Tension Headaches: When Overhead Movements Cause Migraines

You have two groups of muscles in your neck: large postural muscles and small motor muscles.

When the small motor muscles are under increased stress, they begin to assist the large postural muscles. And when this happens, you’ll begin to experience extremely painful headaches at the base of your skull and around your ears.

Remember, pain is nothing more than a signal to your body that something isn’t operating the way it should. If your small motor muscles are causing migraines after overhead movements (overhead squats and presses, snatches, and american kettlebell swings), you want to prime the body, specifically the upper-back and neck, before your workout.

Below is a 10-minute prehab routine that you can do the night before or morning of your overhead workout. I attached two videos below that show the exercises.

1. Chin Tucks
20 reps x 3-second hold

2. Cervical Rotation Stretch
3 reps/side x 20-second hold

3. Upper Trapezius Stretch
3 reps/side x 20-second hold

4. Scapular Pinches
2 sets of 20 reps

5. Wall Angels
20 reps

Exercises 1-4
Exercise 5

I hope this helps!


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