I have treated many patients with migraine headaches who suffered for years because a proper diagnosis was never made. The cause of migraine headaches are difficult to establish because there are many possible causes. The specialist most often associated with finding this diagnosis is aneurologist. Unfortunately, in most cases, there is never an established cause and only treatment to address the symptoms of migraine headaches is provided. The majority of the drugs prescribed are designed to minimize the pain and associated symptoms such as nausea. They don't attempt to address the cause of the headache. As a result, the person suffers with migraines for unending periods of time simply waiting for the next one to come.

One of the common issues I have noted with the patients I have treated for migraine headaches is an improper posture called forward head and shoulder posture. This is a posture during which the shoulders and head are found to be forward of the spine. The cause of this improper posture is a muscle imbalance between the pecs, anterior shoulder, and biceps versus the upper back muscles, posterior shoulder, and triceps. This imbalance causes the pecs, anterior deltoids and biceps to shorten. Since these muscles attach to the shoulder and shoulder blade, these bony attachments are drawn forward. The shoulder blades along with being drawn forward are also drawn out away from the spine.

The problem with this is that any muscle that attaches from the skull or spine to the shoulder blades become over-stretched. Once this happens, these muscles are no longer at their optimal length to create force and perform their functional tasks. Two key muscles in this situation are the levator scapulae and the upper traps. These muscles are responsible to support the head. If these muscles weaken they lose their ability to support the head and the head begins to lay forward of the spine. This creates an even greater load on these muscles which makes them more susceptible to straining.

As these muscles strain, they have increased tone in them. The increased tone ends up pulling with greater force on their attachment to the upper cervical spine and skull. The muscles don't actually attach to the
bone. They attach to periosteum. This is a connective tissue covering that surrounds bones. Periosteum contains a high concentration of pain receptors as do most forms of connective tissue. The increased pull of the strained muscles activate the pain receptors to create neck pain and headaches.

The solution to resolving this type of migraine headache is to strengthen the upper back muscles, posterior deltoids, and triceps and to stretch the pecs, anterior deltoids and biceps. Resolving this muscle imbalance will allow the muscles that support the head to remain at their optimal length and allow them to perform their functional task of supporting the head with the greatest of ease.