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Why Headaches and Neck Pain Are So Common Today

Today, neck pain and headaches are extremely common for adults, children and senior citizens alike. There are, of course, a small percentage of people whose headaches may be a result of a severe disease process. The majority of people, however, can be helped through a common sense approach, because most headaches are a result of the typical American diet, bad posture and past injuries.

Certain foods can elicit or set up headaches. Stress, both physical and emotional, can also have a direct effect on the “fight or flight” mechanism, stimulating an increase in adrenaline flow, which causes an elevation of blood pressure.

In today’s society, the use of computers has quadrupled over the last 10 years. The problem is not the computer, but the ergonomic position it puts us in. Typically, while spending more than 30 minutes on a laptop or desktop computer, most of us tend lean forward, putting the head in a forward position over the shoulders, causing stress and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back area. This posture is commonly known as Forward Head Posture (FHP), and it generally happens when the computer screen is too low, coupled with the repetitive motion of moving the head forward to read the screen. This position causes tension and stress on the neck and sub-occipital muscles.

Unfortunately, FHP isn’t limited to adults. The over-use of video games, texting and computer use have begun to affect many at a very young age. Most teen and preteen children spend hours sitting in one position, causing the body to adapt to this bad posture. As a result, it’s not uncommon for preteen children to experience headaches and neck pain.

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