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Hello Everyone,

Among the many things I am working on these days to try to reduce the use of abortive and rescue medications is trying to increase my levels of gentle exercise. In addition to things like walking and yoga, I want to try to focus on strengthening the muscles in my back, neck, and shoulders, since oftentimes when I have a headache pain will 'travel' there and make me far more uncomfortable.

Do any of you do yoga and pilates, or other simple exercises to target these areas for the same reasons? Are there particular positions or simple motions that work for you? Many of the 'yoga for headaches' books and sites I've seen seem to focus on relaxing these areas, which is nice, but I'd like to give them some strength too, so that they are not worn out as easily. My neurologist and GP both agreed with the concept, but neither seemed to have particular movement recommendations, and I wondered if anyone here was working on something similar. I'd consider PT again...but with botox shots and acupuncture and a job and a husband and a child...there's only so many hours in the day!

Thanks as always!

  1. Hi Rachel,

    There is a 30 day "yoga challenge" on youtube I recommend -

    Beginner to novice introduction level yoga. Each video emphasizes and targets a different body area. There are stretches you will learn that you can use in isolation for upper back and neck, but best to approach with goal of total body conditioning. Results will be superior in the end.

    30 videos averaging 15 minutes, easy to medium in difficulty. I've done a few in a row when looking for a workout. Instructor is very genial, absolutely no pretension. She does a very good job of reintegrating earlier lessons.

    Only complaint is lack of focus on yoga for relaxation, i.e. meditation. If you don't meditate that is something to look into after completing the "yoga challenge". I wouldn't try to do everything at once.

    If you have a smart tv device - apple tv, roku, xbox, etc - where you can watch youtube on a TV use that. Far better to follow the instructor on a larger screen than smaller computer screen.


    1. Hi Rachel,

      I do yoga for exactly this reason. I did find though that I needed PT as well for my neck. I understand about hours in the day, but it may work to get you more quickly to the strength and flexibility you need to be with your neck. A good physical therapist can really assess what type of exercises you need.

      That being said, I love Nathaniel's advice! To add to it, if you go to a yoga class rather than do it at home, I would suggest that you talk to your instructor about your goals and see if they can incorporate some good poses for you in class.

      Good luck! And namaste!


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