Some of my migraines stem from neck issues. Specifically between the C1, C2 disks in my neck and the base of my skull. Poor posture, injury and scar tissue can cause these to cause more tension and pain that radiates into your head. I’ve started some physical therapy for those headaches/migraines. I slash headaches/migraines because some of the time I get headaches that start in the back of my neck, however if I strain my neck I will get a migraine that lasts for a minimum of 4 days. Until recently when I went to my neurologist she just gave me Imitrex and I was on my way. Until I really started taking detailed notes about my migraines and headaches did I notice that some of the worst migraines stem from the back of my neck and last for days, usually after I’ve done something dumb. You know not wanting to make more than 2 trips out to the car for groceries so I tried carrying most of them in one hand so the other was free to open the door! Some not so dumb, I have a 3 1/2-year-old that weighs close to 40 pounds and I tend to carry her on one side all the time! She gave me a prescription for Zanaflex, which does help, but when I’m having a multi-day migraine I have to take them every day. I can’t really do anything but sleep when I’ve taken one.
So this week I started physical therapy. They told me to switch my pillow to a down pillow. If you suffer from migraines, you too could probably call yourself a pillow collector! I have so many because I’m always searching for the right one! The therapist told me for my neck I should get a down pillow because they are easier to mold under your C1 and C2 spinal disks. Here’s where they are:
The therapist had me simply take my chin and touch it to my chest and asked me how it felt. It felt super tight but I could tell it was helping to relax the muscles in my shoulders and neck.
He told me to buy a lumbar support for my back for my chair at work and practice sitting up. I’m supposed to be doing an exercise for about 3 minutes every couple of hours, and I need to check my posture every 10 minutes to make sure I have a neutral spine. I found this video online that seems to be as close as I can find to show you what exercise you may want to try if your migraines stem from the back of your neck!
Here are some articles saying that thyroid issues CAN also cause migraines.
I’ve read many articles over the last couple of months that say that exercising helps headaches and migraines. I have to admit I’ve often scoffed at those articles. The thought of exercising with a headache, let alone a migraine seemed ridiculous. Now, I’m not saying I exercise when I have a migraine, that would just be crazy! However, I have been exercising for 3 months and my migraines and daily headaches have been cut in half! Did you hear me, by HALF!!!!
Here are some of the articles that I have read about exercise, migraines and headaches.
I usually do about 30 minutes of plain cardio about 2 to 4 times a week (depends on how much time I have) and 2 HIIT routines a week, plus strength training. I also pay very close attention to my posture at work as I’m a Systems Administrator who sits for most of my work day. I also try and get regular sleep at minimum 6 to 8 hours every night.
Excellent article about headaches and migraine frequency not being low enough. I have about 5-7 migraines a month and about 3 to 4 headaches a week. Which isn’t enough for most conventional and non-conventional treatments to be given to me. I only suffer most of the month with either 5-7 migraines and on average 3 headaches (roughly 15-18 a month NOT counting the migraines). So sorry, out of luck for insurance covering anything else for me!