Headaches are not normal! A lot of you might disagree with that statement, especially those of you who suffer with them regularly. If you have a headache once a month or more, then this is the guide you need. Don’t settle for a lifetime of headaches, get rid of them now!
There are different types of headache – cluster headaches, sinus headaches and migraines to name a couple, but by far the most common types are tension headaches. These can be caused by a variety of factors – stress, poor posture, dehydration, bad diet and turning your head too many times in one direction (like when you check your blind spots in the car).
The easiest one of these to deal with is dehydration. Just drink water, right? Wrong! That would be good advice from most run-of-the-mill headache articles, but not here. Here, we strive to give you a bit more!
You’ve tasted sweat, haven’t you? It doesn’t just taste like water. It’s salty, so if you’re suffering from dehydration you need to replace not just water, but salts too. The best way to do this is to put a small sprinkle of salt and some lemon juice into a pint of water. It shouldn’t taste salty or gross, but it will go a long way to keeping your headaches at bay and your wee nice and clear!
A common theme with this blog is that where you have pain is rarely where your problem is. I’ve talked about that here, here and here and I will continue to talk about it because it is that important. The reason you get a headache when the problem is a tight neck is due to the kinetic chain. All this means is that throughout the body, one thing affects the next, everything has a knock on effect because of how muscles overlap and pull on different areas.
Take the trapezius muscle for example. It runs from the base of the skull, to the middle of the back and all across the shoulders.
This means it can pull in lots of different ways, which is great if you want to lift your arm over your head or something, but if it gets tight it pulls on the base of your skull in all sorts of different directions. Imagine something constantly pulling your skull back and to the side, and now all the other muscles on the top of your head have to work overtime to keep your head level. Just thinking about it is enough to give you a headache, no?
I shouldn’t really be telling you this, as it is how I’m planning on earning my fortune, but there is a really easy way to stretch your traps and instantly get rid of headaches. OK, if you want to stretch your left trap, take your left arm and put it behind your back. With the other arm, grab your hand and pull it across the back of your body, then tilt your head to the right for a really nice, deep stretch.
Then take three big, deep breaths in and out and relax. Do this as many times as you feel you need to, then on to the other side. I say go slowly with this as it can be a bit tender and you also get no prizes for twisting your head off. Just go as far as you can handle and stop there, you’ll get further each time you do it.
Shoulder stretches for stopping headaches
Your shoulders have a huge impact on your neck and therefore your head and its aches. I can give you a dozen different stretches to stretch a dozen different muscles, but what’s the point? You’re not going to do them, are you? So how about instead, I give you one stretch that does about twenty muscles at once? Talk about efficient!
To give your shoulders a really good stretch all you need to do is dangle. If you go to a gym, then simply hold onto a pull up bar there for a few seconds. If you don’t go to the gym, get a home pull up bar (this is the one I use), they’re cheap and your head, shoulders and posture will thank you for it. See, told you it was easy.
Just like when your traps pull on the back of your head and give headaches, tension headaches can also be caused by a tight neck.
When your head is in this position, the muscles at the front get really tight, which again pulls on your skull. The best way to combat this is with the bar hangs from earlier and by turning your head to the side, then pulling your head up and back. Look up to the ceiling and slowly move your head around till you can feel a really nice stretch in the front of your neck and when you’re texting, lift your phone up a bit higher.
Because there is a muscle that runs from the base of your skull to your forehead, a lot of headaches around the eyes and all over the top of your head can be helped with these methods. It might sound a bit kooky to stretch your shoulders to help your head, but give it a go.
Let me know in the comments below which of these techniques has been the most help to you and if you have any other techniques that can help!