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Headache Exercises

Tension-relieving Tips

Try these simple exercises to help relieve tension headaches.

  1. Sit with the head and arms supported for 15-30 minutes. The neck should be in good alignment with the body and the arms should be supported so that the elbows are not lowered to meet their support.
  2. Chin tuck exercise. Lie on the floor with a small, rolled-up towel under your neck. Gently tuck the chin down while keeping the teeth lightly together. Don’t let the head come off the surface (floor or bed) or the neck come off the towel. Hold the tucked position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10-15 times. You will feel some increased tension temporarily while doing this exercise, but relief should follow.
  3. Standing arm slide exercise.  Stand with the back, back of head and hips against the wall. Bring the arms, out to the sides, up to the wall to shoulder height. Gently slide the arms up the wall keeping the head and back against the wall. Repeat 10-15 times. If you are not able to get your arms flat on the wall or slide them up, start with just trying to get into the position. This exercise can also be done lying down on your back. A stretch will be felt wherever you are most stiff. It may be between the shoulder blades, at the neck or at the base of the skull.
  4. Hands and knees rocking backwards exercise. Start on your hands and knees squated down; gently roll backward, keeping the head from tilting back (don’t allow the chin to come up). Hold the position for 10-20 seconds. Repeat 10 times.