Stretches for Migraine Pain Relief
Some headaches are caused by stiff muscles in the shoulders and the neck. While the cause of migraines is more complex than a little upper body tension, it can't hurt to put some extra effort into reducing the chance of stiff muscles in the neck and shoulders. It's also a good idea to treat any upper body tension right away as a way to manage migraine pain.
The Cause of Stiff Muscles
There are a variety of reasons for stiff neck and shoulder muscles. One of the biggest reasons is stress. Stress is also a migraine trigger. Bad sleeping position or poor posture can also create upper body tension. Sitting for hours can also create muscle tension especially if you're sitting behind a keyboard.
When to Do the Stretches
You can do the stretches any time you have a few minutes to spare. No special equipment is needed although if you have the time and are in the right location, a warm towel around the back of your neck can provide additional relaxation. Stretches for migraine pain relief can be done either in the standing or sitting position as long as you're able to maintain a straight posture. Be sure to use slow and deliberate movements when doing the stretches.
The Side of the Neck
Relax your shoulders and your face. Hold your head level and look forward. Slowly turn your head to the left side being careful not to strain the muscle if it's especially stiff. Hold the position for a few seconds. Return to the initial position and hold for a few seconds. Slowly turn your head to the right and hold this position for a few seconds. Slowly return your head to the starting position. Repeat three to five times.
Deeper Side Neck Stretch
Keep your head facing forward and your shoulders and face relaxed. Bend your head slowly to bring your left ear as close to your left shoulder as possible. Hold for a few seconds and return to the start position. Repeat on the right side. Do this stretch three to five times on each side.
As with the previous two stretches, face forward with her shoulders and face relaxed. Hold your head level and your back straight. Slowly bring your shoulders up towards your ears in an exaggerated shrug. Hold for a few seconds. Release your shoulders to the original position. Repeat three to five times.
Front and Back of Neck
From the forward-facing position, carefully tilt your head backwards so that you're looking up. Hold the position for a few seconds before returning your head to the forward-facing position. Tilt your head down and see if you can touch your chin to your chest. Hold for a few seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat three to five times.