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Self Care – Pain In The Base Of The Head With Earache

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

Here, you’ll find strategies for getting relief on your own from pain at the base and irritation in the ear. If you’d like to read more about how people describe the pattern and what they do to activate it, look at this other post.

Pain in the base of the head and with earache is a referral from a muscle is deep in the upper neck. It’s behind the soft palate and can be difficult to release on your own. In most cases, these strategies can be effective, especially when used over several days.

Activities To Avoid or Change:

Quit craning your neck while twisting your head so much. Fix the ergonomics at your desk or where you watch TV. You can alternate activities that look upward, like bird watching, with flower planting. Take that selfie with your other hand once in a while. Use the stretches below afterward if you can’t avoid being so outdoorsy, productive, and cute. For the more sedentary lifestyle, change hands when you’re reading a book. Change ends of the couch when you’re watching TV.

Support for Sitting Up

Here’s a post with a couple of different approaches to sitting at your desk without creating pain. It offers a couple of strategies to get comfortable at a desk. Some people prefer to be more active; others prefer more support. It also provides some ideas for accessories, like affordable stand-up desks and footrests.

For Temporary Relief:

Place one of the small Salonpas patches right where I’ve indicated in the picture. The top edge should go against that bump near the base of the back of your head. They’re available at every drugstore and even cheaper on Amazon.

The patch will loosen the whole area so that all of the muscles work become better balanced. Gentle tilting and turning your head from side to side loosen the joints so that the muscles relax.



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.

The Box is a great routine for balancing the structures of the neck.

Typically, I recommend work on the bottom of the neck in the front. In this case, spend extra time on the sides and front of your neck around your jaw.

I’ve added a little extra TMJ work for this self-care post. It is usually helpful in resolving this problem, especially when there is aggravation in the ear or throat.

TMJ stretching

Ice-and-Stretch your TMJ.

The following is a simple process for stretching your TMJ. It only takes a few minutes and can make a huge difference in head, neck, and jaw pain. Used daily, it can help with long-term changes.

For more complete, longer-lasting relief, precede this by stretching the upper neck with The Box. The upper neck provides a stable base for the TMJ. And upper cervical imbalances perpetuate TMJ problems.

See your Dentist

Tooth pain can be an indicator of something more serious. Therefore, check with your dentist. I’ve relieved many tooth pain patterns on myself and others with trigger point work. Still, a visit to the dentist is a responsible step afterward. Some people get trigger point work to relieve pain that occurred after a dental visit. Other people have already exhausted the capabilities of their dentist and are turning to trigger point work for relief. Regardless, if you have tooth pain, you should check with your dentist, even if you find relief from this trigger point work.

Your trigger point therapist can help you with this headache and earache. Some of them can also release the palatini muscles in the throat that help the ears tubes to drain. I’ve helped a lot of children with earaches by working that area in the back of the neck and cleared their Eustachian tubes.


I’d love your feedback on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at [email protected].

Yoga Corner

Avoid those headstands in yoga class. Even after eliminating pain and stabilizing the area, headstands can reactivate the patterns. I’ve looked at a number of Atlantoaxial structures in cadavers and on x-rays. Those bones remodel as we age. This change in shape modifies the slope of the joints. Some people are just not built to do headstands, even when they are young. If you have pain at the base of the head with an irritated ear, stop doing them or use a stool until you get that neck stabilized.

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.

Very Similar Pain Pattern, Different Muscle

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

This pain is usually caused by other muscles. Check out the posts for ear pain, throat pain and upper neck pain.

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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 significant 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 inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.