The Head and Neck is one of the most problematic areas of the body for most people. Office workers who use a computer for the bulk of their work day, students, parents who lift their heavy kids, and almost everyone else will have some form of tightness and/or pain in this region in their lifetime. Car accidents raise this number significantly as well. So how do we unwind the tension that builds up here? One way is to lower your stress level via meditation, or whatever works for you. Stress can be a HUGE cause of neck and head pain and stiffness. Trigger points in the muscles that control neck and head motion can cause headaches, as can tension in the neck muscles. TMJ issues can also contribute to headaches. Most people don’t realize that the TMJ can get whiplashed during a car accident, leading to pain in the area, headaches, ringing in your ears, and other problems. There are some key exercises and stretches that can relieve your symptoms, and they are below.
GENERAL HEAD & NECK TIGHTNESS / DISCOMFORT
Here are some stretches aimed at releasing tension in the neck and head. It can be very helpful to couple these stretches with those for the upper back and mid back as muscles in those areas continue up into the neck and attach to the base of your skull. Take a peek at them here: Upper & Mid Back Stretches
Upper Trapezius Stretch
Neck Flexion Stretch
Levator Scapulae Stretch
HEAD & NECK CORRECTIVE EXERCISES
Here are some head and neck exercises aimed at restoring normal neck muscle function. They Deep Neck Flexion exercises are VERY GOOD for helping recover from whiplash injuries. Make sure they do not hurt when you do them though, light and easy at first, and work up to stressing the muscles over weeks, not days.