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Headache Prevention: Posture and Body Mechanics

Overview

Good posture and good body mechanics can help prevent tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. If your headaches seem to be related to tension in this area, maintaining good posture during daily activities may help prevent headaches.

Use good body mechanics all the time, not just when you have a headache or back pain. Here are some things you can do.

  • Keep your back in the neutral position.

    The key to good back posture is to keep the right amount of curve in your lower back—not too curved and not too flat.

  • Use good sitting posture for computer work.

    Adjust your monitor so that the top of the screen is at eye level.

  • Sit straight in your chair.
    • Sit with your lower back supported, feet flat on the floor, and shoulders relaxed.
    • If you sit a lot, take breaks once an hour to stretch your neck and back muscles.
  • Use a headset or speaker if you use the phone a lot.

    Don't cradle the phone between your shoulder and your ear.

  • Make sure that your work surface is at a comfortable level.

    Avoid reaching up or down to your work.

  • Avoid locking your knees while standing.

    When you stand for long periods of time, put one foot on a small stool. Switch feet now and then.

  • Use proper lifting techniques.

    Lift with your legs, not your back.

  • Avoid exercises that require you to hyperextend your neck.

    Bike riding is one example of this.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: December 13, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm DO - Neurology

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