Headaches

One Exercise to help with Headaches


Very commonly, migraines or cervicogenic headaches (coming from the neck) may be attributed at least partially to the suboccipital muscles (small muscles just below the back of your skull). When these muscles become tight, they may have an impact on causing headaches. You can see all muscles included in the suboccipital group, in the picture below.

 The suboccipital muscle group

The suboccipital muscle group

Whenever I treat a patient with headaches, I always look at these muscles to determine if they may be a cause. If they are, the treatment I provide is direct muscle work to loosen up those areas. But these muscles often become tight because of repetitive strain due to computers, phones, tablets and less than optimal postures. There is one exercise that I like to give to patients for home care. As effective as health care providers can be with this treatment, we still need patients doing things at home to help their condition.

The exercise I like to give are deep neck flexor exercises (chin tucks). What this exercise can do is strengthen the muscles in the front of your neck to bring your head in a more optimal position, taking some stress off those suboccipital muscles.

 Deep neck flexor training (chin tucks)

Deep neck flexor training (chin tucks)

As seen above, this is a chin tuck. Normal recommendations could be to hold that second position for five seconds and to do this eight times, twice a day. As you can see, that does not take up a lot of time, and can really decrease the pain experienced with certain kinds of headaches!


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact the clinic!