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Bending forwards/looking down

Does anyone find bending forwards/tilting your head downwards (say when cleaning or looking down to read something like a newspaper) seriously exacerbates their symptoms? I find almost whenever I do this for a few hours after I lift my head back up I feel a lot of pressure and discomfort on the back of my head, neck and top of head.

Yes I get this too, it’s likely down to muscle tension. Your head weighs a lot, and having it bent down while reading/looking at your phone or tablet can put a huge amount of pressure on the muscles in your upper back, shoulders, neck, jaw/face, and head. I find that it really triggers a lot of the migraine symptoms for me, it must be irritating the nerves in these areas or else the muscle tension is putting my sense of balance out of whack.

I also have issues with jaw tension/TMJ - I clench and grind my teeth at night - and this is a big trigger for me. Holding the head in a downwards position is known to exasperate TMJ symptoms, so I guess it all fits together.

Muscle tension from bad posture can be a migraine trigger, so it would be good to look at how this might be affecting you. If you spend long periods of time looking down at your phone/tablet or sitting in front of a computer then it would be good to adjust these habits and incorporate gentle stretching exercises into your day.

Yes, I absolutely feel this way. Some days are worse than other, but I definitely have it to some level each day. I pretty much fight daily neck pain, as it often seems to accompany my migraines.

When I read a book, I lie in bed on my side with the book right in front of me. This helps me a lot to avoid the neck pain and tilting issues. If I sit and read something at a table, it bothers my neck too much. If I read at the PC, I try to sit back and not lean into the screen. But it’s easy to get carried away and not pay attention, and before you know it your neck hurts like hell.

It’s strange isn’t it? Obviously before the vertigo started this never used to effect me in anyway, but now it feels like my head is a lead weight all the time which my neck is struggling to lift. It would be really good to get some understanding of why this is happening. To date my only understanding of neck pain specifically is when suffering from vertigo you can’t help but put tension in your neck to try to keep your head more still without being consciously aware of it and this is why you get a stiff neck. However it doesn’t explain why looking downwards makes everything horribly worse!?

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It’s strange isn’t it? Obviously before the vertigo started this never used to effect me in anyway, but now it feels like my head is a lead weight all the time which my neck is struggling to lift. It would be really good to get some understanding of why this is happening. To date my only understanding of neck pain specifically is when suffering from vertigo you can’t help but put tension in your neck to try to keep your head more still without being consciously aware of it and this is why you get a stiff neck. However it doesn’t explain why looking downwards makes everything horribly worse!?

— End quote

Agreed - it is strange. It was never an issue for me years ago and I truly miss those days.

Not to just looking down (for me, it’s looking up), but bending over absolutely triggers things for me! I am working through it to try and habituate and lessen the trigger, but it’s so tough. I do a lot of squatting instead of bending over from the waist still.

Yes agreed, bending over, or doing anything that requires bending over really messes me up, most of the time. I try to squat as well, which still makes me feel weird but not as bad, would love to know why this happens.

I think I talked about this last year while doing landscaping but I pent a large part of the day doing landscaping projects which required most of my day leaning forward and the pressure in my head is my biggest complaint from the day. It was incredibly hot and humid and very hard work but the head pressure when bending forward is really horrible.
Does anyone have any idea why that happens? I’m just baffled by it.
Renee’

Yep, looking up down, or a big one for me is looking right. This is probably the worst trigger of all. I have had neck pains for 2 or 3 years now, thought It was always related to me working out. I was big into the gym but I’m starting to realize maybe it wasnt the weights, my form was damn near perfect. I started some light massages for my neck, and looking to fix posture with corrective exercises. I def have forward neck posture. My therapist said my neck feels so tight, it almost feel like a rock.

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Heavy head/neck pain/stiffness commonly occurs with all balance disorders. The brain is reducing mobility in order to reduce receiving so many false signals I had a constantly stiff neck for about four years. Symptoms on Head movement even less extreme than straight up n down are listed as diagnostic of MAV.

I had a physiotherapist say the same about my neck. It’s lovely when you walk out the clinic with a free flowing neck.

Posture is dictated by the brain. When asymptomatic I stand upright. Any MAV symptoms and I develop posture idiosyncrasies. I can develop a slight head tilt, I can appear to lean slightly left through my body (avoided horizontally striped tops for years because it really made it visible to all) yet actually my head goes down and forwards, neck goes forwards and the shoulders hunch up. All or any combo depending on symptoms severity. Once symptoms settle I revert to my normal posture. MAV isn’t referred to as a Migraine Variant Balance Disorder (MVBD) for nothing.

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