Kaitlin is a fourth year Human Kinetics student at the University of Ottawa who recently completed her internship at my clinic, Function to Fitness Physiotherapy.
She is applying for her Masters in Physiotherapy and plans to start that program once she completes her Kinesiology degree. Kaitlin is committed to her studies and because of her schedule is too busy to take proper care of herself.
The Pain of Daily Headaches
But this hard work and commitment came at a cost: Kaitlin suffered daily painful, debilitating headaches for several years and was unsure of their exact cause. Kaitlin thought that they were the result of dehydration, stress or poor diet. Maybe they were the result of too little sleep?
She frequently used over the counter painkillers such as Tylenol to deal with the problem.
A Headache Appears
Kaitlin and I were at a workshop in Montreal when her usual afternoon headache came on. I encouraged her to massage the areas around her head and neck. This helped but it only lessened her pain a small amount.
Mind Your Posture, Young Lady
Then I thought we should try something else.
During the time we worked together, I noticed that Kaitlin maintained a stooped forward posture. I challenged Kaitlin to sit up straight and maintain a good posture throughout the next day and see if that affected the headache.
The next day her daily headache failed to appear.
Kaitlin realized that she had the habit of slouching. Her head would fall forward over slouched shoulders. This was the pattern she held while in class listening to lectures, while at her computer, when reading her books and while completing her written assignments. In fact, her head was in a forward position for the majority of her waking day.
After the first headache free day, Kaitlin realized the cause of her headaches and what she had to do to eliminate them.
It all made sense; my poor posture was causing me to have terrible headaches. Right away I knew I had to start working towards having better posture. It was definitely not easy at first but sitting up straight with my head completely aligned is now embedded within my brain. I am now headache free; continuing to live my hectic life painlessly.