When this headache is very active, people wave their hands around their head and say that they have a headache all over. Sometimes, when I ask, the details tell me that it is not this headache and they are just overwhelmed by some other headache pain. When it is particularly bad, people refer to this as a migraine. If they can’t get specific, I ask them how it started or when it is the worst.
When this headache is less active people come in and talk about a band of tension around their head. When it is on one side they will explain the tension around the ear and will later talk about how it extends to the eye or back of the head. People seldom connect it to the spot at the base of their head.
Like the headache on the top of your head this is created by tilting movements to an extreme, like painting the molding. It is also aggravated by rocking the head with lots of little repetition, like when you’re using reading glasses while reading a menu and discussing the prices of a long wine list.
Like the headache on the forehead, this can also be activated by laying on your back and tilting your head forward. This headache, however, is not created by the tilting and lifting motion. Clients get this headache when the arm of a couch or the shampoo bowl at the salon presses into these muscles, aggravating the muscles and displacing the joint.
Your neuromuscular therapist has other reasons to work in this area. It helps to balance the atlas, which is a key part of The Pain Organization, which I’ll talk about some in upcoming posts.