Drug free 30 minute remedy for tension headaches.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by xchocoholic, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    Hi All.

    I wanted to share my experience with you in hopes that it might help someone else.

    I have a history of injuries to my neck. Starting with a concusion brought on my getting thrown into 3 feet of water onto my head in 1980. Two serious whiplashes from car accidents in 1989. And two minor whiplashes in 2002. I always have car accidents back to back ... hmmm...

    Today, I had one of those killer tension headaches that start in the base of the skull and proceed to the my shoulders, jaw and into my eyes. This would last all day if I didn't do something. I used to take 2 Darvocet for these and still would if I couldn't lie down.

    I used a method I picked up somewhere (probably from one of my many massage therapist) about 5 years ago to get rid of it in about 30 minutes. I want to call it self traction, but honestly can't remember what she called it.

    I lay down flat on my stomach for about 5 minutes,then let my head drop over the front of the bed for at least 20 minutes until I can feel the pain is gone. You'll feel all the blood rushing into your head. Then roll over onto my back for about 5 minutes.

    You can tell you are doing it right if you can feel your spine being stretched as you are laying on your stomach. First only in the neck and shoulders, then all the way down.

    The same methodology works for my lower back pain. I have 2 slightly degenerated disks in my lower back. And found that by doing strechting excercises given to me by my PT, I can actually get rid of the pain at least 50% of the time. Of course, if I did the excercises as I am supposed to, I could avoid the pain.

    I hope this helps someone. Sincerely, Marcia

    Please read later post. I explain further how important it is to do this slowly. Good luck ... Marcia

    And please let me know how ya'll do.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/02/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/02/2006]
  2. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Sounds good, Marcia. I will give it a try.

  3. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    I'll definitely give it a try. I get headaches ALL the time. The blood rushing into your head doesn't increase the headache? It sounds like a good stretch. Thanks.

    What's your good low back stretch?
  4. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I just vision this possibly making me dizzy. ??

    But then,... Maybe its just me,when I get these headaches I can't move my head/neck very fast or I'll get lightheaded/dizzy. Even my eye movements cause me dizziness at times. Like to look way up.
    I'll give it a try tho.
    I have one of those lovely headaches starting now.
    I'm about to eat something and take a fiorecet.

  5. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    Thanks for replying. I am really excited to see if this helps other people.

    The blood does rush into my head if I do this too fast.

    That is why I lay down flat for at least 5 minutes first. That way I get some blood into my head before increasing the pressure.

    Next, I slowly lower my head over the side of the bed to minimize the change in blood flow. A little at a time works best. But I have to eventually let my head hang freely.

    And I have to lay on the bed for at least 5 minutes after to get the blood back out of my head. I've found that I have to do it this way or else it doesn't work.

    Aslo, I've found that if I keep my arms down by my side instead of over my head, it works better too.

    This has worked wonders for me. I didn't get my headache back yesterday and I don't have a headache today either. I used to get a lot of headaches.

    You asked what I did for my back ... my PT had me doing this, so I know it is safe for me. But please go slowly and stop if it hurts.

    For my back, I lay down flat on my back on the floor on a couple of mats. Has to be a firm surface, but soft.

    Then with my knees bent, feet on floor, suck my tummy in so that my lower back touches the mat. You can press your back into the mat, but very gently. I do this 10 times for 2 reps.

    WHile still laying on my back, feet on floor, knees bent, I place a ball, soccer size, between my knees and press your knees against it and hold for about 5 secs. Then repeat for 5 or 10 reps.

    Next, while still on my back on the floor, I use a clasped belt wrapped around my knees and pull outwards for 5 secs. Repeat for 5 or 10 reps.

    The last one I do while laying on my back, knees bent, feet on floor is to raise one foot and stretch your leg out only as high as your bent knee and hold for 5 secs. Repeat 5 or 10 times. Then do the other leg.

    I do one while standing. With one leg forward and the other leg back, lean a little on your forward foot. This will help strengthen your knees as well as give you a good stretch.

    I ice my lower back afterwards for 10 to 20 minutes depending on my pain level.

    Good luck and please let me know how you do.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/02/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/02/2006]
  6. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    Awesome instructions! I'm going to try the head thing today. I've got a headache going, but I think it's from going out last night. We went to dinner and a Steven Wright concert. That's a BIG night out for me!

    I'll be printing out your back stretches. They sound great, also. My low back definitely needs stretching!

    I'll let you know how I do.

    Thank you!!!
  7. claudiaw

    claudiaw New Member

    Where is your head during the first 5 mins.?

    Sorry just need a clarification, I don't want to tweek myself out.:)

    I'm very scared to try thing's involving my neck, it is the most sensitive part of me and causes me the most rouble. I get dizzy very easy when twisting my neck.

    My neck stay's tight and knotted, it is the reason I can no longer work, drive, cook or clean.

    My P.T. said she had never felt a neck so tight and was amazed I worked that way for so long.

    Thanks for the info.:)

  8. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member


    You sound like me. My neck and shoulders have been a huge problem for me since my concusion back in 1980.

    I lay down completely flat on my back for the first 5 minutes just to let the blood start flowing through my whole body.

    !!!! This is a correction !!! I'm sorry, I just never described this in such detail before. The above paragraph should have said I lay down completely flat on my stomach .... Actually, I have the underside of my chin resting on the edge of the mattress. I have explained it in greater detail in a later post !!!!

    You can stay there longer if you need to, I just can usually get by with 5 minutes. You just want to get some blood into your head. I can feel the difference now that I have been doing it for awhile. Taking deep breaths probably would help.

    CFIDS/FM people need to rest lying down completely flat in order for their bodies to truly benefit from resting.

    Please, remember to go SLOW. Stretching has to be done very slowly to be effective.

    I slowly move my head over the end of the bed to the point where it is just hanging. I wait until I can feel the muscles relax a bit before I pull forward over the edge.

    Good luck ... I hope this helps you ... Marcia

    [This Message was Edited on 03/20/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 03/20/2007]
  9. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    In your first post, you said you lay on your stomach for the first 5 min. Then in your last post you said you lay on your back for the first 5 min. I'm confused (easily done)! Or doesn't it matter whether you are on tummy or back for first 5 min?

    The whole "hanging your head over the edge" is done while lying on your STOMACH, right?

    And if that's so, doesn't your face kind of mush into the side of the mattress? I'm wanting to try this, but definitely want to do it right!
  10. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    Phone rang ... my aunt from North Carolina ...

    So sorry about the mess up, I have been doing this so long I never think about it in such detail.

    Yes, I do lay on my stomach for the first 5 minutes. I will fix the other post and note the correction ... sorry ..

    I went to my bed so I could run through this so I could figure this all out...

    I start out with the underside of my chin touching and barely hanging over the edge for the first 5 minutes. It would not be comfortable to lay on my stomach any other way.

    Next I move forward until my nose is barely touching the side of the mattress. Rest there until I no longer feel tension in my neck.

    And then I am ready for my head to hang freely.

    I am done when I can feel the tension has left my head, neck and shoulders and my spine is being pulled all the way down.

    And yes your face will be resting slightly against the side of the mattress when you are hanging there.

    Push yourself body forward on your mattress if your face is too close to the side of the mattress. You want to be able to breathe freely.

    Sorry this is so complicated. I don't even think about it anymore ....

    Good luck ... let me know if it helps ... marcia

  11. TwinMa

    TwinMa New Member

    That definitely clarifies things!

    I know what you mean about trying to describe something you do all the time. You just never think about exactly what words to use to describe it to someone! My kids ask me all the time how to do things. I really have to think, because my first thought is always "I don't know, I just DO it!"

    You have done a very good job explaining, and I thank you for taking the time to write it all out. It's great to have non-drug options for headache treatments. Plus, I don't even need to go buy anything to try this out! Free is good!