Computers have become an essential part of modern life, giving access to emails, playing games, and completing work tasks. While there are many upsides to these machines, there is evidence that shows daily computer use can cause chronic head pain.
Relationship between Computer Use and Jaw-related Head Pain
If you experience regular headaches or migraines, and use computers often, these may be related. Computer use can lead to jaw-related head pain. Some headaches and migraines are generated from the jaw muscles. When these muscles tighten or are overused, the pain can travel to other areas, often resulting in headaches or even migraines.
The main culprit of jaw-related head pain from computer use is posture. When we sit at computers, we tend to slouch, lean forward, or favour one side over the other. When this posture is continued for a prolonged period of time, it can actually cause the tendons and muscles of the jaw joints to become stressed and lead to headaches.
How can this be prevented?
The best prevention is to use computers less. Unfortunately, for many of us this is not an option, as they are vital for work activities.
If you must continue to use a computer daily and for several hours, make sure that you assess how you are sitting at your desk. Make sure you position yourself to avoid slouching and sitting off balanced. Take short breaks as often as possible and move around.
Also, do not lean your head forward. Keep your head in a position where your ears do not pass your shoulders. When you slouch your head too far forward, you put strain on your neck and jaw muscles.
If you find that your headaches or migraines continue, and your are unable to discontinue your computer use, you may need to seek out other methods of head pain treatment. For most people however, being aware of, and making changes in posture, are enough to reduce headaches caused by computer use.