lot of people would look at the crack in the wall and suggest to patch it. But what if that crack and stress on the wall was due to the foundation of the floor not being level? Or the joins in the corners not being at 90 degrees. Do you think that could cause stress and pressure on the wall causing it to crack and be damaged. OF COURSE! Patching the wall won’t help, but correcting the underlying structural problem will. Not only will it help correct the problem, it will prevent it from happening again down the road.

Neck Muscle Problems

Headaches can also occur if the neck joints or muscles are too stiff, move too much, or are locked in an abnormal position. The muscles connected to the neck will cause this pain if they are knotted, overworked or in spasm.

Injured neck joints can cause surrounding muscles to overwork in order to protect them. As other neck muscles become weaker from poor posture, even more demand is placed on the overworked muscles. This muscle imbalance can result in frequent and increasingly painful headaches.

Symptoms of Tension Headaches

Headaches caused by poor posture are often misdiagnosed as migraines due to the similarity of the pain and consistency of the problem.

Common symptoms of a headache caused by neck problems include:
● Tenderness at the top of the neck and base of the skull
● Subtle or severe stiffness or loss of movement in the neck
● Massaging your neck or applying pressure to the base of the skull provides temporary relief
● Pain radiating from the back to the front of your head
● The headache is provoked or eased by a neck movement or sustained position
● The headache is consistently worse on one side of the head

It’s important to note that your neck does not necessarily have to be sore in order for your headache to be caused by a neck problem. Headaches caused by poor posture can vary dramatically in severity. It is very rare for patients suffering from headaches to not improve once they begin their Chiropractic care with us.

The holistic approach undertaken by a chiropractic professional can help examine the true cause of a headache. Chiropractic treatment is very effective, safe, and well researched in relieving headaches.

For quality chiropractic care in Ottawa, Ontario, get in touch with Britannia Chiropractic. We are conveniently located near Westboro and Nepean and we can provide a full objective evaluation of your health and offer you advice and treatment to alleviate your tension headache or any other chiropractic issue you may have. Our approach is unique in that not only do we get great results for our Ottawa patients, we approach the spine in an objective way so that once problems improve, they don’t return. Make an appointment today or ask for more information about our treatments.

Dr. David Guest

Britannia Chiropractic

(613) 726-8830