Using Posture Treatment to Relieve Cervicogenic Headaches


Cervical dysfunction, which can lead to cervicogenic headaches, is a surprisingly common medical issue that afflicts approximately 35 percent of Americans. According to researchers, the headaches associated with this condition happen due to deep neck flexor impairments and cranio-cervical flexion performance deficits. In other words, any weakness or abnormalities in the cervical facets may end up causing persistent headaches. The good news is that everyone has the ability to correct this problem by utilizing a posture treatment program.

Supportive Devices for Posture Improvements

Anyone who is plagued by cervicogenic headaches can reduce the effects of their cervical facet issues by turning to a posture support device. It is especially important to wear a device while doing exercises that can improve the performance of your cranio-cervical flexon. For example, wearing a PostureJac device will help you with muscle strengthening. Additionally, these supportive devices offer important self-mobilization and myofascial stretching assistance.

How Do These Supportive Devices Work?

There are three important roles that these treatment devices play:

  • Biomechanical Corrections
  • Increased Kinesthetic Awareness
  • Sensorimotor Learning

In a nutshell, this means that biomechanical issues such as rounded shoulders or a forward head will be corrected. At the same time, individuals who wear one of these devices will experience positive neurological benefits. This is critical because you need to be able to recognize improper posture in order to consciously take steps to correct it.
Through sensorimotor learning and an increased level of kinesthetic awareness, it will become much easier to keep your posture properly aligned. As an added bonus, the combination of exercise and a supportive device will help strengthen your deep neck flexors and lumbopelvic region.

The Release Exercise

The first posture treatment exercise you’ll want to master is known as The Release. As the name suggests, this exercise is intended to release excess amounts of upper body tension. There are two muscles in the upper body that tend to hold a lot of tension:

  • Sternocleidomastoid
  • Trapezius

Unfortunately, if these muscles are left in their typical tense state, they lead to the harmful rounded shoulders and forward head posture. Therefore, to reduce your risk of suffering from cervicogenic headaches, you need to learn how to recognize and release the tension in your upper body by following a few simple steps:

  • Awareness – Use a mirror to spot posture issues until you learn to notice them on your own.
  • Begin Releasing – Push the handles of the treatment device lightly downward.
  • Visualization – Your shoulders will drop with the pushing part of the exercise. Visualize the top of your head being pulled or floated up to toward the ceiling at the same time.
  • Breathing – Make the release better by incorporating slow breathing. First, breathe in through your nose. Next, purse your lips and exhale while pushing the handles down.

This particular exercise can be done as frequently as five times a day. Please note that you should stop immediately if you experience any numbness, dizziness or pain during this exercise.

Treatment Results

Medical researchers have looked closely at the results of using a treatment device while performing a series of exercises. The Flexor Endurance Test was used to determine if wearing a treatment device actually decreased pain in the flexor region. The results overwhelmingly favored posture treatment by showing an increased endurance of almost eight seconds over those who did not receive any treatment.
As you can see, people who suffer from bad posture, headaches and upper muscle tension have the option to treat these related issues with exercise and a simple device. Instead of dealing with other cumbersome, painful and expensive medical options, take action to make yourself feel better through these corrective treatments.

Range of Available Unique Physical Therapy Treatments at Nydnrehab

About the Author

Dr. Lev Kalika is clinical director of NYDNRehab, located in Manhattan. Lev Kalika is the author of multiple medical publications and research, and an international expert in the field of rehabilitative sonography, ultrasound guided dry needling and sports medicine Dr. Kalika works with athletes, runners, dancers and mainstream clients to relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, enhance performance and minimize the risk of injuries. His clinic features some of the most technologically advanced equipment in the world, rarely found in a private clinic.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

Buy now 3D Gait
Payment Success
Request Telehealth Request Telehealth Request in office visit Book now