While businesses and offices are re-opening after weeks of lockdown caused by coronavirus, all those who were working from home have reported a different type of headache. This headache is called a cervicogenic headache which feels more into a part of the body instead of its actual source. Mostly it is felt in the head and its source is the neck.
Cervicogenic headache is a type of secondary pain suggesting it has an underlying reason. In many people, this reason is a spine problem but it could also be triggered with changed body posture or sitting at one place for long, putting pressure on the spine.
This cervicogenic headache is also evident in desk-bound workers in offices. Typically this headache emerges from the neck and sitting in front of a computer or on a desk for long hours are the biggest risk factors for it.
It shows up in the following ways.
- A person feels a sharp pain in the backside of the head.
- A person feels the pain behind his eyes.
- A person feels pain in the forehead and around temples.
As these cervicogenic headaches initiate from a person’s neck, it is common to consider it a body pain instead of a headache.
It also suggests that the prevention plan for these types of pain should focus more on neck movement and position while working.
Those who spend hours on their work desk, without or without involving a computer often put their neck in the same position for a long time. This posture may trigger the cervical vertebrae and highly likely to cause muscle spasm in the neck, leading to a cervicogenic headache.
A posture that is highly likely to trigger this pain is a poking chin posture, where a person puts his head forward, making the neck muscles stiff. It directly puts pressure at the upper cervical vertebrae, and irritates the muscles and joints triggering the pain.
As a result of all this, the body activates the defensive action to fight against this pain. So the painful muscle spasms felt in the neck are actually a part of the body’s protection plan. Then this pain feels downwards through the spine because the spasm initiates pulling forces in all these muscles that are around the vertebrae. It makes this whole situation extremely painful and the person feels that he is having some type of body pain.
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Despite all the complications, once can easily prevent cervicogenic headaches while working in offices or homes. A good posture is the most important factor involved in preventing this type of pain.
- Avoid leaning forward on the desk while working. It will help the body to stop making the poking chin posture.
- Try to support the body with feet, it will also prevent from leaning forward.
- Adjust the computer screen or the file/document as per the body’s height.
- Try a backrest and lean backward after a while to rest.
The self-assessment for a better posture may look like a difficult thing but it is absolutely essential to save the body from carcinogenic headaches. In extreme cases, the treatment of such pains requires physical therapy along with exercises and muscle relaxing medicines for best effects.