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 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 ideal scenario but this usually happens when someone is spending the day outside reading or is propped on the firm arm of a couch while reading their tablet.
This can be activated by looking up sharply to and holding it, as when you are laying 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. 🙂
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.
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 muscle is often overstretched and over-powered by short strong muscles in Forward-Head posture. It becomes overstretched and tight as the head moves forward. Once the head has become imbalanced, this muscle strains to hold the weight of the head back.
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. 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.
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.
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This pain and tension under the shoulder blade may be the most common pain pattern that I see. It isn’t always the primary complaint as people have gotten used to the constant ache.
It is usually combined with this pattern in the upper neck, which creates upper neck tension to go with the shoulder blade pain.
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