– Activities to avoid and change,
– Strategies for quick relief,
– Stretching for longer-lasting relief,
– Corrective Exercises, Yoga, and more…
Activities To Avoid or Change:
Avoid the activities that aggravate this like jutting your chin forward to look at the computer screen, bobbing your head up and down as when discussing the expensive wine list, or craning your head up to paint the crown molding. If you watch videos of people painting crown molding, You’ll see that most of them stand on a stool so that their head is almost level with the molding.
For Temporary Relief:
This problem often responds well to icing and stretching.
Try using an Ice Pack.
It’s simple and often works, especially when you have overstretched by tucking your chin to read. Place an ice pack at the base of your head so that it covers the area between your head and neck.
Click here for guidelines on using an ice pack safely and effectively.
These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. If you have concerns about these self-care activities, get help from a professional. Use these suggestions and strategies with discretion and at your own risk. See your doctor when your pain is severe, persistent, or doesn’t respond to these simple suggestions.
Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:
Ice-and-Stretch offers more effective relief than just icing. Try these few stretches for temporary relief. If you’re not familiar with it, you can read about it in this post before you try these stretches.
Ice along the base of your head. Just enough to shock it a little and then stretch it 4 times like this. Focus on tucking your chin so that you bend at the top of your neck, not the bottom of your neck. If you do this right, you should feel it pulling the skin into your upper back.
Next, ice along the base of your head on the right side. Ice from that bump in the middle, around to your ear. Now, look to the right and tilt your head forward and to the left, stretching the area you just iced. Do that four times.
Now, ice the other side. Ice along the left side of the base of your head. Ice from that bump in the middle, around to your left ear. Now, look to the left and tilt your head forward and to the right, stretching the area you just iced. Again, do that four times.
The stretches listed above are the first three stretches in The Box. Doing the complete set of stretches will produce more complete results. It helps with Forward-Head Posture and relaxes other tension around your head and neck.
Knock Out the Supporting Muscles
This muscle contributes to Forward-Head posture. It becomes short and strong. Once the head has become imbalanced over the trunk, this muscle is supported to become shorter and stronger.
Your neuromuscular therapist has better strategies to work in this area. It helps to balance the atlas and correct Forward Head posture. There are other things that your bodyworker will do to create better postural correction and longer-lasting relief.
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If you’re a yoga practitioner, you should avoid headstands until you get these headaches under control. I’ve had many clients that have reactivated this headache with headstands.
Sometimes, you’ll activate this by overstretching the top of the neck. If this is your case, avoid the stretches below and focus on the icing suggestions below. Also, work into this stretch over a longer time.
Other patterns that may better match your pain pattern…
This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began changing the format of the posts to include more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We appreciate your input and feedback. You will see us adding posts and updating older posts as time permits.
Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.
*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read, more accessible, and
to include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there will be inconsistency in formatting, content, and readability until we get the old posts updated. Please excuse our mess.