Five Stretches To Ease A Headache Instantly

Stretching has many powerful health benefits. As remote work options are increasing with demanding schedules, our sedentary lifestyle results in migraines or headaches. Stretch every day to ease and prevent a headache in the office.

By Namami
23 Jan 2023

Hectic schedules resulting in regular migraines or headaches? Having a migraine, after all, can make it difficult for you to strike work-life balance. Dehydration, tension, poor posture, and lack of sleep, among other factors like tension, migraines, and neck dysfunction or trauma are some of the reasons that contribute to headaches in the workplace and lower quality of your work life.

According to a 2021 study titled ‘The Impact of Myofascial Release and Stretching Techniques on The Clinical Outcomes of Migraine Headache’ in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, chronic pain release and stretching techniques used were effective in improvement of clinical outcomes in the migraine patients. Significant reductions in migraine, pain intensity and duration were observed in the exercise group, along with improvements in physical fitness and overall well-being.


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Ways Stretching Eases A Headache

Stretching can ease a headache by releasing tension from your body, improving circulation and preventing muscle stiffness. Stretching before exercise improves physical fitness, degree of physical activity, and migraine stress.


Related story: 5 Quick Desk Exercises For Ergonomic Stretching


Five Stretches to Relieve Your Headache

1. Chin Tucks



Chin tucks are a popular stretching exercise for neck pain, migraines, and headaches. The goal is to align the head with the spine, improve posture, and develop the neck and upper back muscles. Chin tucks may be done standing up or sitting down, making them ideal for repeating throughout the day.

Target Area: Head, Spine and Neck


To do Chin Tucks:

  • Sit or stand looking straight ahead with your back straight
  • Keep your shoulders back, making sure your ears are aligned directly above your shoulders.
  • Place two fingers on your chin and gently bend your head forwards until you feel a stretch on the base of your neck and you have a ‘double chin.’
  • Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and release.
  • Repeat three times.


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2. Upper Neck Stretch



This is one of the best neck stretches for headaches as it targets neck soreness and muscle stiffness. It releases tight knots resulting in reduction of pressure build-up. Studies have shown 20% of persons worldwide experience neck tightness or pain at any given time.

Target Areas: Head, Neck and Shoulders


To stretch your neck:

  • Bend your head forward and slightly to the right.
  • With your right hand, gently pull your head downward. You'll feel a nice, easy stretch along the back left side of your neck.
  • Hold for about 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.


3. Pectoral Muscle Stretch



Also known as the Towel Chest Muscle Stretch, it lengthens the chest muscles so that upper body positioning feels natural and comfortable. 

Target Areas: Chest and Back


To stretch your chest:

  • Turn your elbow behind you, no longer out to the side.
  • Raising the elbow higher or lower changes the stretch.
  • Experiment until you only feel a stretch in the front chest and no pain or pinching anywhere in the shoulder.
  • Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.
  • The purpose of this stretch is to lengthen the front chest muscles. Feel the stretch in the intended area.
  • Use a mirror to help you with the position.


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4. Downward Facing Dog Stretch



Downward Facing Dog Stretch is arguably the most well-known posture in yoga. The forward bend is named after the likeness of a dog stretching out with its rear legs extended upward and both head and forelegs looking downward. It helps strengthen the upper body muscles, which results in better posture, less upper back stiffness, and no hunching shoulders.

Target Areas: Head, Neck and Back


To stretch your back:

  • Get down on all fours.
  • Start on the floor with your hands shoulder-width apart, with your shoulders above your wrists.
  • Align your inner shoulders with your index fingers. Your hips should be above or slightly before your knees.
  • Lift your knees.
  • Next, tuck your toes against the mat or ground, using that leverage to extend your legs and lift both knees into the air. Your body should now resemble an upside-down “V” shape.
  • Extend and lengthen your spine, simultaneously pressing through the palms of your hands.
  • Hold and release. Hold your body in position, making sure to breathe properly.
  • Slowly bring your knees back to the floor to release this stretch.


Related Story: The Many Powerful Benefits Of Walking Every Day


5. Lateral Flexion Stretch



This stretch relieves tension in the neck and shoulder area. Lateral flexion stretches, also known as the Ear to Shoulder Stretch, increase the angle between your shoulder and neck, and lengthen the spine, also relieving the muscle tightness of the head region.

Target Areas: Neck, Head, Spine and Shoulder


To stretch your neck and shoulder:

  • Stand up straight and gently bend your neck to the right side as if you were trying to touch your shoulder with your right ear.
  • Stop as soon as you begin feeling the stretch on the left side of your neck
  • You shouldn’t feel any pain doing this exercise.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and change sides.
  • Repeat 2 or 3 times on each side.


Headaches can result from poor blood circulation, reduced lymphatic drainage, and poor posture. Setting aside some time for these simple stretching exercises to ease headaches, on the other hand, can go a long way.


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