– Activities to avoid and change,
– Strategies for quick relief,
– Stretching for longer-lasting relief,
– Corrective Exercises, Yoga, and more…
Here you will find self-care strategies to relieve the headache at the base of the head. If you’d like to read more about how people describe, create and aggravate the condition, look at this other post.
Activities To Avoid or Change:
Avoid postures where you jut your chin forward and compress the top of the neck. This is more than just looking at the computer. This also happens to people like counselors who lean forward to listening. As well, a friend got this watching screens up high while waiting in an airport. You get the idea.
For Temporary Relief:
Relaxing Ice Pillow
This Ice Pack in a Pillow is a valuable tool for relief. I have one and use it when I have a few minutes to relax in a seated position. After a few minutes, my neck loosens with just a little side-to-side movement. It is calming to stay on the ice pillow until I’ve reached 15 or 20 minutes. You don’t need to worry about falling asleep on it. Fortunately, the pack loses its cool after 15 minutes or so. It’s available on Amazon.
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:
Self-care is focused on stretching and avoiding compression of the neck just under the skull. The trigger point will release, and the headache at the base of the head is relieved when the upper and mid cervicals can move without binding restrictions.
This stretching routine is very helpful.
- First, do The Box at the top of your neck. Pay extra attention to the back of your neck at the top.
- Take note of where the skin is most sensitive to the ice and where movement is restricted.
- Next, do The Box on the lower half of your neck.
- Afterward, revisit the sensitive and tight areas at the top of your neck. Pay extra attention to the sides and back at the top of your neck. Really tuck your chin and open up the area under the base of your skull.
Clients have gotten good results from this inflatable cervical pillow. It is safe, affordable, and gets excellent reviews on Amazon. This pillow is a good option if you don’t think you’d do The Box. Icing along the base of the head before using this decompression pillow helps to release the upper neck.
I’d love your feedback on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at [email protected].
The primary thought when practicing yoga, walking, sitting or whatever you’re doing in an upright position is:
Head over pelvis
This seems to be tougher than one might think. Most clients find it natural to raise their chin as they take their heads back over their pelvis. Nope. Chin down. This gal does a great job with both in this warrior pose.
I’ve had many clients who have trouble getting rid of these headaches because they continue to do headstands. You can get back to them once you’ve gotten the neck stabilized. In the meanwhile or in the long-term, you can use a headstand bench.
This headstand bench gets the best reviews on Amazon and will keep you from twisting and compressing this area. It has been hard to resolve cervicogenic trigger points when the yoga practitioner continues to headstand.
Do You Have Forward-Head Posture?
This muscle is often overstretched and over-powered by Forward-Head Posture. As the head moves forward, the opposing muscles become short and strong. Consequently, this muscle becomes overstretched and tight. Once the head has become imbalanced over the torso, this muscle fights to rebalance posture.
Is Your Neck Extra Stiff and Painful?
Sometimes, turning your head is strongly limited by pain. This indicates that more than one of the muscles that creates a “stiff neck” is involved. Check out these posts on a stiff neck.
In this case, if the problem does not resolve with home care, consider professional help from your bodyworker. They will offer quicker relief, have longer-lasting results, and keep you focused on effective self-care.
If this problem persists, see a bodyworker who is skilled with upper cervical problems. Sometimes, the atlas and C5 need a little more than stretching to free them up so that these muscles can relax and stabilize, especially when this problem has persisted.
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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 significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.