On Saturday, I had a migraine. It came out of nowhere but it was certainly present. It started off as a mild headache but whenever I had to do something active I would be left with pounding/pulsing pain. It was like there was a sudden little miniature person playing the drums in my head.
The pain would subside the moment I would rest but it was hard to rest during the day with the kids, cross-country skiing, Ori had a friend over (they were loud) etc…,etc…
The moment it came on I started pulling out my tricks to reduce the pain. I started applying pressure on specific acupuncture points. I got a chiropractic adjustment (it’s nice to have a wife who is a chiropractor!), I took my vitamins and supplements. I had a few mini-naps.
I am very well aware that many times we will get headaches because there is something wrong with our upper back or neck and the nerves get compressed (subluxation). It was also very obvious how the moment I applied pressure on my neck the pain would subside quite rapidly. The sad part was that the moment I stopped putting pressure, the pain would return.
There is a really important element that I don’t want you to miss here. Yes, the pain would subside when I started to massage my neck, and yes pain would come back the moment I stopped. But, my question for you is: what are you doing for your neck when you are not experiencing a headache or neck pain? If there’s one thing I know, it’s that it is much easier to work on a body part when it is not in pain/inflamed/swollen. You see, most of the time, I don’t have a headache. I used to get them quite frequently – but not anymore. And that is because I am very conscious about the position of my head, neck and shoulders. I think about it all the time. I know that if I keep putting my head in a compromised position for a long time, I will eventually start experiencing more headaches. I am constantly rolling my shoulders back, tucking my neck back and making sure I stand tall. I also often do shoulder work with a stick to make sure things continue to move fluidly.
Another conscious decision I made was to make sure to vary my sport and physical training. If you always do the same physical training, you will naturally put yourself at risk of developing some really strong muscles and at the same time, some really weak muscles. Having a diverse approach to training puts your brain at a much more challenging state and also reduces to risk of overuse.
If you want to learn more about other strategies and self-help hacks you can apply, make sure to check out our Facebook Live Seminar on neck pain on April 12th at 7:30PM. I will be accompanied by Dr. Katrina Greer, our chiropractor in Orleans!– Martin Perras