If you’ve been suffering from chronic headaches then you know how devastating they can be on your life. For example, missed work, skipping the gym, and lost time with your family to name a few. At Onward, our team specializes in helping individuals suffering from headaches get their lives back. Next, he will share some of his favorite headache relief exercises.
Up first we’re going to get after decreasing muscle tension in the suboccipital muscles. To clarify, these are the muscles just under the base of your skull. When stiff, they can increase tension in the neck. In addition, they can put pressure on the nerves that create cervicogenic headaches (headaches originating from the neck).
In addition to decreasing suboccipital muscle tension, we also want to stretch these muscles for long-term improvement. For example, neck retractions are a great starting point to improve the mobility of these muscles.
If we need to get a more aggressive at improving range of motion in the neck joints for headache relief, we can perform Cervical SNAGs. This exercise uses a belt to help increase the stretch on joints further.
The upper back (aka thoracic spine) is also incredibly important in headache relief. When stiff, the upper back places more stress on the neck. Additionally, this can contribute to the frequency and intensity of headaches. Foam roller thoracic extensions are a great starting point.