51 Locations in 16 New Jersey Counties
Select your preferred location

There are many different types of headaches. One of the more common headaches is the suboccipital headache.

At the base of the skull there is a group of muscles, the suboccipital muscles, which can cause headache pain for many people. These four pairs of muscles are responsible for subtle movements between the skull and first and second vertebrae in the neck.

When the suboccipital muscles go into spasms they can entrap the nerves that travel through the suboccipital region. By compressing the suboccipital nerves they set off a series of events that lead to either a tension or a migraine like headaches.

The suboccipital muscles commonly become tense and tender due to factors such as

  • Eye strain, wearing new eyeglasses.
  • Sitting at a computer with our head forward and our head slightly tipped these muscles are doing a significant amount of work. This poor posture eventually causes the muscles to become tired, fatigue, and injured.
  • Grinding the teeth, slouching posture, and trauma (such as a whiplash injury).

Common signs and symptoms of a headache stemming from the suboccipitals include

  • Pain, stiffness, and a dull ache in the upper neck and base of the skull
  • Pain on the back of the head, and pain in the forehead and behind the eyes.
  • Sometimes there may be visual disturbances or nausea, but those tend to be more common in migraine type headaches.

People often feel relief when icing, stretching, or rubbing the suboccipital muscles. In the early stages rubbing the suboccipital region can reduce or eliminate a headache.

When the headaches progress often palpating the suboccipital muscles intensifies the headache. Some people feel a tension band or headache that moves towards the eye. When pushing on the suboccipital muscles, it may increase the intensity of eye pain.

Suboccipital headaches are improved with over-the-counter NSAIDs, ice, stretching, therapy, electric, ultrasound, and cold laser treatments. Goals of treatment are to decrease muscle spasms of the suboccipital muscles and trapezius. The poor posture of slouching forward and tipping the head up causes additional injury and spasms to the trapezius and upper back muscles. Treatment always looks at improving these muscles as well.

Treatment will focus on improving posture when standing and sitting, to relieve stress and strain on the muscles. In addition massage therapy is excellent at decreasing muscle spasms, pain, tenderness, and tension in these muscles. Stretching will be utilized to enhance flexibility. Strengthening exercises will be utilized for the weak muscles of the neck and shoulder complex.

Graston Technique is a very effective tool at decreasing the scar tissue and spasms associated with poor posture, headaches, and suboccipital spasms. Often people with suboccipital headaches have had poor posture for many years, and grass and helps decrease the fascial adhesions and scar tissue from years of poor posture.

Schedule an
Appointment!

After submitting the form, a Twin Boro specialist will contact you within 24-48 hours to discuss your symptoms and schedule your evaluation appointment.

Get back to doing what you love.

We are dedicated physical therapists that genuinely care. We strive to restore you to your former self, no matter the injury.

SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT

Real People, Real Testimonials.

"Eric was an excellent physical therapist. I made tremendous improvement during my time there. Rachel & Brittany were always smiling and creating a positive environment. Highly recommend using twinboro EHT!!!"

Ella G.

"After a wrist/hand surgery, I completed 6 months of physical therapy at the TWIN BOROS - DAYTON NJ location with therapist James Battaglia. In the beginning I was in a great deal of pain with very limited range of motion. I was cringing from pain and using safe words lol. From day one, James gave me excellent care! He was very patient and listened to my cues. He crafted a full complement of exercises for me both in the office and also an at-home exercise program. Christa (sp) another therapist - also filled in for James during vacations and worked on my wrist. She too was excellent! The assistants and office staff are all super friendly and address every patient by their first name. You are not just a “patient” here. The staff all genuinely care about you. By the time I “graduated” 6 months later my wrist was doing so much better. I was actually sad to leave. This is a great facility- clean, modern and professional. You won’t be disappointed with this facility at all!"

Starr D.

“The staff is very professional and their concern for their patients is outstanding. It has been a very positive experience. My condition has been improving steadily.”

Henry

"I feel that the physical therapy at the Union office is above and beyond the best that I have ever received. They helped me so much and I hope to return as a visitor and utilize their equipment when I am fully recovered from surgery. Thank you Nicole, Elaine and the entire staff for always going the extra mile to make sure I received treatment. Never had a problem with billing either. I have been to a few PT facilities and highly recommend Twin Boro!"

Linda R.

View all Testimonials

We have 51 convenient locations

We love being close to our patients. Find out which of our premier facilities is nearest you!

VIew a list of all locations