DIY Instant Headache Relief
One of the most common things we see on x-ray in our practice is loss of neck curve aka loss of cervical curve. If you are suffering from chronic neck pain, it could mean that you are suffering from this loss of correct curve. It could also be due to restrictions in the cervical spine that lead to chronic muscle tension and neck pain. Or even a combination of both. Fortunately, if you are suffering from either one of these, chiropractic care is extremely helpful.
One of the first at-home things I recommend for patients with loss of cervical curve is what I call the towel exercise. Why is this exercise so effective? Well, the ideal cervical curve is around 42 degrees. When you start to lose this curve, the bio-mechanics of it all results in increasing weight on the middle of your neck and lower neck. This results in chronic neck pain. By placing a towel behind your neck, it helps put pressure in the middle of the neck, relaxes the muscles and helps promote the proper neck curve.
- Begin by rolling up a decent size towel until it is fairly firm
- Next lay on your back with the towel in the middle of your neck for 25-30 minutes
- Do not exceed the 25-30 minutes as this can trigger muscle spasm
- You may be a little sore after doing this exercise the first couple of times. This is normal as you are working the muscles. At no point should this exercise be painful nor should it cause any worsening of symptoms. If it does cause any worsening of symptoms, discontinue the exercise.*
- You can do this exercise daily, but I recommend about every other day in the first couple of weeks. This is a great exercise for headache relief as well.
By placing a rolled up towel behind your neck, and laying on it for around 25-30 minutes, you place the neck in the correct curve it needs. You need to do this exercise for at least 25-30 minutes as this is the time it takes for your neck/cervical spine to begin accepting the new curve. In fact, if you do this exercise while you have neck pain/headache, often times it will give you instant headache relief. Keep in mind, it took years for you to develop a loss in cervical curve, therefore, it takes some time to slowly improve it. It is also important that you get adjusted along with this exercise to notice significant improvement and to get rid of your neck pain and headaches altogether.
* At no point should this exercise be painful nor should it cause any worsening of symptoms. If it does cause any worsening of symptoms, discontinue the exercise. Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise routine.