Both I and my mother with EDS have found that our occasional episodes of severe headaches are related to instability problems in our cervical spines. (See What Are Cervicogenic Headaches?)
Misalignment of the cervical vertebrae can cause pain from the neck up the back of the head and even into the forehead. So it makes sense that:
“muscle strengthening of the deep neck flexors may ameliorate forward head posture, cervicogenic headache, and tension-type headaches.”
(from Cervical Muscle Dysfunction and Head/Neck/Face Pain)
This set of isometric neck exercises can be done sitting in a chair and are much milder than the previous ones I posted (Exercises to Prevent Cervicogenic Headaches). I had my first success with this set of exercises, and they relieved my mother’s headaches too.
Secret to brain success: Intelligent cognitive rest – Harvard Health Blog – Harvard Health Publications – May 2017 – Srini Pillay, MD, @srinipillay
Many people do focused brain exercises to help develop their thinking. Some of these exercises work, while others do not. Regardless, the focus network in the brain is not the only network that needs training. The “unfocus” network needs training too.
The “unfocus network” (or default mode network)
Called the default mode network (DMN), we used to think of the unfocus network as the Do Mostly Nothing network. Continue reading
Cervicogenic Headache Exercises – Treat That Killer Headache With These Exercises | The Prehab Guys
My mother and I have both found that neck-strengthening exercises reduce the frequency of our headaches, so I highly recommend these methods.
Anatomy and Physiology of a Cervicogenic Headache
What distinguishes a cervicogenic headache from your more classic headaches like migraines or tension type headaches are that cervicogenic headaches are actually caused from dysfunction in your neck.
Exercise for pain – undated , sometime after 2012
This article points out the effects of exercise are very non-specific and different for individuals, and it may not be possible to know which are responsible for causing or alleviating pain.
A question I often ponder is – “Do we really know the mechanisms behind how exercise might help with pain?” And the honest answer is I don’t think we really do!
Article at a glance.
- We are mostly unsure of exactly HOW exercise can help for pain
- Part or all of this may not be specific to physical factors
- WHY people get better is not always clear when thinking critically
- We can under consider the non specific effects of exercise Continue reading
Is Running Backward Good Exercise? – The New York Times
Recent studies show that running backward improves fitness. It may result, though, in falling.
The biomechanics of running backward are, unsurprisingly, almost exactly the inverse of the forward version.
According to a 2011 study, when runners stride ahead, they typically strike the ground near the back of the foot and roll onto the front, coiling muscles and tendons and, in the process, creating pent-up energy in the tissues that is forcefully released as the foot pushes off. Continue reading
Study Finds Even Moderate Exercise has Beneficial Impact – PAIN Week – January 13, 2017
Results from a study conducted at University of California San Diego School of Medicine conclude that a single session of moderate exercise can stimulate the immune system to produce an anti-inflammatory response.
The authors say that the findings may point to new approaches to the management of chronic conditions including fibromyalgia, celiac disease, and arthritis.
The article abstract may be read here.
Is Your Workout Not Working? Maybe You’re a Non-Responder – The New York Times
Research and lived experience indicate that many people who begin a new exercise program see little if any improvement in their health and fitness even after weeks of studiously sticking with their new routine.
Among fitness scientists, these people are known as “nonresponders.” Their bodies simply don’t respond to the exercise they are doing. And once discouraged, they often return to being nonexercisers.
The studies showed that, on aggregate, endurance training increased people’s endurance. But when the researchers examined individual outcomes, the variations were staggering. Continue reading
The anti-inflammatory effect of exercise | Journal of Applied Physiology– 1 April 2005
This long and detailed article explains the biochemistry of exercise and how it can reduce chronic low-grade inflammation.
Regular exercise offers protection against all-cause mortality, primarily by protection against cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The latter disorders have been associated with chronic low-grade systemic inflammation reflected by a two- to threefold elevated level of several cytokines.
Adipose tissue contributes to the production of TNF-α, which is reflected by elevated levels of soluble TNF-α receptors, IL-6, IL-1 receptor antagonist, and C-reactive protein. Continue reading
Free Pilates Exercises for Pilates Training, Instruction and Practice (Pictures)
Here is a description and explanation of many of the most used Pilates exercises. They overlap with the Alexander Technique and require no special equipment.
The Nine Pilates Controlology Introductory Exercises…
(1) Relaxation Scripts
Key words: The Relaxation, and Alexander Technique “Inhibiting”, Pilates Relaxation exercises, relaxation techniques, scripts, Alexander Technique”,
(2) Pilates Pelvic Alignment & Pelvic Alignment Exercises Continue reading
Breathe. Exhale. Repeat: The Benefits of Controlled Breathing – The New York Times
Take a deep breath, expanding your belly. Pause. Exhale slowly to the count of five. Repeat four times.
Congratulations. You’ve just calmed your nervous system.
Controlled breathing, like what you just practiced, has been shown to reduce stress, increase alertness and boost your immune system. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality
Science is just beginning to provide evidence that the benefits of this ancient practice are real. Continue reading