The Best Headache Relief Exercises

by onwardtn | May 3, 2020 |
The Best Headache Relief Exercises

If you’ve had the misfortune of suffering from chronic headaches, then you know how debilitating they can be. For instance, you may miss work, avoid the gym, or simply miss out on quality time with your family and friends all from headaches.

At Onward Physical Therapy, our team specializes in helping individuals suffering from headaches get their lives back. Here are some of the best headache relief exercises that you can perform anywhere with minimal equipment!

Up first, let’s talk about decreasing muscle tension. This is most important in the muscles that lie at the base of your skull: the suboccipitals. When these muscles are tight or stiff, they increase tension in the neck. Increased neck tension can contribute to cervicogenic headaches (headaches that originate from the neck).


Sub Occipital Release

In addition to releasing the tension in these muscles, it’s important to stretch these muscles out for longer-term improvement. Neck retractions improve the mobility of these muscles and are great for a whole host of neck issues. 

Cervical Retraction

When it’s time to improve the joint range of motion in the neck, the best exercise is cervical SNAGs. This exercise uses self-applied overpressure through a strap to help stretch the joints further. Grab a dog leash, towel, or anything else you have lying around the house and get to work on that upper neck!


Cervical SNAGs

It’s always good to get your upper back (aka thoracic spine) moving to help with headache relief. When this area of your back is stiff, it creates increased stress on the neck. As a result, the frequency and intensity of headaches can increase. Grab a light kettlebell and get to work on this self-mobilization!


Upper Thoracic Extension



Ready to get serious about getting rid of your chronic headaches? Schedule an appointment with our team today.

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