There are so many causes for chronic headaches that listing them all would take an entire book.  Today, let’s look at 2 of the most common; stress and posture. 

Stress Headaches – As discussed in my earlier post, Corporate Body Damage: Mental Health – Stress, the results of long term stress can vary from fatigue to heart attack.  One of the more common results, however is a stress headache.  Adrenaline and cortisol are being dumped into your body resulting in increased muscle tension and inflammatory responses, (among other things).  Commonly, that tension lives in the neck and/or upper shoulder muscles, causing fatigue and/or spasm, resulting in headaches.

In addition, poor posture from fatigue or bad ergonomics can produce the same results.  Holding your arms forward and your head down, (Think: working at the computer.), will over time shorten the muscles of the chest and anterior neck.  This results in over extension and fatigue of the upper shoulders and posterior neck.  This in turn can cause headache.  (We’ll also discuss this in next month’s post: Corporate Body Damage: Head, Neck and Shoulders – Neck Pain.) 

There is good news.  Both are easily avoided or remedied by managing your stress, improving your posture and ergonomics, and getting regular massage.  Massage can reduce stress and improve sleep, eliminating the chemical cause of stress headaches.  Massage can also release tension, and restrictions in overused muscles in the head, neck and shoulders.  Both of these will reduce the pain and fatigue associated with stress headaches.