Neck Pain and Headaches
Is there something as simple as a neck stretch that can help prevent neck pain and possibly headaches? This chiropractor in Northfield will try to show you the best method for prevention.
There is a muscle that is connected to the top part of the neck and to the shoulder blades called the levator scapulae. It is a bugger of a muscle that often gets tense with such activities as:
Working on the iPad or computer
Talking on the phone
Basically, anything that causes your head to bend forward
So much more!
Because this muscle is attached to the top part of the neck, tightness in this muscle can cause headaches. These are the type of headaches that wrap around above the ears toward the forehead. These are often called tension headaches, but they are medically called cervicogenic headaches. This happens when there is constant tension in the muscle group called the suboccipital muscles. One muscle in particular called the rectus capitus minor actually attaches to the dura matter of the brain. This is important as the dura is the only part of the brain that is innervated for pain, so it is the likely cause of the headaches many people have. Levator scap has facial connections to the suboccipital muscles, so releasing it can really help!
Learn to Stretch for Neck Pain Relief
Keeping this stretched is very important, but what is the best method of stretching it? In the very near future, we will be producing a video on how to stretch this muscle. Here is a description of how to do this.
Turn your head to the right (this will stretch the left levator scap)
Grab that little bump in your skull behind your ear (mastoid bone) with your right hand over your head
Pull your head to your right waist (down and to the right)
Push up against your head for 3 seconds then stretch it a bit farther.
Repeat with the opposite directions for the right levator scap
Still having pain and headaches?
What do you do if you are still having neck pain and/or headaches? GET ADJUSTED. Having a subluxation can keep that tension in the muscle from releasing. We also have the option at our clinic to use Graston to release fibrotic entanglement within the fascia of the muscle.