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BY DR. ARNAN SISSON
October 2, 2023
All sorts of things can lead to headaches. It could be stress from a long day, migraines, side effects from medication, or tightness of the muscles around the head and neck. No matter what the cause could be these sorts of things cause people to lose focus while working, enjoying time with family, or even a good night’s rest. In some cases, I’ve had clients that feel just plain unhealthy because they live on frequent handfuls of Tylenols. The medication may bring down the headache a bit, but never truly gets rid of it.
The most common sort of headache I take care of is muscular in origin. It could be that the shoulders are raised, and head is bent back during office work. Or it could be that stress from a long commute is the culprit behind the tightness within the head and neck.
A quick way to determine if your headaches are from the above scenario’s just apply treatment to the head and neck. If you loosen the muscles around these areas and your headaches go down in frequency/intensity then, bingo! If you have no change of your headaches, then it would be wise to get some additional help from a health care provider you trust to solve the problem.
A great way to take care of tight muscles from stress or hours of office work is through self-massage. And everyone reading happens to be in luck, I have a go to massage that works amazing on this sort of problem!
The largest culprit behind muscular headaches is from a group of muscles called the suboccipitals. This is just bands of muscle at the base of the head on both sides. Very often their scrunched with sitting in the car or while on the computer. This in turn can lead to shortening of this muscle and the formation of knots. These knots can produce “referred pain” that can be produced in the head.
Its very simple to do this massage. First get a tennis ball and place it in a sock. Once you have this set up you can lay on the floor and place the ball behind the head on the back-left side. Next you press your chin back, this will in turn push these suboccipital muscles into the tennis ball on the floor.
Its important to press hard enough to produce moderate pain, and in many cases, this will reproduce your headache (which is okay). This moderate pain is held for 30-60 sec. After this you can perform the same maneuver on the right side and repeat every 2 hours. This can also be performed in standing as well with the wall used as your “floor.”
So, if you have a headache this simple massage is definitely worth a shot. That’s it for today everyone, remember knowledge is power!
P.S. Have a headache that frustrates you to the max? If you want to get away from sitting out on life, finally lose the Tylenol, and get back a healthy life again; then feel free to shoot us a call today at (804) 493-3256 to get a free 15 min phone consultation or click here to reserve a slot. During the call we can figure out a likely cause of your headaches and design a plan of attack to fix it for good.