I’m often asked, “what can I do to relieve or prevent headaches?” Most of the time this person is working at the computer for long hours of the day, and is citing neck tension underneath the base of the skull. These four small, but vital muscles are known as the sub occipital region.
This muscle group performs the following actions: rotation of the head, lateral neck flexion, and neck extension. Along with these actions it also contributes to stabilization of the head. This allows us to perform common tasks such as, working at the computer, driving, reading, and watching TV.
Neglecting to stretch this over worked muscle group can cause headaches because they are tight and contracted, reducing blood flow to the area. So the next time you feel neck tension in this area try this quick and simple stretch that can be done anywhere several times a day. The sub occipital stretch can also be performed standing or sitting. This stretch should provide some instant relief to this overworked muscle group.
Start with your hands clasped behind the base of your skull.
Gently press your head back into your clasped hands.
Next slowly and gently use your hands to press forward against the resistance of the head, which is slowly pressing the opposite direction.
Hold this position for 10-12 seconds and repeat several times remembering to breath.
This will provide some instant relief to these overworked and neglected neck muscles.
Posted on 03/15/2015 at 12:00 AM