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As soon as we feel a headache coming on, we usually go for the bottle of pain reliever.

Most headaches are caused by tension of the muscles in the base of the skull.

That means there’s a few things that you can do at home to help alleviate tension headaches.

What can you do about this at home?

To relieve the pressure and tension on the sub-occipitals, we suggest using two tennis balls to massage the tight muscles found underneath the base of the skull. If these muscles are tight, they will put pressure on the nerves that wrap around the head.

To massage these muscles, take two tennis balls and duct tape them together like so, lie down with it under your head and massage the back of the head and neck for a few minutes at a time.

We also instruct our patients to perform the wall angel exercise, which we’ve outlined in another video.

Finally, we teach our patients deep neck flexion.

This exercise allows you to stretch tight muscles, while building strength in the muscles that hold up your head. To perform deep neck flexion, follow these steps:

  1. First lift your chin up to the ceiling and extend your neck.
  2. Next, bring your chin back to level.
  3. While doing this swivel your head backwards. You should feel the back of the neck stretch. If it hurts, you are pulling back too hard!

If you do this correctly, you are basically giving yourself a second chin like Jabba the Hutt!

So, to recap…

….to help tension headaches at home, you can use the tennis ball massage, wall angels, and deep neck flexion.


Since sub occipitals can be difficult to heal at home, it’s always good to call if you still have pain!