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Headache Relief

Did you know that tension in the neck muscles can cause some headaches? Dr Oertel recommends the following exercises and stretches to help alleviate those pesky headaches.

Eye Exercises

Staring at a computer screen all day keeps our eye muscles fixed at one length all day. Just like any muscles of the body, the muscles of the eye need to be exercised.

Here are 6 simple ways to keep the eye muscles healthy and strong.

  • Take regular breaks: Get up every 30 to 50 minutes for a few minutes, drink water, go to the bathroom, or even do a few of the stretches in one of our other sections.
  • Apply the 20-20 rule: While sitting, a good rule of thumb is to follow the 20-20 rule every 20 minutes. Take your eyes off the computer screen and look at something 20 feet away (or 6 metres). Do that for 20 seconds.
  • Train your focus: Hold something with a small font in your hand, focus far away (6 metres), then back to the small font on the card, focus far, and then near. Do this several times.
  • Blink often: Blinking stimulates your tear ducts to produce tears, which moistens and refreshes your eyes.
  • Massage your eyelids: Put your elbows onto your desk, rest your head gently into your hands, and massage the upper lids into the brow and the lower lids into the lower eye socket. Please take care not to push your fingers into your eyes itself, but rather to focus on gently massaging the muscles around the eye.
  • Increase the font size: By doing so, your eyes don’t have to strain looking at the screen.
  • Do these tips as much as possible throughout the day

Be sure to check out our other sections for more stretches and useful tips! Happy Eye Exercising Everybody!


General Neck Massage

  • Applying general pressure to the muscles at the back of the neck is an excellent way to increase blood flow before doing more focused work.
  • Apply general pressure to the muscles of the neck, starting at the top and moving down the neck.
  • Repeat this about 20 times.
  • Pinch the same muscles between your fingertips, starting again at the top and moving down the neck.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 sets per side.

Broad Based Massage

  • General warming up of the trapezius is an excellent way to increase blood flow before we start more focused stretches for this muscle.
  • Using the fingers of your right hand, apply pressure to your left trapezius muscle by following the contour of the muscle and squeezing gently into the muscle.
  • Then repeat on the other side.

Deep Stretches For Chronic Tension

These stretches help warm up the upper cervical and bigger neck muscles before more focused stretching is done.

  • Applying general pressure to the muscles at the back of the neck is an excellent way to increase blood flow before doing more focused work.
  • Reach up with your right hand to locate the top of the neck muscle.
  • While slightly tilting your head towards your hand, use a broad finger contact and pull downward, following the contour of the muscle.
  • Repeat this about 10 times on each side.

Fine Grip with Head Rotation

  • Using fine pinch grips, focused trigger point work can help relieve any pressure on the trapezius muscles for those long office days.
  • Using the fingers of your right hand, apply a fine pinched grip to your left trapezius muscle, and then while holding this grip, turn your head to the right.
  • Hold that position for one to 2 seconds.
  • Then repeat on the other side.

Fine Grip with Lateral Flexion Away From Affected Side

  • Using fine pinch grips, focused trigger point work can help relieve any pressure on the trapezius muscles for those long office days.
  • Using the fingers of your right hand, apply a fine pinched grip to your left trapezius muscle, and then while holding this grip, drop your right ear to your right shoulder.
  • Hold that position for one to 2 seconds.
  • Then repeat on the other side.

Fine Grip With Lateral Flexion Towards Affected Side

  • Using fine pinch grips, focused trigger point work can help relieve any pressure on the trapezius muscles for those long office days.
  • Using the fingers of your right hand, apply a fine pinched grip to your left trapezius muscle, and then while holding this grip, drop your left ear to your left shoulder.
  • Hold that position for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Then repeat on the other side.

Trigger Point Pain Relief

When lying down, your head isn’t being held up, and the muscles where the trigger points are are relaxed, making it easy to push onto them with your thumb.

Trigger Points in Muscles Around the Ear

  • Locate the dent behind your earlobe.
  • Move your thumb a little more towards the back, and you will feel a bony prominence.
  • From here, apply pressure to the trigger points with your thumb in small concentric circles towards the top of the ear.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Increase and decrease the pressure from your thumb, depending on the severity of the trigger point you are working on.

Trigger Points in Muscles Around the Base of the Skull

  • Locate the dent behind your earlobe.
  • Move your thumb a little more towards the back, and you will feel a bony prominence.
  • From here, apply pressure to the trigger points with your thumb in small concentric circles towards the midline in the back of your head, following the shape of the skull.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Increase and decrease the pressure from your thumb, depending on the severity of the trigger point you are working on.

Stretching the Upper Cervical Muscles Neutral Position

  • After we have worked on the trigger points on the upper neck muscles, we want to do some stretches to minimize the fibres shortening again. We are working with very small and delicate muscles. At the end of this video, we will demonstrate to you how to gently return to a neutral position. Please follow the instructions carefully.
  • Reach with your right hand over your head and locate the bottom of your skull bone.
  • Hook your fingers under your skull bone and pull towards the front.
  • Look down and slightly to the left and right, depending on where you want to feel the stretch. Hold this stretch for up to 1 minute.
  • Release the grip of your fingers slowly, and return to a neutral position looking forward.
  • With both hands, perform a general massage on both sides of the neck, muscles starting at the top and moving to the base of the neck.

Stretching the Upper Cervical Muscles Shoulder Rolls

  • After we have worked on the trigger points on the upper neck muscles, we want to do some stretches to minimize the fibres shortening again. We are working with very small and delicate muscles. At the end of this video, we will demonstrate to you how to gently return to a neutral position. Please follow the instructions carefully.
  • Reach with your right hand over your head and locate the bottom of your skull bone.
  • Hook your fingers under your skull bone and pull towards the front.
  • While in this position, looking down and slightly to the left and right, roll the left shoulder backward in small circles. Complete 10 shoulder circles.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Release the grip of your fingers slowly, and return to a neutral position looking forward.
  • With both hands, perform a general massage on both sides of the neck, muscles starting at the top and moving to the base of the neck. You should only feel a stretch.

Happy Stretching!

If you feel any pain while performing any of the stretches or movements demonstrated in the videos, please stop and talk to us at your next appointment.

CONTACT US


Headache Relief Rhapsody’s Chiropractic and Wellness | 09 217 3693