The root cause of most headaches comes from the neck, specifically from your muscles on the back of your neck (suboccipital muscles). We will list the best tips, hacks, stretches and exercises for your suboccipital release.
Today, the average aussie works harder than ever before. Those long and intense days can take a toll on anyone. With high demands, budgets and targets… work can definitely build up a lot of stress and tension in the neck. As the weeks and days roll on, the stress builds, until “BANG” a headache comes on.
All of a sudden it feels like somebody took a hammer to your head. Your head is pounding, and you’re looking for quick solutions to fight the feeling of just giving up on the day and giving into you suboccipital neck pain that’s causing your headache. Believe it or not, there is a way to decrease the likelihood of dealing with them in the future!
1. More Planning – Less Stress = Less headaches
Managing your Neck Pain Headache also has a lot to do with how you manage what’s essential and not essential. Take your Sunday to imagine what your week will look like. What is essential to get done that week and what isn’t essential that you could avoid. What choices can you make ahead of time to make for an easy less anxiety filled week. There are obviously going to be things that will happen throughout the week and that’s ok and more than expected. The goal of this exercise is to recognize what you can control and remove obstacles that you clearly identify as a waste of your time.
When you prep your week and “pre-make” those decisions. The easier it will be to handle curveballs during the week and control that feeling of being overwhelmed. The better you are at modulating that the less anxiety you will experience throughout the week.
2. Self Neck Release
Self release is a great way to release the tension that builds up in the suboccipital muscles. These are a group of muscles just behind and below the skull that are infamous headache generators.
- Place one thumb on the mastoid process (bony ridge behind your ear).
- Slide your thumb slightly closer to the spine so that you fall off the bony ridge.
- Place opposite hand on the other side of your head.
- Use your thumb and add more pressure into the muscle.
- Use opposite hand to pull your head down and away from where your thumb is resting while maintaining the thumb pressure you created previously.
- Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times on both sides.
To help decrease that annoying tension of this muscle group, below is one suboccipital release stretch you do to help with your stiff neck and headache relief anywhere.
3. Neck Stretch
Stretching and exercising does so many good things for all of you headache sufferers out there. Having a stretch and exercise regimen to deal with the neck muscles, chest, and shoulders is a great way to manage your headaches that are a result of muscle “tension”.
- Grab seat with one arm
- Lean neck away
- Tuck chin
- Pull down with the other arm
4. Just when you think you drink enough water. Drink more!
Drinking water is probably one of the easiest ways to start managing your headaches. We all would love to think that we consume enough water. But the truth is we could never consume enough. Always keep drinking more. Try to always have a water bottle on hand and make it a part of your daily routine. You hit enter, you take a sip, you hit send, you take a sip, you take a microbreak, you take a sip, get the point. Just keep drinking. Being well hydrated increases blood flow, blood flow helps keep muscles and fascia mobile which in turn decreases headaches.
There you have it, your 4 step guide to living a life without headaches. Challenge yourself this week to take a stand on your headaches. The moment you do is the moment you make strides towards living a better life