Stretches for Headaches
Have you ever been at work or out running errands and out of the blue, you experience a headache? Well here are two stretches that I find very helpful for myself and that my clients rave about.
The first is a stretch for your Levator Scapula muscle. It starts in the shoulder and attaches into your neck and when this muscle is unhappy, it may cause some real painful headaches. So as the picture shows, you sit on the hand of the side you want to stretch (or feels very tight) and proceed to do a “Deodorant Smell Check” with your nose to the opposite armpit. Use your free hand to hold that position for 30-60 seconds. I find it’s best to stretch both sides and do it as needed throughout the day.
The second stretch is for your Upper Trap muscle. This muscle starts in your upper back & shoulders, and attaches into your neck. When you have a knot in this muscle or it is very tight, it also can cause some very painful headaches. Looking at the picture, you want to sit on the hand again of that side that you wish to stretch, and proceed to do a “Hearing Check” with your ear to the opposite armpit. Use your free hand to hold that position for 30-60 seconds. Stretching both sides of this muscle will also be best.
You will find that one stretch may be more effective on one side versus the other, but it is important that you stretch both sides equally. I find these stretches to be more effective if I’m in the shower and have the warm to hot water raining down on the back of my neck for about 2-5 mins. If you have any questions about these stretches, please feel free to email or call the clinic. At some point or another, I have given this stretch to almost all my clients, and it works, so give it a try next time you have a pain in your neck.
Steve Richtaritsch, RMT