Activities to avoid and change,
Strategies for quick relief,
Stretching for longer-lasting relief,
Corrective Exercises, Yoga, and more…
Activities To Avoid or Change:
You can get relief from this headache spot above the temple by changing activities that aggravate it.
Avoid the activities that press into the base of the head and top of the neck, especially with subtle twisting and laying on a cold surface. This picture is an ideal scenario for creating this headache. However, headache usually happens when someone is spending the day outside reading or is propped on the firm arm of a couch while reading a tablet.
A headache above the temple can be activated by looking up sharply to and holding it, as when you are lying on your stomach watching television. This baby is just doing what babies do to develop cervical curve. If you’re reading this, you already have that. 🙂 It is more likely to happen by watching a big screen that is above your table and off to one side.
For Temporary Relief:
Click here for guidelines on using an ice pack safely and effectively.
Stretching the back of your neck under a hot shower can relieve the headache and is a good step before the icing. Take it forward and a bit to each side with the hot shower hitting the base of your head. keep your head moving, only holding the stretches for a second or two.
Often there is a little click at the top of your neck and the headache will disappear.
These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. Some pain needs to be addressed by a professional. Some pain is not myofascial. You may employ these strategies improperly. 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:
These stretches can be very effective. Spend a little extra time on #1, #2 and #3. Use the ice cube a little more along the base of your head beforehand. Usually, you only need to do the top of the neck.
The semispinalis capitis muscle is deep in the cervical musculature so take extra care in the stretch of the lower neck.
This one many muscles that contribute to headaches that come from your neck (cervicogenic headaches). If you have a sore neck with different headaches, you may want to look at this collection of posts.
Also, many of these headaches involve Forward-Head Posture where the chin juts a bit forward and tilts up to stay level. If that’s your case it’s another indicator that you should try Tuck, Tilt, Turn and Lift.
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Avoid postures that pull your head forward with a strap or press the back of your head into a block.
Focus on postures that extend the lower neck in the front to correct forward head posture. This practitioner does a great job of extending her neck, taking her head back, and not lifting her chin. Many poses like sphinx, cobra, and upward dog show the chin lifted, which can aggravate this problem.
Also, focus on postures that gently tilt and twist to work against the resistant, stuck areas. Be careful about stretching the areas that are already overstretched, like the back of the lower neck.
Other patterns that may better match your pain pattern…
This is similar to several other headache patterns. See your neuromuscular therapist to sort that out and for longer-lasting relief.
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’d love your feedback. We are adding posts and converting the old posts as quickly 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.