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Self Care – Headache at the Base of the Head

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Here you will find relief through self-care for the headache at the base of the head. Look at this other post if you’d like to read more about how people describe, create, and aggravate the condition.

Activities To Avoid or Change:

Avoid postures where you jut your chin forward and compress the top of the neck. This posture involves more than just looking at the computer. It 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. Postural changes can be essential self-care for this headache at the base of the head.

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. After that, 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 not responding to these simple suggestions.

Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:

Self-care focuses 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.

The Box

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.

Quick, Posture Correcting Exercise

This post has a more intense protocol than The Box but is better at correcting the Forward-Head posture’s structural problems.

Daily practice creates faster, longer-lasting changes. This approach improves Forward Head Posture while reducing the related problems.


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 release the upper neck.

I’d love your feedback on how this works for you and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at integrativeworks@gmail.com.

Yoga Corner

The primary thought when practicing yoga, walking, sitting, or whatever you’re doing in an upright position is:

Chin down,
Head over pelvis

This postural shift seems to be more challenging 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 person does a great job with both in this warrior pose. This repeated, active correction in yoga is excellent self-care for this headache at the base of the head.

Get Support

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 stabilized and strengthened the neck. 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 overpowered 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.

If you have Forward-Head Posture, review this collection, especially the self-care suggestions for changing your environment and the Tuck, Tilt, Turn, and Lift exercise.

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 materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

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*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 include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.