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Health

Quick fixes for headaches

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Headaches are a common complaint and can be tricky to cure, depending on the cause.

Fortunately, there are some quick home remedies to get relief and with these tips from Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates, Ltd. of Downers Grove, you can even prevent them from taking control of your day!

Whether you are sitting, standing or walking, maintaining good posture alignment is important. Your ear should be in line with your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle.

“We tend to get bad posture and habits from sitting, computer use, phone and texting. This can cause a forward head and rounded shoulder posture,” said Mary Lou Savino Owner and President of Bet Fit Physical Therapy and Pilates.

Poor posture is caused when the upper back muscles get over stretched, weak and tight, and the pectoral and shoulder muscles get shortened, weak and tight. If the head is pulled forward, it increases the weight and stress on the spine which pulls at the neck muscles and causes headaches.

The head can weight anywhere for 10-15 pounds. But for every inch that the head tilts forward and bends down, the pressure on the spine significantly increases. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 45 degrees it's 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it's 60 pounds.

“To help with the muscle imbalances, strengthen the upper back muscles, stretch and open the chest muscles like the pectorals and deltoids,” said Savino. “Chin tucks are a good exercise to help get the neck back in alignment too. Simple cervical stretches like neck flexion and extension, side bending and rotation (looking side to side) to stretch tight neck muscles can help too.”

Instant headache relief can also be obtained with ice or over the counter NSAIDS like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Savino also recommends lying flat on your back and letting your muscles relax with the ice pack wrapped around your neck.

If you experience frequent headaches, talk to your doctor.

Be Fit Physical Therapy and Pilates: 4934 Main St. Downers Grove, IL 60515

(630) 964-4008, www.befitpt.com