3 Easy Stretches for Tension Headaches


The tension headache is among the most common kinds of headache, and most people deal with them at some point in their lives. Stretches for tension headaches can provide relief and minimize your risk of future flare-ups. 

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Did you know that one out of every 20 adults has a headache every day? Whether you get them daily or monthly, it's no fun. A tension headache feels like a pounding or pressure sensation around your head. It is caused by stress, fatigue, and muscle tension, all of which are common in today's world.


Your posture, especially for those who sit at a computer, can contribute to your tension headaches. The average human head weighs about 10 pounds. If you hunch over a screen, that weight multiplies and puts pressure on your spine, causing strain.


Thankfully, there are stretches to get rid of tension headaches that help relieve the pain and keep your neck healthy.


Below are three easy stretches for tension headaches to do every day.

Start with Correct Posture

Before you start stretching, make sure you’re using good posture as you go through the day. Make sure your workstation is designed with ergonomics in mind and avoid standing or sitting with your head tilted forward.


Even if you don't work at a desk, keep yourself aware of your head's tilt when you're on your phone or standing throughout the day. Even if you only hunch when texting, short amounts of strain add up and cause tension in your cervical spine.


Once you’ve given your posture a check, you’re ready for some stretching.


1. Head Tilt: Stretch the Levator Scapulae 

Levator scapulae refers to the muscles that run from the base of your skull down your neck and to the shoulder blades. Stiffness in these muscles can create tension headaches, but you can loosen them up with this stretch.


To do the head tilt stretch for the levator scapulae:




  • Sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed.
  • Place your left arm behind your back and keep your right arm relaxed.
  • Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder and place your right hand on top of your head.
  • Gently flex your head to the side and forward.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, breathing deeply. Use the weight of your right hand to deepen the stretch.
  • Slowly lift your head back up with your right hand.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

2. Head Tilt: Stretch the Upper Trapezius


The trapezius muscles span from the base of the skull to the middle of your spine, stretching across your upper back. The upper trapezius refers to the trapezius muscle that's attached to the base of your head. It connects down to your collar bones and cervical spine, and out to the tops of your shoulders, allowing you to move and articulate the area.


The upper trapezius is often the first thing we tense up when we’re stressed. You can stretch it with a variant of the head tilt above to find some relief.


To do the head tilt stretch for the upper trapezius:



  • Sit up straight with your arms relaxed at your sides.
  • Tilt your head to bring your right ear toward your right shoulder. Place your right hand on the top of your head.
  • Gently pull your head with your hand as though you’re trying to pull your right ear further away from your shoulder.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, breathing deeply.
  • Slowly lift your head back up with your right hand.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.


3. Head Rolls: Increase Your Range of Motion


Increasing your neck's range of motion can loosen up the tightmuscles attached to the base of your skull. This is one of the most naturalstretches for preventing tension headaches, especially if you do it daily.


 

To do head rolls for your range of motion:



  • Sit up tall with your shoulders relaxed.
  • Tilt your head to the right as though you’re trying to touch your ear to your shoulder. Do not allow your head to tilt forward.
  •  Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, and then allow your head to roll down, bringing your chin toward the center of your chest.
  • Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, and then allow your head to roll towards your left shoulder as you try to touch it with your left ear.
  • Roll your head back to neutral before slowly tilting it back as you look up toward where the wall meets the ceiling.
  • Hold the stretch for 20 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.

Do you still need relief from your tension headache?

 

Stretches and good posture won’t fix your headache instantly.Thankfully, your Kailo pain patch can offer immediate relief and work with thesestretches for tension headaches synergistically.

 

When a headache strikes, apply Kailo and use all of your toolsto take your day back. 


To learn more about placing your Kailo pain patch for pain relief, watch the instructional video below: 


August 10th, 2020. This article is independently written by Fusion 360. All opinions given are the opinion of Fusion 360