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Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises For Relief

HomeHealth & FitnessTop 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises For Relief
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Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises

Cervicogenic headache Exercises, emanating from discomfort in the neck, are increasingly common in the digital age. This comprehensive guide outlines ten effective exercises to alleviate these headaches, combining physical therapy insights.

1. Neck Stretch

The Neck Stretch is an essential yet successful activity to ease the side effects of cardiogenic cerebral pains starting from neck issues. This exercise especially targets the muscles in the neck, helping to reduce headache frequency and intensity by improving flexibility and relieving tension.

Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises


Positioning: Begin in a seated or standing position. Maintain a posture with relaxed shoulders and an upright back. For the Side-to-Side Stretch, gently lower your ear towards your shoulder by tilting your head sideways in a controlled manner. Avoid raising your shoulder to meet your ear. Hold this position for about 20 seconds, feeling a gentle stretch on the contrasting side of your neck.

  • Alternate Sides: Return to the starting position and repeat the stretch on the other side.
  • Forward Stretch: Then, gently tilt your head forward, striving to touch your chin to your chest. Hold this position for 20 seconds. You should feel the stretch along the back of your neck.


  • Relieves Tension: Regularly performing this exercise helps relieve the muscular tension that often contributes to cervicogenic headache exercises.
  • Increases Flexibility: It enhances neck mobility, making it less prone to stiffness and pain.
  • Improves Posture: Strengthening neck muscles promotes better posture, which prevents neck strain headaches.


Practice this exercise 2-3 times a day, especially if you spend long hours in front of a computer or engaged in activities that strain the neck.


Perform the stretches gently. Avoid sharp movements or overstretching, as it might exacerbate neck pain.

If you experience any pain or discomfort beyond mild stretching sensation, cease the exercise and consult a healthcare professional.

Incorporating the Neck Stretch into your daily routine can be a crucial step in managing cervicogenic headaches, offering a non-invasive and effective way to address the root cause of these headaches.

2. Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder Rolls are an effective exercise for relieving shoulder and neck tension, areas often linked to cervicogenic headache Exerises. This exercise is highly beneficial for individuals who experience neck pain and headaches due to poor posture or prolonged periods of sitting or standing.

Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises


  • Starting Position: Stand or sit with your back straight and shoulders relaxed.
  • Rolling Motion: Lift your shoulders towards your ears, then roll them back, drawing circles with your shoulders. Ensure the movement is smooth and controlled.
  • Repetitions: Perform the roll backward for about 10-15 seconds, then switch to rolling forward for the same duration.
  • Breathing: Maintain steady, deep breaths throughout the exercise. Inhale as you lift your shoulders and exhale as you roll them back and down.


  • Reduces Tension: Helps to loosen and relax the shoulder and upper back muscles, reducing the tension that can lead to cervicogenic headaches.
  • Improves Circulation: Enhances blood flow to the neck and shoulder regions.
  • Increases Mobility: Improves the capacity of motion in the shoulders and upper back, aiding in better posture.


Ideal to perform multiple times throughout the day, especially during breaks in sedentary activities.

Keep the motion gentle and controlled to avoid strain.

If you have any pre-existing shoulder injuries, proceed cautiously or consult a healthcare professional before attempting this exercise.

Shoulder Rolls are an easy yet effective way to mitigate the factors contributing to cervicogenic headaches. Regular practice helps maintain shoulder health and can significantly reduce the recurrence of headaches associated with neck and shoulder tension.

3. Chin Tuck Exercise

The Chin Tuck exercise is a therapeutic movement designed to combat cervicogenic headache Exercises, often arising from poor neck posture and tension. This exercise targets the deep cervical flexors, muscles crucial for maintaining good neck posture.

Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises


  • Starting Position: Begin in an established or standing position with a straight spine. Look forward and ensure your shoulders are relaxed.
  • Performing the Tuck: Gently draw your chin towards your neck, creating a ‘double chin.’ Moving your chin straight back, not downwards, is important to avoid compressing the neck.
  • Hold and Release: Hold the tucked position for about 5 seconds, feeling a gentle stretch along the back of your neck. Then, slowly release and return to the starting position.
  • Repetitions: Repeat this movement 10 to 15 times, maintaining smooth and controlled motions.


  • Strengthens Neck Muscles: The chin tuck exercise strengthens the deep cervical flexor muscles, which are vital for neck stability.
  • Improves Posture: Regular practice promotes better neck alignment, which prevents cervicogenic headaches.
  • Eases Muscle Stress: This exercise effectively alleviates stress in the neck muscles, a frequent factor in headaches originating from neck discomfort.


It is advisable to perform this exercise multiple times throughout the day, particularly for individuals engaged in desk jobs or extensive computer use, to mitigate the impact of sustained forward-leaning head postures.


Ensure the movement is gentle and controlled to avoid straining the neck.
If any pain or discomfort is experienced beyond a mild stretching sensation, it’s advisable to stop and seek guidance from a healthcare professional.

4. Scalene Stretch

The Scalene Stretch is a focused exercise designed to target the scalene muscles in the neck, a group often implicated in cervicogenic headaches. These muscles, located on each side of the neck, can become tight due to poor posture or prolonged periods of sitting, contributing to neck pain and headaches.

Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises


Starting Position: Sit or stand upright with your shoulders relaxed.

Side Stretch: Gently tilt your head to one side, aiming to bring your ear closer to the shoulder. Ensure the movement is isolated to the neck, keeping your shoulders still and relaxed.

Enhancing the Stretch: You can extend the opposite arm downwards or slightly away from your body for a deeper stretch. This action increases the stretch on the scalene muscles.

Maintain this Pose: Sustain this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, feeling a subtle extension along the side of your neck. Gradually return to the initial posture and stretch on the alternate side.


  • Relieves Muscle Tension: This exercise effectively stretches the scalene muscles, reducing the tightness contributing to cervicogenic headaches.
  • Improves Flexibility: Regular practice enhances neck flexibility and mobility.
  • Reduces Headache Frequency: By alleviating muscle tension, the Scalene Stretch can help decrease the occurrence of cervicogenic headaches.


Performing this stretch 2-3 times a day, especially after long periods of sitting or computer work, is beneficial.


Move into the stretch slowly and avoid overextending to prevent strain.
Stop the exercise and ask a healthcare professional for advice if you feel any sharp pain or discomfort.

5. Wall Push-Ups

Wall Push-Ups are a modified form of classic push-ups tailored to enhance the strength of shoulder and neck muscles without causing undue stress. Especially advantageous for those suffering from cervicogenic headaches, this exercise aids in reinforcing the muscles that provide support to the neck and upper back.

Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises


Starting Position: Stand facing a wall at arm’s length. Place your palms lying against the wall, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.


Flex your elbows to lower your body towards the wall in a controlled manner.
Ensure your feet remain firmly on the ground and maintain a linear posture, keeping your head in line with your spine.

For the Push Back phase, engage your arms and shoulders to return your body to its initial stance.

Concerning the number of repetitions, begin to complete 10 to 15 push-ups, and incrementally elevate this count as your strength gradually increases.


  • Strengthens Upper Body: This exercise strengthens the shoulders, chest, and upper back, providing better support for the neck.
  • Reduces Neck Strain: Stronger muscles in the upper body can help reduce the strain on the neck, a key factor in managing cervicogenic headaches.
  • Improves Posture: Regular practice contributes to better posture, reducing the likelihood of headaches caused by poor spinal alignment.


Incorporate this exercise into your routine 2-3 times weekly for optimal benefits.

Ensure your activities are slow and controlled to avoid jerky motions that could strain the neck.

If you experience pain during the exercise, especially in the neck or shoulder area, stop immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

6. Cat-Cow Pose

The Cat-Cow Pose, a gentle and effective yoga movement, alleviates cervicogenic headache Exercises. This exercise focuses on stretching and mobilizing the spine, releasing neck and upper back tension, which often contributes to these headaches.

Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises


  • Starting Position: Begin on a mat on all fours, with your knees hip-width separated and hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Cow Pose (Inhale): As you inhale, arch your back, dropping your belly towards the mat. Lift your head and tailbone upward, creating a gentle curve in your lower back.
  • Cat Pose (Exhale): As you exhale, round your spine towards the ceiling, tucking your tailbone in and bringing your chin towards your chest. Feel the stretch across your upper back and neck.
  • Flow Between Poses: Continue to move smoothly between the Cow and Cat poses, following the rhythm of your breath. Inhale into Cow Pose and exhale into Cat Pose.
  • Enhances Spinal Flexibility: This exercise promotes flexibility and mobility in the spine.
  • Relieves Tension: The movement helps release tension in the neck and shoulders, common areas of discomfort linked to headaches.
  • Improves Posture: Regular practice strengthens the spine and helps improve overall posture, reducing the risk of tension headaches.


It is ideal for daily practice, especially as a morning or evening routine to maintain spinal health.


Move gently between the poses, especially if you have back or neck issues.
If you experience any discomfort or pain, especially in the back or neck, reduce the intensity of the movement or consult a healthcare professional.

7. Levator Scapulae Stretch

The Levator Scapulae Stretch is a targeted exercise to relieve tension in the levator scapulae muscle, a common contributor to cervicogenic headaches. This muscle at the back and side of the neck can become tight due to stress, poor posture, or prolonged sitting, leading to neck pain and headaches.

Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises


  • Starting Position: Sit or stand comfortably with your back straight.
  • Method of Stretching: Rotate your head to form a 45-degree angle towards one of your shoulders. Next, subtly lower your head as though attempting to bring your chin closer to your armpit, focusing on the levator scapulae muscle.
  • Intensifying the Stretch: To enhance the stretch further, gently pull your head down using the hand on the same side as your head’s direction, increasing the stretch’s intensity.
  • Sustain and Redo: Keep this position for approximately 20 to 30 seconds, experiencing a mild stretch along your neck and shoulder. Then, softly return to the starting pose and perform the stretch on the other side.


Relieves Muscle Tension: This stretch effectively reduces tightness in the levator scapulae, alleviating associated neck pain and headaches.

Improves Neck Mobility: Regular stretching enhances the neck’s flexibility and range of motion.

Reduces Headache Frequency: By addressing muscle tightness, this exercise can help decrease the occurrence of cervicogenic headaches.


Performing this stretch 2-3 times daily, especially after long periods of sitting or computer work, is beneficial.


Stretch gently to avoid overstraining the muscle.

If any sharp pain or significant discomfort is felt, cease the exercise and consult a healthcare professional.

FAQs For Top 7 Cervicogenic Headache Exercises

While they can alleviate symptoms, consulting a healthcare professional for a comprehensive treatment plan is essential.

If done gently and correctly, these exercises are generally safe. However, consult a physician if you have any underlying health conditions.

Poor posture often exacerbates neck muscle tension or spinal issues.

They strengthen and stretch neck muscles, improving posture and reducing tension.

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Iqra Shah
Iqra Shah
Hello, I am Iqra Shah, a dedicated health and fitness blogger from Lahore with a master's in physical education. I have 4 years of experience in blogging. With a passion for holistic well-being, I share expert insights and practical tips to help readers achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier lives. My engaging content combines my love for research with a commitment to promoting a balanced lifestyle, making a trusted source for all thingsĀ health-related.


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