Tension Headache Exercises

Tension Headache Exercises

To relieve the pain of a tension headache, sit in a comfortable chair, making sure your neck is supported and is in proper alignment with your body. Your arms need to be supported at the elbows. Close your eyes and relax for about 15 to 30 minutes.

You can also try these simple tension headache exercises. Be sure to breathe deeply throughout the exercises and make all moves gently. Never force or push your body or your head. If you have any back, head or shoulder injuries, check with your doctor before doing these tension headache exercises.

 

Tension headache treatment exercise #1: Chin Tuck

  • Lie on the floor or a bed on your back, place a small towel roll behind your neck
  • Keeping your jaw relaxed, teeth unclenched, gently and slowly tuck your chin down toward your chest
  • Don't let your neck come off of the towel, and don't allow your head to lift from the floor or the bed
  • Hold the tucked-chin position of slight tension for a count of 5 before raising your chin
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise 10 times, gradually increasing the amount of time you hold the tension to a count of 10

Tension headache treatment exercise #2: Arm Slide

  • Stand upright with the back of your head and your hips against a flat wall
  • Bring your arms out to your sides and raise them up the wall to the height of your shoulders
  • Gently and slowly, continue sliding your arms against the wall upward, keeping your body flat against the wall, as high as you can raise them
  • Hold your arms in the highest position briefly, then slowly lower them
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise 10 times

If you can't get your arms flat against the wall or slide them very far, start very slowly. Or try the exercise lying on your back. The stretch will be felt wherever your muscles are the tensest. This may be between your shoulders, in your neck or at the base of your skull.

Tension headache treatment exercise #3: Rocking backward

Starting position is on your hands and knees (on all fours)
  • Gently roll your body in a backward motion, keeping your head straight and avoiding allowing your chin to raise up
  • Hold the position as far back as you can for a count of 15
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise 10 times

The following exercises are good for migraine headaches, as well as being good tension headache exercises:

Tension headache treatment exercise #4: Neck rotation

Starting position is sitting up straight in a chair
  • Making sure to keep your chin level, slowly turn your head until your right ear is lined up with your right shoulder (you are looking over your right shoulder)
  • Hold this position for a count of 3
  • Look down at your shoulder, tipping your chin down
  • Hold this position for a count of 3
  • Return your head to the center
  • Repeat, turning your head to the left
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise, looking in both directions 10 times

For more stretch, hold each position for a count of 10 to 15.

 

Tension headache treatment exercise #5: Neck retraction

Starting position is sitting up straight in a chair

  • Squeeze both of your shoulder blades together as tightly as you can, sticking out your chest
  • Hold this position while pulling your head straight back, keeping your chin level
  • Hold this position of tension for a count of 5
  • Relax
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise 10 times

Tension headache treatment exercise #6: Chinning

This exercise helps maintain the position of your head in proper alignment.

Starting position is sitting up straight in a chair

  • Keeping your head level, look straight ahead and inhale. Tuck in your chin.
  • Exhale, extending your chin
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise 5 times

Tension headache treatment exercise #7: Shoulder Shrugs

Starting position is sitting or standing up straight, arms straight down at your sides
  • Relax your arms
  • Raise your shoulders up toward your ears
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Rotate your shoulders backward and then down (never rotate them forward)
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise 10 times

Tension headache treatment exercise #8: Shoulder Retraction

Starting position is sitting or standing up straight, arms down at your sides

  • With both of your hands, touch your ears with your fingertips, raising your elbows slightly
  • Do not pull or push on your neck
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Hold this position of tension for a count of 5
  • Relax and return to the starting position
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise 10 times

Tension headache treatment exercise #9: Upper Back Stretch

Starting position is sitting or standing up straight
  • Extend both arms in front of you
  • Clasp hands together
  • Pull your shoulder blades gently apart
  • Drop your chin down onto your chest
  • Hold this position for a count of 20
  • Relax and return to the starting position
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise 10 times

Tension headache treatment exercise #10: Trapezius Stretch

Starting position is sitting or standing up straight
  • Rotate your head 45-degrees to the left.
  • Reach the top of your head with your left hand, cradling the back of your head in your fingers
  • Gently and slowly ease your head toward your left shoulder
  • Hold for a count of 10
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat for the right side
  • Repeat this tension headache exercise 5 times in both directions
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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers