All month here at Balance Within PT we have been exploring some of the causes and simple solutions to neck pain and headaches. But so far, we’ve not talked about an absolutely KEY component of strong and supple neck muscles, and that is the pelvic floor.
A weak pelvic floor is one of the most common – and most often overlooked – causes of neck pain, headaches, and tension in the upper body.
And why is that you ask?
Well, when the muscles of our pelvic floor (and therefore our core, because remember, the base of our core muscles IS the pelvic floor) are weak, they cause all sorts of other muscles groups to overcompensate and tighten in order to try to create stability for us, and one of the first places this overcompensation shows up is in the neck, jaw and head.
But that’s crazy you say!
Well have you ever tried to do situps or crunches and found that after only a few repetitions, that your neck muscles were tight and hurting, and that you were clenching your jaw?
That’s because your core muscles weren’t firing correctly, and the muscles in your neck and jaw were trying to make up for that lack of strength in the core by firing on all cylinders.
Another example for you… Where would you say the main place you hold stress in your body is?
Most people would say they notice tension and stress increase in their neck, shoulders, face and jaw (and maybe notice an increase in headaches when they’re stressed too). The other most common area to hold tension is actually our PELVIC FLOOR. Wild right?? And these two areas (the jaw/neck area and the pelvic floor area work together in some pretty remarkable ways neurologically.
When we teach our patients how to relax their pelvic floor, the muscles of the face/jaw/neck automatically relax too… and vice versa!
Of course there’s more to it than that, but the takeaway here is that if you have neck/jaw/headache pains that just aren’t going away and you think you’ve tried just about everything – it’s really important to look at what’s going on with the pelvic floor too!
We’ve had so many patients that came in for pelvic floor issues and tell us on the way out: “That’s amazing! My headaches and jaw pain and neck pain have all gotten better too but that couldn’t be related since you were only working on my core and pelvis with me”. Then we get to giggle a little and smile happily because they’re feeling so much better and tell them that actually, it is all related!
This is exactly why working with a specialized physical therapist who will do you the favor of checking out what’s going on in your *entire* body (not just the parts that hurt in the moment) is such a game changer. We are trained to look for those telltale signs of weakness, misfiring and other missing links and offer simple but vital exercises to strengthen and stabilize the whole body.
In today’s video, our pelvic floor specialist, Dr. Megan, shares more about this connection between the neck and head and pelvic floor. This is such important information for anyone with chronic headaches, neck pain, tightness in the jaw, or really anything head/neck related.
As with all conditions, if you find yourself struggling with headaches or neck pain and you’re wondering if a weak pelvic floor or poorly engaged core might be causing some of this, you don’t have to suffer in silence and there IS help available. Our small team of highly trained, expert PTs hold together over 60 years of training, education, and expertise and we love to be a resource for your questions!
If you or someone you know is suffering from neck pain or tension headaches, be sure to take advantage of our special Neck Pain Awareness Month offer. You can schedule a FREE 20 minute Neck Pain Discovery Consult with one of our Expert PTs any time this month to really get to the bottom of what type of customized support and care you’ll need to feel better.
Don’t forget we are celebrating our 7th Anniversary this month and we have deep discounts on session bundles. We have a limited quantity available, and this is an amazing opportunity to prioritize your health, and as we head into the busy holiday season, know that you are worth it, your health is worth it, and your body will thank you.
Just hit “reply” to this email to let us know you’re ready to prioritize your health and live a happier, less stressed, more comfortable life in the festive season and beyond.