Headache Release Tool


Very versatile headache release tool that it not only treats the neck muscles just under the skull, but just flip it around and it can treat the entire cervical spine.

When used with the scalloped edge up, the occipital area under the skull is targeted. When used with the rounded double edge up, it treats the neck muscles along the spine, and can be used in the middle of the neck to help restore the normal curve of the neck.

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A Versatile Headache Release Tool Helps Relax Neck Muscles Associated With Headaches

One particular device I like to use is this Headache Release Tool. It is an instrument or tool designed to treat the muscles often involved in headaches from neck pain.

It is a very versatile tool in that it not only treats the neck muscles just under the skull, but just flip it around and it can treat the entire cervical spine. When used with the scalloped edge up, the occipital area under the skull is targeted. When used with the rounded double edge up, it treats the neck muscles along the spine, and can be used in the middle of the neck to help restore the normal curve of the neck.

headache release tool

That’s not all! It can also be used to treat the upper and lower back. Flip it to the flat double edge and you can treat other areas like the gluteal muscles and piriformis muscle spasm. The headache release tool can even treat the feet!

It is very compact so it takes up very little space and is easy to travel with or for use at work or vacationing. I like to apply heat therapy before a 10-15 minute relaxing treatment lying with the neck on this device. By slowly rotating the head and/or performing the cervicocranial neck stretching while lying on this, a concentrated massage is delivered to the areas involved, and when used in conjunction with the other methods described at Neck Solutions, can be an effective way to relieve neck related headaches.

Techniques Using The Headache Release Tool

Begin using the headache release tool for 5-7 minutes. You should feel the muscles at the base of the skull begin to relax and pressure should be reduced. This is somewhat uncomfortable due to the nature of the area being treated and, as with trigger points in muscles, requires some firm pressure, however, it should not be too painful. After you become used to it, you can do longer sessions and begin using some motions like the nodding action described in the neck exercises section.


You should experiment with different positions using the headache release tool, but always relax and let gravity do the work. Eventually, you can rotate the head slowly from side to side and do the exercise as you bring your chin towards the contact points to work the area more deeply. Use the scalloped edge or the double rounded edge. If the scalloped edge is too much to start, use the rounded edge. The rounded edge can be slid down to the upper part of the cervical spine. The area of the axis vertebra, which is the second spinal bone of the neck, can be felt at the level of the bottom of the ears and has a large bony part in the back of the neck. You can feel this with your fingers as you rotate or turn your head from side to side. Place this area between the 2 rounded parts and rotate the head slowly from side to side and you can get a nice mobilization of the joint.

Place the headache release tool just a bit further down and let your head relax on the floor – carpeted or a towel, and you can let the headache neck pain release tool help to restore the curve of the neck by letting gravity do the work and just relaxing for 10 minutes. Moving your head around in this position treats the middle muscles of the neck very nicely.

Upper Back

The use for this tool is endless. For pain between the shoulders, careful place the tool using the rounded edges between the shoulders and slowly lay back. Careful, because this can be painful, you must go slowly. Some people can’t take this, but in others, it gets to the area of pain. If you can relax on it, you may even feel a pop or the joints releasing.

Lower Back

You can use the headache release tool to treat the lower back by relaxing on it just as the other areas. Have your knees bent. When you get used to it, you can slowly bring one leg up by pulling it up towards the chest from behind the knee. You can also rotate the lower back slightly from side to side. Using the flatter edges, you can treat the gluteal or buttocks muscles.

This is the Davinci soft tool. There is a firm model as well, but the main purpose of this, for our purposes, is for the neck. It should work as well for other areas on all but the largest of individuals. So, we use it mainly to treat the neck muscles and it is quite firm enough for this in the soft version and I suggest the soft (red) one to start.

treat neck muscles

Headache Release Tool Based On Clinical Technique

neck releaseIn managing headaches from neck pain symptoms, the release is a tool using a mild distractive force, reproducing a manual therapy technique where the tips of the fingers using the left and right hands placed palm side up under the muscles, and the combined weight of the head along with pressure from the fingertips produce a constant force which inhibit the muscles just under the base of the skull.

This technique provides a pressure to the muscles and a distracting force along the upper part of the neck and the related structures. It is a time tested method originally seen with Osteopathic cranial therapy and subsequently employed by manual therapists in other areas of professional therapy. This is often referred to as trigger point pressure therapy and suboccipital or cranial base release. The therapeutic results are thought to be due to therapeutic effects involving nerves, blood vessels as well as the mechanical aspect relating to joint and muscle function. This treatment can be reproduced at home with the headache release tool.

Trigger points in the neck muscles located just below the occipital region (base of the skull) can result in lack of proper function of these important muscles resulting in a decrease of the normal motion associated with this region. Trigger points are specific areas located in muscles defined by excessive irritation and can be a source of chronic pain as well as cause this pain to radiate into other locations and potentially cause neck related headaches. In addition to the pain aspects, there can be altered motion causing joint dysfunction, weakness of the involved muscles, including stiff muscles causing a restriction in the normal range in mobility.

These tender and sensitive areas called trigger points, when located within the neck as well as head frequently relate to headache & neck pain and also play a role in tension headaches. The areas of radiating or referred pain are noted in those who suffer with cervicogenic (neck related) headache, migraine headaches and occipital neuralgia. Research indicates a significant quantity of trigger points in the muscles related to neck related headaches, tension & migraine headaches, than in comparison to those without symptoms. The altered function associated with these headache & neck pain producing trigger points can result in spasm and shortening of soft tissues, resulting in a detrimental forward head posture along with loss of normal mobility when actively moving the neck.

occipital releaseThe manual form of this technique uses the tips of the fingers underneath the muscles and tendons, duplicated with the scalloped edge of the headache release tool, producing a pressure that is maintained to compress and distract these pain producing tissues. The force of pressure needed to produce a therapeutic change is directed along the fibers of the muscles and tendons. The needed quantity of pressure application is applied in a slightly lower amount that further excites the muscles, while pressure is sustained, relaxation of neck muscles occurs, it is most beneficial whenever pressure is applied slowly with progressively deeper reaching levels and this is achieved with the release by continuous relaxation.

Performing this technique, a trend has emerged for greater improvement in chronic neck pain patients with headaches including lower pain levels. Related therapeutic benefits of release include restoration of the normal tension of neck muscles, removing the reactive nature of trigger points, causing them to change from an active, painful condition, to a resting or latent as well as delicate mobilizing of the joints.

Author Bio

Stephen Ornstein, D.C. has treated thousands of neck, shoulder and back conditions since graduating Sherman Chiropractic College in 1987 and during his involvement in Martial Arts. He holds certifications as a Peer Review Consultant from New York Chiropractic College, Physiological Therapeutics from National Chiropractic College, Modic Antibiotic Spinal Therapy from Dr. Hanne Albert, PT., MPH., Ph.D., Myofascial Release Techniques from Logan Chiropractic College, and learned Active Release Technique from the founder, P. Michael Leahy, DC, ART, CCSP.