Wellness Headache Relief Center Springfield IL

Hi I’m Nancy Thompson, the
8 Weeks to Wellness Director and Functional Fitness Specialist, here at the Springfield Wellness Center. An upper cross syndrome
is often a condition that really can contribute to headaches but there’s a lot of exercises
we can do to combat that. What upper cross syndrome
is, is a combination of weaknesses and tightnesses. The weaknesses are often
in the neck flexors, having a hard time keeping
that neck where it’s supposed to be in our posture, as well as weak upper back muscles. The tightnesses occur in the pec muscles cause we’re often forward leaning, as well as in the upper occipital muscles that help keep our head up, that’s right there at
the base of our skull. So if we can do some
exercises to address those four things we can really go a long way in helping treat headaches. So I’m gonna have Blair
here demonstrate some of the stretches and then strengtheners
we’re gonna do today to give you an idea about
what you can do at home. The tight pec muscles
could be easily stretched with a number of different stretches, but we’re gonna focus on just using a pole or a doorway here. I’m gonna have Blair bring her
elbow up about shoulder high. This is a real nice way to
get that pec area stretch and then I’m gonna have
her look away from the arm that she’s stretching and
just turn as far as you can to get in that pain-free range of motion to help stretch this. Stretches, whether they’re
for post workout stretches or certainly in treating
this type of condition, I try to ask people to stay
in those for 30 seconds. Make sure we do both sides evenly. So that is the first one
would be a pec stretch. Then the opposing muscle group
that we need to strengthen, we’re gonna actually do
using body resistance. I’m gonna have Blair, again,
bring her elbows shoulder high and turn her palms out
so that say you’re, best on a wall, you can bring
your pinky back to the wall and then engage the muscles
by reaching straight up and then pulling it straight
down keeping the pinky’s on the wall and then holding that down there for five seconds. Doing 10 reps of those
will help really engage the upper back muscles
that are often very weak besides creating some
range of motion to help counteract the tightness in the pecs. So there’s a strengthener
you can do again, holding that for five seconds and then repeating it for 10 times. The third exercise we’re gonna do is a neck flexor strengthener
by moving the head, which is a great form
of resistance cause it’s 10 to 12 pounds, I’m gonna
have her slide her chin forward and then pull it back to retract the chin and stay in that retracted position holding for five seconds again
and then doing that 10 times, should help strengthen the neck flexors but also tend to feel good. You’re moving that occipital
area that is tight anyway, so that’s really a nice thing to add to your upper cross syndrome treatment. Then the fourth thing we
do is, this is best done on the floor. The fourth exercise we’ll
be doing on the floor uses this wonderful tool we call a peanut. What it is, is something
you can easily make at home, it’s two lacrosse balls
cause their nice and firm but not too hard, that
we’ve duct taped together to form this peanut which
is gonna fit nicely, here, under Blair’s head
which is actually the occipital area where
the muscles insert at. We want to provide some
release there by having her lay back on this peanut, and
again it’s really a stretch. A very passive stretch
but the weight of her head is gonna pull back onto the floor, pressing her occipital
area into the peanut. It’s gonna provide some
release and some stretching. Stay in there for at least
30 seconds maybe even longer cause it should feel really
good, it shouldn’t cause pain, to help improve the tightness
there, reduce the tightness there in the occipital area. So that would be the fourth
exercise that’s gonna address the upper cross syndrome. If these exercises are helpful
or you found them helpful, please share it when somebody
you know or make comments and we’ll be glad to get back with you. (upbeat music)

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