Self Care – Pain, burning and tingling in the back of the head

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

Activities To Avoid or Change:

Some people are concerned about getting a neck ache from washing their hair at the salon. It is more likely to create cervicogenic headache. The cold bowl on the crook of the neck can activate this trigger point to create pain, burning, and tingling in the back of the head. The sustained cold with bumping on the hard surface can aggravate the muscle and joints.

Getting your hair wash is less common that most activities that aggravate this trigger point. They also involve tilting the head back, especially on hard or cold surfaces. They include things like laying on the arm of the couch, watching a screen high and to the side of your restaurant table or sitting in the front row at the theater.

I was at a conference, sitting in the front seat and off to the side. I was leaned forward and looking up, to the right for extended periods and began to get this tingling in the back of my head on the right.

Don’t use heat.
Even if you prefer heat.
It can really aggravate this condition.

For Temporary Relief:

This pillow, with the built-in ice pack, can offer quick, easy relief. I keep an icepack in the freezer for my daughter that gets this headache. You can pick it up from Amazon. I own one. I’ve used it for this. I keep an icepack in the freezer for my daughter that gets this headache. Make sure you cover the upper half of the neck with the ice pack. It works well 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.

I know that the pain, burning, and tingling are in the back of your head. Still, one of these patches on the back of your neck can release the muscle that entraps the nerve. Give it about 15 minutes, until you can feel the cooling of the patch. Gently going through the stretches in The Box can offer more relief. These patches are available and most drug and grocery stores and here on Amazon.

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:

This stretching protocol can be very effective. Focus on the back of your neck when you ice-and-stretch the top. On the front of your neck, focus on the bottom, near your collar bone. There is a spot just below the midpoint of your neck that has to release to deactivate this trigger point. It might click, and that’s a good thing.

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

It is worth doing every day if you want 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

Yoga Corner

Like in everyday posture, keep your head back and your chin tucked during a yoga sequence. This sequence has great examples.

When this trigger point flares up, pressure on the back of your neck can aggravate it. Avoid poses that press into your neck with a strap or block.

Other patterns that may better match your pain pattern…

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

Here is the associated post that discusses the pain patterns, impaired activities, and activities that generally cause this pattern. You may also want to look at other patterns for the back of the head.

This usually involves some displaced joints in the upper cervical vertebrae. Lasting relief may involve some therapeutic treatment. See your trigger point specialist for a proper assessment and 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.

Weekly Featured Post

Pain relief that is
quicker and more effective
than traditional stretching.

This post covers the basics of Ice-and-Stretch, a tool that is used extensively in these posts combined with Active Isolated Stretching and Yoga poses.

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 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.