5 Simple Stretches To Help Your Headaches & Neck Pain

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on the go wellness chiropractor miami 5 stretches to help headaches neck pain
Headaches? Tension in your neck? While there are MANY different types of headaches, tension headaches are the most common, with 80%+ of the population suffering from headaches at some point in their lives.

So what do you do about them? How do you get rid of them? Tension headaches come from the tightness and stress that build up in your neck and I’ve put together 5 simple stretches for you to do to help relieve them, or prevent them from showing up in the first place!

It’s optimal to do these stretches every hour, so set a timer on your computer or phone! At minimum, perform in the morning and afternoon. You get a super bonus if you breath deeply and follow your breath while your count SLOWLY (try closing your eyes too-hellooooo relaxation)!

Medical Disclaimer: If any of these exercises cause pain or discomfort, please see a chiropractor or physical therapist, as there may be something else going on. Be smart and listen to your body!

LATERAL NECK STRETCH

This stretch can be performed seated or standing, although I recommend standing to get you out of your chair and moving around.

 STEP 1 (pictured above): Using your right hand, grab the left side of your head and gently bring your right ear toward your right shoulder. Be mindful not to raise your right shoulder up to meet your ear (this makes things worse). Extend your left arm toward the ground or, alternatively, place your left hand behind your back, palm facing out, to add more resistance. This stretches the trapezius muscle. Hold for 5-10 seconds, repeating 5 times on each side.

STEP 2 (pictured above): Using your left hand, draw your head downward toward your left armpit (almost like you’re trying to smell your armpit haha). This stretches the elevator scapulae muscle. Hold for 5-10 seconds, repeating 5 times on each side.

LOOKUP STRETCH:

This stretch can also be performed seated or standing, although I still recommend standing to get your blood flowing.

STEP 1: Clasp your hands behind your back, drawing your shoulder blades together and simultaneously look up. Hold for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times. This stretches your longs colli muscles in the front of your neck and your pectoral muscles in your chest. If this is uncomfortable with your arms/shoulders, you can simply just look up without clasping your hands behind your back, to make it more gentle.

STEP 2: Resting your arms by your sides, angle your head like you’re looking straight up to the ceiling and then to slightly to the right, while drawing the right shoulder downward. Hold for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times on each side. This stretches the SCM (sternocleidomastoid) muscle.

NOTE: If this stretch causes any light-headedness or dizziness, STOP doing it immediately. You should see your primary care physician to figure out why this is occurring. 

CHIN TO CHEST STRETCH:

Interlacing your hands together while placing your hands on the back of your head, draw your chin to your chest and apply slight pressure downward with your hands. Hold for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times. This stretches the trapezius muscle as well.

Neck Rolls

on the go wellness chiropractor miami neck rolls for neck pain

It may sound simple, but neck rolls are a great way to actively stretch all of the muscles in your neck. Roll your neck clockwise and counter-clockwise 5 times each.

CHIN TUCK EXERCISE

on the go wellness chiropractor miami negative z stretch for neck pain

This exercise is GREAT to strengthen your neck muscles and help with forward head posture.

While seated or standing (I used to always do this in my car at red lights), draw your shoulders back and retract your head, almost like you’re giving yourself a double chin. Hold for 3-5 seconds and release. Repeat 10times.

 

PROBLEMS WITH YOUR PILLOW?

Having a good, supportive pillow to sleep on each night is ESSENTIAL.

Check out our Blog Post “What is the BEST Pillow for Neck Pain” to read up on which pillow we recommend and personally use every night! 

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Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Josh Huddleston, and I are the founders of On-The-Go Wellness®. We are husband & wife, who just so happen to be Board Certified, Licensed, Chiropractic Physicians & Certified Yoga Instructors! After practicing with other clinics in the USA and Singapore for the past 5 years, we decided to start On-The-Go Wellness® to fit our active, mobile lifestyles.

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