In this post I will tell you how to get relief and get rid of headaches and annoying knot sin your neck yourself! A fantastic tool that everyone needs to know – Don’t rely on drugs, medication and heat packs – treat yourself!
First of all, I would like to say that I really believe that there is such a thing as good pain! Some of my patients may disagree with this at the time of treatment of course but if not immediately, then the day after, you will feel markedly better. A lot of this “Good pain” is felt during trigger point release and deep massage, when the tissue is released, it feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulder at times and relieves a lot of pain – namely Headaches and niggly Neck Pain!
Another way to look at this is a little bit of pain for a whole lot of gain!
I am going to run through a couple of techniques that you can utilise YOURSELF along with strengthening exercises to beat headaches and neck pain. These can be performed yourself or you can get someone else to do them for you:
Starting position – I find that prone lying (on your back) is best as this way it is easier to relax and you aren’t using all the muscles to hold you up. You can also give it a go in sitting or another position you find comfortable.
Motion – using the hand on the same side as you want to massage, bring you hand back and place your three middle fingers on the back of your neck right below your skull. This gives you a good idea of the area you need to be massaging. Now simply using these fingers or just the index and middle gently begin massaging into the muscle using circulatory motions and remembering to keep good contact on the skin. The idea with this is to find the muscle that feels harder, tighter or knotty and work into this to warm it up, stretch it out and increase blood flow.
If someone else is performing the massage on youlielye on your back with your head supported on a pillow, have this awesome person sit behind your head and place their hands under the upper portion of your neck on each side.
Trigger point release: I have listed this technique second as it is best to do after light massage when the muscle is warmed up.
In the same position as described above, use your index and middle finger to find the trigger points in your sub-occipital muscles. You will find these at the back of your neck in the at the base of your skull. A trigger point as described in Beating Headaches is basically a point in a tight muscle which is especially hard and sore to touch and often refers pain up into your head.
When one of these points is found you need to apply pressure to the point with your index finger supported by your middle finger. Apply pressure so that there is mild pain (it needs to be bearable – if you are too aggressive the muscle will bunch up more). Maintain this pressure until the pain begins to subside and at this point you need to more pressure, without taking your fingers off. This increase in pressure should be performed 2-3 times and then the pressure can be taken off. It can take ten seconds to over a minute for the pain to start easing and the muscle to relax so you need to hang in there!
Tip – give the muscle a gentle rub after this to make it feel more normal.
Next – move on to another trigger point if there are any more on the same or other side.
Note: Trigger point release can at times cause aching and an increase in pain/ headaches but improvements will show the day after.