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Tips for Teens with Chronic Headaches

September 10, 2014

concussion, chronic headaches

Teenagers have any number of “headaches” to deal with – massive amounts of homework, standardized testing, competitive sports and other after-school activities. But how can you help your teen when his or her figurative headaches manifest into painful, chronic headaches?

If your pediatrician or family physician is able to rule out medical grounds for your teen’s headaches, a physical therapist can evaluate him or her for physical conditions that could be causing pain.

One of the top causes of chronic headaches in the teen population is directly related to their posture. Consider that teens are forced to look downward for the majority of their day while reading, writing, studying, texting, playing games or watching videos on electronic devices. These activities, along with poor trunk posture, put the neck in a compromised position. Being in such an unnatural position for long periods of time can cause chronic headaches or even migraines to develop.

The Headache Program at Good Shepherd is designed to educate and empower patients to manage their own pain. Therapists encourage routine changes to promote better posture and allow healing in the spine of the neck. Don’t panic – you won’t have to argue with your teen or take away screen time. Therapists take into account today’s high-tech teenage lifestyle – including the need to text, tweet and Facetime friends!

Tips to help teens improve posture include:

  • Keeping both feet on the ground and sitting all the way back in the chair while seated in class.
  • Propping books up when reading so as to not look downward for too long.
  • Holding mobile phones up – in line with the eyes – when texting, tweeting, etc.
  • Sitting with the spine straight against the back of the chair, or placing a pillow behind the back to sit straighter and more comfortably, while gaming.
  • Falling asleep on the back or side. Stomach sleepers are more prone to headaches.

To request an appointment with one of our pediatric specialists, please call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422).