Tension headaches are really annoying and uncomfortable. As Savers know, while it’s easy to pop an over-the-counter pain reliever, this “quick fix” can have dire consequences for bone health and overall health. Plus it doesn’t address the underlying cause of pain.

With the Neck Strengthener And Headache Preventer, we’re going to address the true cause of neck pain and tension headaches.

Scientists have discovered that tension headaches are typically the result of muscle weakness in the neck, which in turn can be caused by Forward Head Posture (FHP), slumped shoulders, and other postural mistakes. Today’s exercise strengthens these weak muscles, improving posture and relieving pain.

And there’s an added bonus: the Neck Strengthener And Headache Preventer helps tone up the area under the jaw, helping to get rid of a double chin.

Why:

Pain is often the only signal that we’re doing something that can harm us. But did you know there are other symptoms and warning signs besides pain? When it comes to weak neck muscles, the signs and symptoms are quite varied. Here are some to watch out for:

Tinnitus

Although it’s known as “ringing” in the ears, tinnitus can sound like clicking, roaring, and any number of annoying sounds that won’t stop. But if the tinnitus sounds like a high-pitched whistle, then Forward Head Posture (FHP) may be to blame.

According to a study, instability in the craniocervical junction – where the base of the skull meets the first cervical vertebra – can result in tinnitus. This instability can be caused by FHP, and correction of FHP brings relief of the tinnitus.1

You Can’t Sit Still

Feeling uncomfortable while sitting still is a sign of neck muscle weakness. You simply can’t stay in one position for more than a few minutes without discomfort or pain. This intolerance to static postures is one of the key signs of neck weakness.

Your Neck “Locks”

The sensation that your neck is locking up or freezing is related to weak neck muscles. It can feel like a painful catch in your neck as well. You find you can only turn your head so far in a certain direction before pain and the “locking” sensation stop you.

Shoulder Pain

Your shoulder muscles are connected to the front of your head by the largest cranial nerve called the trigeminal nerve, which innervates both areas. Because of this, tension and weakness in one of these areas can cause pain in the other. Muscles connect the neck and shoulders, too, with pain manifesting in your shoulder even if the problem originates in the neck.

Cervical Radiculopathy

FHP and the resulting weak muscles can bring about cervical radiculopathy, a condition where nerves get compressed due to herniated discs, misaligned cervical vertebrae, and/or weakened neck muscles (once again!). Weakness is so important as a causal factor, because when muscle strength is compromised, it creates deficiencies in motor coordination and control, setting the stage for misalignment and injury.

Muscle Spasms

Strained neck muscles may spasm uncontrollably, causing head pain and/or loss of coordination. Sometimes, the reverse occurs and tension headaches can give rise to muscle spasms.

Does any of this sound familiar? Before going any further, make sure you check persistent neck and/or head pain with your doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, or other qualified professional before attempting this or any other neck exercise.

Study: Neck Weakness Causes Tension Headache

The study involved 60 participants between the ages of 18 and 65 who suffered from tension headaches eight or more times each month. Also included in the study was a control group of 30 people in the same age bracket who did not suffer from tension headaches.

The participants were evaluated for the strength of their neck flexor and extensor muscles, and researchers discovered an unmistakable link: participants who suffered tension headaches had neck extensors that were 26% weaker than those in the control group, and they also had weaker muscles around the shoulder joint, exhibiting an inability to generate significant muscle force over the shoulder. Additionally, the extension/flexion ratio was 12% smaller in the tension headache group than the control group.1

The study authors noted that the extension/flexion ratio was indicative of a higher-than-normal loading of the neck extensors during everyday activities,1 which is precisely what occurs with FHP, particularly when that position is involved in your daily work.

How To Relieve The Tension

Strengthening the neck muscles is key to relieving and preventing tension headaches. Today’s challenge targets the muscles on the side and front of the neck (the flexors). To also strengthen the neck extensor muscles, I recommend you follow up today’s exercise with these Weekend Challenges:

Now for today’s challenge!

How:

  1. Sit or stand up straight without slumping or slouching.
  2. Turn your head to the left, keeping your shoulders square and facing front.
  3. Push your chin forward by moving just your lower jaw only; keep your neck still. You will feel a pull in the muscles on the right side of your neck. Hold this for a few seconds, and then relax and face front again.
  4. Turn your head to the right and push your chin forward again, holding for another few seconds before facing front again.
  5. Repeat until you’ve worked both sides of your neck about four times (as long as you are comfortable).

I found this move to be immediately effective at improving range of motion and relieving neck “cricks.” I hope you’ll experience it too.

Daily Exercise Includes Both Light And Intense Moves

When it comes to the essentiality of daily exercise for bone health, it’s important not to overlook the small moves like this one. The truth is, these subtle exercises have tremendous impact on your posture, vertebral alignment, and therefore your bone health. And of course, relief from pain is a positive “side effect”!

The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System includes over 52 targeted, intense as well as subtle exercises. There are stretches (that include the neck muscles) intermingled with high-impact, bone-building moves so you get a well-rounded workout every time. And it all takes only 15 minutes, three days a week.

Densercise™ won’t leave any area of your body neglected, because every bone and muscle matters in the fight against osteoporosis, and to conquer aches and pains.


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I hope you find this weekend’s challenge very helpful, and as always, I welcome your thoughts on the topics we’ve covered today.

Enjoy the weekend!

References:

1 Madsen, Bjarne K., et al. “Neck and shoulder muscle strength in patients with tension-type headache: A case-control study.” Cephalalgia. 36. 1. (2015). Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14689631

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  1. Muriel

    This really easy exercise is fantastic. I have just tried it and it instantly cured my neck pain and head ache. Thank you Vivian.

  2. live4ever

    Vivian this is first time i have read info on the neck “locking” Mine does this when i turn a certain way. Really hurts. Very scary!! as for a moment I feel like it will be paralyzed. Thx for the exercise.

  3. Robin Crotwell

    How long does it normally take to receive your program material? I ordered the program over 2 weeks ago and am still waiting. Thank you robin

  4. Dorothy S Ellis

    I would like to know if it is possible to get a hard copy or DVD of your exercises. My computer is in a confined space with no room to exercise while watching the instructions. This would be very helpful. I would be glad to pay extra for this.

  5. Janis Santos

    Is the Densercise program available in hard copy or DVD for those of us who don!t have access to it online? I would like to have it in hard copy since it is more accessible that way and can take it when I travel. Thank you.

  6. Ivy

    Thank you Vivian. Your recommendations on bone building and exercises are helping me. I stopped taking bone medications 3 years ago and will not start again. Same for other prescribed allergy medications.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I am so glad you shared that, Ivy. You are not the only one who has found relief from other health conditions while on the Program!

  7. Carol

    Thanks for this great exercise! I love doing subtle exercises, over the years they are the ones that have helped me the most!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s amazing, isn’t it? Small exercises can really help.

  8. Ita.

    Thank you, Ita.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are very welcome, Ita. 🙂

  9. Susan

    This exercise is great! Several years ago a physiotherapist taught me this same exercise because my jaw often “popped” out of place. Doing this same exercise, but facing straight forward, gently put my jaw back into place and strengthened the area so that it would not pop out again. Thanks for all the good advice you give Vivian!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for pointing out that additional benefit, Susan! Jaw strength and health are important, especially if you’ve ever taken jaw-damaging osteoporosis drugs.

  10. Eleanor Moody

    thank you so much Eleanor

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re welcome, Eleanor!

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