Instant headache relief with 4 physical therapy exercises for every cause

A headache is one of the most common and annoying problems. About 50% of all adults experience one at least once a year.

There are a few different types of headaches, each with their causes and characteristics.

Here I will only discuss the types of a headache with a cause in the neck or muscles.

These are a headache in the front, back or side of your head.

The cause for all these types originates in your neck. Studies show that a few simple exercises can have a significant effect on reducing your headache.

And here I will show you which exercises you should do for every type of headaches to get immediate relief. This pain relief cream can help you loosen the muscles reducing your headache.

I’ll discuss the following topics, both with cause and treatment:

headache pressure points

What is a headache


A headache is the symptom of pain anywhere in your head or neck.

Your brain itself can’t feel pain, because it doesn’t contain pain receptors.

Either your neck joints or neck muscles are always the cause of a headache.

When your neck muscles are tens, they cause radiating pain.

The radiating pain in these muscles always runs to your head: the more tens the muscles or joints, the more intense your pain.

The location of your headache depends on which muscle or joint is tens.

So let’s discuss each location with its one treatment.

A headache in the forehead above your left or right eye

The tension in your trapezius muscle is the primary cause for a headache in your forehead.

Your trapezius is on top of your shoulders.

When you’re stressed out, this is the first muscle to respond.

Almost everyone will know this feeling. It doesn’t always cause a headache, but if you have one, this muscle is to blame.

There are several more causes for this muscle to tens up:

    • Overhead heavy work
    • A stiff neck
    • Stress
    • Poor posture
    • Fever

All these factors will cause a stiff neck and tense muscles.

It’s all about balance. And with the treatment I will show you here, you can keep the balance in your favor.

When you keep your neck and muscles relaxed and flexible, they can have a higher loadability. It means that they can resist more tension before causing problems.

That’s why our treatment works so well for treating and preventing your headache.

So let’s start your pain-free life again, shall we?

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A headache in the forehead treatment

The treatment of a headache in your forehead consists of 3 exercises. These exercises make sure that the mobility of your neck stays perfect. The improved movement will help you keeping your muscles relaxed because it reduces the overuse of these muscles.

Finally, I’ll discuss a good posture because it could also affect your neck pain.

Headache exercise 1: Increase the mobility of your neck

So with the following training, we’ll increase the movement of your neck. It’s a straightforward exercise you can do almost always and everywhere.

In the beginning, it might cause some pain or discomfort in your neck, but this will usually disappear within a few days.

Perform the exercise like this:

  • Wrap a towel around your neck
  • Take with your left hand the right side of the towel and with your right hand the left side
  • Now lift the hand that is in front up until the towel is at the same height as your cheek
  • Now pull with your arm and the towel your head in the full rotation to the side
  • Repeat this ten times and then change to the opposite side by changing your hands
  • Finally, grab the towel standard and lift your arms and look up at the same time

In this video you can see how to perform the exercise.

Perform this exercise twice a day, both in the morning and in the evening.

headache exercise 1 increase the mobility of your neck

Headache exercise 2: Stretching your neck muscles

The second exercise is designed to reduce the tension of your trapezius muscles.

Because this muscle causes most of your headache, stretching it will have an immediate effect on the severity of your problem.

Therefore it causes immediate relief. And also, you can massage the muscles yourself for even more relief.

We’ll do this with the next exercise.

  • Place your hand on top of your head
  • Bend your neck sideways by pulling down your head
  • Also, rotate it a little bit to the same side
  • You will feel stretching of your trapezius on the other side
  • Hold this for 10 seconds and repeat it three times

On this video, you can see how to perform the exercise.

Repeat this exercise twice a day. I would also advise you to do it on both sides since usually both sides are affected.

These two exercises will often are enough to get rid of your tension headache.

However, when poor posture causes tension, this won’t solve the main problem. To do this, you have to adjust your position so it will give fewer problems in your neck.

headache exercise 2 stretching your neck muscles

Headache exercise 3: Improve your posture

For proper posture, you need to pay attention to the following things when standing:

    • Place your body weight on the back of your feet
    • Slightly bend your knees
    • Pull your stomach in
    • Stretch up your chest
    • Lift your head

In this video, you can see how to correct yourself and what good posture is.

At first, it will feel weird because your body tells you it’s wrong. It will take two weeks of good practice to make it feel normal.

You can do this by continually correcting yourself on your posture. After a while, you will feel that you stand correctly without thinking about it.

It can also be tiring at first, but this will get over soon as well.

This exercise is also great for treating neck pain and back pain.

The only thing left now that can cause a headache in your forehead is stress.

Stress causes especially these muscle to tense up. The only way to get rid of this problem is to solve your stress. Unfortunately, this is not something I can help you achieve.

A headache on the left or right side of my head

Headache on the side of my head

Muscles often cause a headache on the side of your head or in your jaw.

Two muscles are famous for doing this:

  • The temporal muscle on the side of your head
  • The masseter muscle in your jaw

These two muscles are the primary movers of your jaw.

They can tighten when you grind or clench your teeth.

Also, daily chewing gum can cause tension.

To get rid of a headache on the side of your head, you have to address the causes.

This means:

  • Stop chewing gum if you do
  • See a dentist or doctor if you’re grinding or clenching your teeth

There are several ways to cure grinding your teeth.

The other thing you can do is massage the tight muscles.

When the muscles are relaxed again, the pain in your head should be gone.

Often it comes together with a stiff neck as well. Therefore I would suggest that you also perform the exercises I described earlier for increasing the mobility of your neck and stretching your neck muscles.

A headache at the back of my head

Headache back of my head

A headache at the back of your head is also called a cervicogenic headache. A problem in your cervical spine a.k.a. The neck is the cause of a cervicogenic headache.

As you can see on the picture here, radiation from the joint between the second and third vertebra in your neck causes the pain at the back of your head.

When this joint is painful or tight, it causes pain which radiates to the back of your head.

You will also notice that looking down and rotating your neck feels stiff and sometimes painful.

The treatment of a headache in the back of your head focusses on regaining the mobility in your neck.

You can do this by doing two exercises:

The first exercise is designed to increase the mobility of your neck in all directions. I’ve already discussed these exercises earlier.


A headache at the back of your head exercise

The second exercise is designed to address the specific segment in your neck.

The exercises go a little different, but you need the same towel:

    • Place the towel in your neck right under the bump on your skull
    • Hold both ends of the towel horizontally
    • Now pull the towel forward
    • At the same time pull your chin in
    • Hold this for 5 seconds
    • repeat this ten times

In this video, you can see how to perform the exercise.

hoofdpijn achterhoofd

Repeat this exercise twice a day. As the mobility of your neck increases, your headache will disappear.

If the exercise isn’t enough to relieve your pain, you can also visit a manual therapist to increase mobility.

You can also perform the other mobility exercises mentioned on this page.

A headache at the back of your head cause 2

Besides this, there is another possible cause for a headache at the back of your head.

Your levator scapulae muscle can also cause pain at the back of your head.

This muscle runs from your shoulder blade to the side of your neck.

When this muscle is tens, it can cause radiating pain to the back of your head. Now, this pain is more at one side than when the cause is your neck itself.

You can treat this cause with the following exercise:

    • Grab your head with the hand of  the nonpainful side
    • Now bend and rotate it away from the painful side
    • You will feel the stretch on the painful side from your shoulder blade to the back of your head
    • Hold this for 20 seconds and repeat it several times a day

You can find how to perform the exercise in this video

nekspieren rekken

You will feel the pain and stiffness disappear fairly quickly.

Tension headache cause and treatment

tension headache

A tension headache is maybe one of the most annoying types you can have. This tension headache is different from the pain in your forehead,

both in the origin of the pain and the location of the pain.

A tension headache usually starts from your upper back and runs over the back of your neck and head to the top of your head and sometimes even to your forehead.

It feels like you have a tight cap on your head.

The following causes are known to cause a tension headache:

  • Poor posture
  • Stress
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Poor eating habits

Another difference is that where a headache in your forehead can increase when doing physical exercise, tension headache will decrease when doing so.

Exercising reduces stress, which is the only cause of a tension headache.

You have to do a couple of things to treat your tension headache the right way:

  • Improve your posture
  • Solve your stress problem
  • Eat healthily
  • Exercise regularly
  • Sleep for 8 hours

Also, make sure you have excellent mobility of your neck by doing the mobility exercises described earlier and stretching your neck muscles.

When you do everything I’ve described here, you will be pain-free in a matter of weeks.

A headache during pregnancy

During your pregnancy, you can experience frequent headaches, especially in the first and third trimester.

But it is also possible in the second trimester.

Sometimes the causes are different, but most are the same through all three trimesters.

Causes for a headache during the first trimester of pregnancy:

  • Low blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress because of all the changes
  • Changes in your hormones
  • Dehydration due to frequent vomiting
  • Lack of sleep

Causes of a headache during the second trimester of pregnancy:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor posture

The second trimester of pregnancy is very different from person to person. Some woman won’t grow in size until the third trimester, but some already do very much in the second trimester.

This increase in weight will change your posture, which can cause tension headaches as described before.

Causes of a headache during the third trimester of pregnancy:

  • Poor posture
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress

Especially during the third-trimester stress and a poor posture are the main reasons for pain in your head.

You will have trouble walking and standing for long periods. Your posture will only aggravate a headache even more. Also, sleeping is almost out of the question now, which causes a lot of stress.

The good thing is that it’s almost over.

The things that can help reduce your headache is removing the causes:

  • Improve your posture with the exercise described earlier on this page
  • Find a good position to sleep
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Try to keep exercising as long as possible

Also, if the pain in your head is getting worse and worse or other symptoms like dizziness start to occur, you should contact your doctor.

That is because severe headaches can be a sign of a complication of the pregnancy.

As you can see, there are many types of headaches you can influence.

If you’re not sure about the cause or the severity of your headache, I would advise you to see your doctor.