Easy Headache Prevention

By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS

Are you waking up in the middle of the night with a stiff neck and a headache?

Before going to sleep there are a few things you can do to prevent waking up in pain.

Take 15 minutes to sooth your tired and stiff neck muscles. First use a moist heating pad for 12 minutes while lying on your pillows in bed. You can do this while catching up with your favorite night time reading.
Then try performing the following stretching exercises:

1. NECK ROTATION:  Turn head slowly to look over one shoulder. Hold  5 seconds while breathing softly. Repeat toward other shoulder. Do this 5 times towards each shoulder.

2. NECK SIDE BENDERS: While looking straight ahead, bend head towards one shoulder and hold for 5 counts. Breath softly and then bend head towards your other shoulder. Repeat this 5 times to each side.

3. SIDE BENDERS WITH ARM HOLD: Grasp right arm above your wrist, tilt your head towards the left while gently pulling down on right arm. Hold for 5 seconds while breathing gently. Repeat on the other side. Do this stretch 5 times on each side.

Note: Physical Therapy exercise pictures copyright VHI