Tips & Techniques to Get You Back to Full Strength

Work Giving You A Headache?

Dana Tress 
 • 
July 10, 2017

Many people complain that their headaches start while at work. It is more than just coincidence that this phenomenon is, indeed, a staggering statistic
when looking at what factors trigger headaches. If you are finding that you often get headaches while at work, consider the following triggers most
commonly associated with headaches that originate in the workplace and what you can do to reduce or eliminate them.

Stress: Probably the most common trigger suggested when work headaches, stress can indeed lead to head pain as our muscle tension increases
in the neck and upper back as we deal with stressful workplace encounters. Tips such as deep breathing, listening to quiet music, and taking a break
to stretch tight muscles can help to reduce stress and, therefore, stress-induced head pain

Lighting: Flickering fluorescent lighting has been linked to triggering migraines. Turning off overhead fluorescent lights when able and
substituting that with as much natural light as possible, along with supplementing the lighting with floor lamps as much as you can will be helpful.

Dry Eyes: Staring at the computer screen can dry out your eyes, leading you to lean forward as you strain to see your screen. This can
lead to neck and head pain. Instead, take brakes every 20 minutes to look far away from your computer screen to give your eyes a rest. A glare-reducing
screen protector may be helpful as well

Food: If you are someone who often forgets your lunch, or has to dine out frequently with clients and associates, poor food choices may
have you eating foods that are linked to triggering headaches, including cheese and red wine. As much as possible, plan your meals ahead of time to
make smart choices, and learn what your food headache triggers may be.

Routines: People who travel frequently for work have difficulty maintaining consistent schedules, especially when it comes to sleep. 
Sleep deprivation has been proven to contribute to the onset of headaches. As much as you can, stick to a regular sleeping schedule, even on weekends.

Fumes: Strong perfumes/lotions/aftershaves, chemicals used in the workplace, and high levels of dust, combined with poor air filtration
systems, lead to the phenomenon called “sick building syndrome.” Certain odors are linked to triggering migraines. Air purifiers, keeping your workspace
clean, and increasing the amount of fresh air in your workplace will help reduce the effect building fumes and allergens will have on your headaches.

Posture: Sitting with the phone crunched between your ear and your shoulder, hunching over a computer keyboard, lifting and moving items
at work with improper body mechanics, driving to and from work with poor posture, static postures while working on machinery, and even slouching in
your chair during presentations and meetings all lead to a forward head and shoulders. These slight changes in posture put increased strain on your
neck muscles, resulting eventually in head pain. Be sure to take frequent “posture breaks” at work to stretch and change your posture every 15-20 minutes.
Learning proper computer ergonomics is important for computer work as well.

 

Pain not going away? Call for a complimentary injury screen with our headache specialist today! 815.893.9075

Dana Tress
Meet the Author
Dana Tress, PT, CEAS, AIB-CON is a physical therapist specializing in the management of concussion, balance dysfunction, headaches and dizziness in Crystal Lake, Illinois at Smith Physical Therapy Balance + Concussion Center, an award winner in concierge physical therapy services for McHenry County and surrounding regions.
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