Why the $31 Billion Spent on Headaches Last Year Was Ineffective
An estimated $31 billion dollars is spent in treating headaches with the vast majority of this money being spent misspent . The article referenced goes on to say the medical system is “racking up unnecessary healthcare costs.” And an internal medicine specialist is quoted as saying, “In U.S. healthcare we have a general overtreatment problem and headache is no different except that with headaches a lot of the overtreatment is potentially low value and high cost.” I can only speak from my experience with my patients but, I’m going to leave no stone unturned if headaches are disrupting their lives, their ability to sleep, their ability to work, their enjoyment of family, friends or children. The real problem is the efforts and energy of “treatments” are misdirected. The National Headache Foundation recently tweeted about the possiblity of “predicting” migraines, predicting migraines. As nice as it is to know the storm is coming, wouldn’t it make more sense to avoid the storm entirely? Putting an end to prediction and management and directing energy towards a solution seems like a more sensible course of action for most people.
For every 5 degrees of forward head movement, the weight on your head and neck muscles increases 3 times! For example, the normal head weighs around 12 – 15 pounds. 5 degrees of forward head movement means your body is supporting anywhere from 36-45 pounds, imagine wearing a 45 pound weight around your neck all day! It’s no wonder your head hurts.
What is described above is an issue our entire society faces on a daily basis and one which has become more and more frequent due to advances in technology, it describes the resulting postural changes associated with TECH NECK (and our dependence on portable technology).
Problems associated with tech neck range from strained and/or weakened neck muscles to herniated or bulging discs. The resulting symptoms: neck pain, fatigue, irritability, headaches, migraines, radiating arm pain and even carpal tunnel. The cervical spine is supposed to have a gentle curve called a lordosis. Being stuck looking down at handheld devices, laptops, phones, iPads for prolonged periods of time from increasingly younger ages has led to a progressive increase in people experiencing these symptoms. When our necks are in a normal position, the loads and energy required are minimized to keep normal/neutral postures. As your body moves further out of position, the loads and effort required to maintain upright postures increases.
The quick fix is to adjust your work station, change your habits and avoid positions which reinforce abnormal postures. Typically, abnormal postures, abnormal cervical spinal position or abnormal cervical spinal motion are associated with headaches. Restoring normal postures, normal cervical spinal position and normal cervical spinal motion lead to reductions and even complete correction of neck pain, headaches and migraines. These solutions do nothing to address the structural changes created by the prolonged exposure to poor postural position when using technology. Your laptops and phones are hurting you.
The standard methods of medical treatment involve static x-ray imaging followed by pharmaceutical intervention. As you can imagine, if the problem is related to poor or abnormal postures created by technology, pills and drugs can only create a temporary solution. Certainly, pharmacological interventions have their place but after a comprehensive evaluation to determine if the cause of your symptoms are musculoskeletally related. If so, the most appropriate course of action is using physical medicine to restore normal posture, position and spinal movement.
Our office specializes in posture and movement restoration and your initial evaluation includes several specific tests to determine the best course of action for your specific case. If you have been experiencing headaches or any of the symptoms listed above, you owe it to yourself to get checked, see what’s really causing the problem and, most importantly, what you need to do before they get worse.
Call us today at (773) 852-3335 to schedule your reduced rate evaluation for only $99.*
*must mention this blog post when scheduling to qualify for reduced rate.