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Self Care – Neck-ache Headache, Eye-ache

Self-Care includes
– Activities to avoid and change,
– Strategies for quick relief,
– Stretching for longer-lasting relief,
– Corrective Exercises, Yoga, and more…

This headache, neck-ache, eye-ache comes from the top end of the splenius cervicis muscle that extends into the upper back. Relief starts with changing activities that over-stretch and weaken the muscle. Longer-lasting relief comes from some basic neck stretches. Long term changes come from a little bit of regular work to correct Forward-Head Posture.

Activities To Avoid or Change:

Texting while bending the neck instead of looking down with the eyes can cause this pain-in-the-neck that is a headache. So, in this picture, he is the pain in the neck, a headache, and an eyesore. Avoid this sharp bend at the base of the neck instead of using his eyes to look down. It is worse if you’re turning to one side at the same time.

Although “text neck” or “iHunch” is a chronic problem, there are several other activities that contribute to this chronic posture. Those include:

  • leaning back in your car seat
  • sleeping under a cold draft in the fetal position
  • birdwatching
  • craning toward the screen with virtual meetings
  • leaning down to attend to detailed work on a table
  • sitting with your hips pulled forward

Improve the ergonomics
at your home or office.

This post offers some great ideas for actively sitting without support or sitting with supports that help you avoid pain and fatigue. There are also suggestions about a few useful accessories.

For Temporary Relief:

Place one of these Salonpas patches over the center of the upper neck. It usually feels tense there when you have this headache. Even though the headache focuses in the eye, this spot in the center of the neck seems to be where the headache starts.

After several minutes, when you start to feel the patch, gently stretch from side to side. There are usually some little clicks in the middle and upper neck as this releases.

Stay away from treating this with a heating pad. It feels good for a couple of hours but often gets inflamed a few hours later. Ice is a better passive treatment.

This pillow with the built-in ice pack from Amazon can offer relief, especially, if you tuck your chin. It is great when you are seated but it’s better to use these standard cloth-covered ice packs if you like to lay on the ice. One of those is included with the pillow if you want both options.



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:

Do The Box.

When stretching the top of the neck, focus on the sides and the back. When stretching the bottom of the neck, focus on the sides and the front. This will allow the neck to move back and take tension off of the splenius crevices. Again, there are often a few little clicks as the vertebrae mobilize, and the muscle relaxes.

The little clicks in the top of the neck will give relief, but the stretching of the lower neck will change posture for lasting relief.

Releasing this trigger point can offer great relief for people with anxiety, or Sensory Integration Dysfunction.

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

It is worth doing every day to make faster, longer-lasting changes in how FHP perpetuates this pattern.


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

This muscle will create this pain pattern when you turn your head sharply to one side. If you feel the pain pattern, ease into it gently. Then, come back to it later after you’ve gently worked the neck in other directions. A little click near the top of your neck often gives relief.

Other patterns that may better match your pain pattern…

Other trigger point patterns
have similar areas of referral and impaired activities.

Check out posts about upper neck pain, headache pain, or eye pain.

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.

Your neuromuscular therapist can help you with Forward-Head Posture and balancing your pelvis for longer-lasting relief.

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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.

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*This site is undergoing major 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 inconsistency in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.