Does Your Walking Posture Worsen Your Headache?
Take a moment to reflect on your walking posture. Are you standing straight and proud? Do you instead find yourself with your head stuck forward, shoulders rounded and upper back slumped? If so, your headache-producing muscles are tight and ready to fire up your headache when the time is right.
Mental stress from work or life events can trigger your headache. Overly tight postural muscles trigger headaches easier than those muscles properly positioned. Can you adjust your walking posture to pull these muscles back to where they are supposed to be?
Rounded shoulders produce a walking stride where your thumb and index finger point forward during your arm swing.
Change that! Walk with your shoulder blades squeezed together which rotates your arms outward so that your palms face forward. Adopt this odd walking posture on occasion.
How Does this Shoulder Blade Squeeze Walking Help Me?
For one thing, you will immediately grow an inch or two. As your head shoots up and you become taller, you may be surprised to find out how much height your slumping has cost you.
For another thing, your headache-producing muscles stretch out, which makes them less likely to trigger a headache. Most people do not connect these tight muscles to their headaches.
Which Headache Muscles are Stretched When I Walk With my Shoulder Blades Squeezed Together?
Your upper trapezius muscle traverses the path from your shoulder tip all the way up to its attachment on the back of your head. Massage to this muscle feels great. When tightened, this muscle hunches your shoulder upwards. Stand up and rotate your shoulders outward and feel these shoulder-hunching muscles slide downwards.
The levator scapulae muscles also hoist your shoulder blades upwards. They project upwards from your shoulder blade to the top of your neck. The levator scapulae muscles may protest as the shoulder blade squeeze forces them to move downwards to where they belong.
Your sternocleidomastoid muscle on the side of your neck attaches to your upper neck and your collarbone. Since your shoulder blade squeeze moves your collarbone in a downward direction, your sternocleidomastoid stretches right along with it.
The occipital muscles in the back of your head do not directly attach to the shoulder blades or collarbone. Correct your posture and you will feel the stretch in the back of your head and upper neck. You may feel the stretch in the back area of your upper neck more than any other area.
Why are We Slumped in the First Place?
You likely spend a lot of time sitting either for work or relaxation. Do not give in to gravity! Do not let yourself collapse into poor posture. Slumped-over posture can easily carry over from your sitting to your standing posture if you are not careful!
Be aware of your posture! Walk with a shoulder blade squeeze, but do not make yourself so conspicuous as to make yourself feel awkward. However, do get your shoulders back into a better posture. Walk tall!