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Headache Prevention: Posture and Body Mechanics - Topic Overview

Good posture and body mechanics

Good posture and the way you move your body can help prevent tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. If your headaches seem to be related to tension in this area, be aware of your posture and position during daily activities. This may help prevent headaches.

Use good body mechanics all the time, not just when you have a headache or back pain.

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  • Keep your back in the neutral position.
  • Sit straight in your chair with your lower back supported.
  • Take breaks once an hour to stretch your neck and back muscles.
  • Adjust your computer monitor so that the top of the screen is at eye level. Use a document holder to keep copy at the same level as the screen.
  • If you use the telephone a lot, think about using a headset or speakerphone. Do not cradle the headset between your shoulder and your ear.
  • Make sure that your work surface is at a comfortable level. Avoid reaching up or down to your work.
  • When standing for long periods of time, stand with one foot on a small stool. When lifting, lift with your legs, not your neck or back.
  • Avoid exercises that require hyperextension of the neck, such as bike riding.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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