Treating Headaches with Some Lacrosse Ball Love
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
When tension is stuck in your neck it can cause a variety of issues from headaches, to sinus pressure and in extreme cases numbness and tingling going down the arm. All neck tension is due in part to too much chronic tension in the shoulder, pulling the front of the shoulder toward the middle of your chest but I’ll elaborate on that more in the next time.
Over the course of a few years we all have experienced some form of headaches. Usually we are recommended to just sleep it off or maybe take one or two pills over the counter. We take it, usually it works, and a few days later we do it all over again. These methods are temporary and I want to share possible solutions that will reduce amount of headaches or remove it all together.
But first we must understand how this may occur over time and by being aware is the first step in solving this problem. Here are a few common scenarios that results in headaches; too much stress, poor posture, lack of exercise posterior exercises, or just poor movement quality. It can be some of these or maybe all.
Top two things you can do a few times a week to help relieve tension:
Lacrosse Ball Work: When we do the lacrosse ball work, we want to add little pressure to the belly of the muscle and twist. The twisting is more important in this region than the pressure, it allows us to grab more of the fibers across the entire muscle. The muscle we are aiming for is called your Sternocleidomastoid, that muscle that runs up to the base of your skull/neck underneath your jaw and down to your collar bone. As with any ball work 10 minutes total, 5 minutes a side and hanging out in any intense spot for 2 minutes. (For visual image use the pic below)
Stretching: After doing some ball work, it is imperative that you stretch your neck. You want to to teach the muscle fibers that they are suppose to be in a position of length, not one of constant contraction. Easiest stretch is to drop your head to any direction and hold for 2 minutes. Personally I find it easiest to think of wearing a clock on my head, the direction I’m facing when looking straight forward is twelve o’clock. Hanging out with your head at the three and nine positions are good, also we want to hang our head at the one, four, seven & ten positions. These last four positions are gonna be most beneficial after this specific neck work listed above.
So before you grab the over the counter stuff, try doing some of these manual maintenance and let us know how it goes. If you have questions feel free to reach out to us. Share or comment we would love to hear your feedback. Side note make sure to consult a professional if these headaches keep happening or getting worse.
We love y'all and keep taking care of your self.
Coach Nick Nash