What are tension headaches?
We’ve all experienced a headache or two from time to time. They get in the way of your routine, and they can be brought on by all sorts of things. Tension headaches often occur when you’re experiencing muscle tension due to a combination of the following: stress, any trauma to your upper body, bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding) and jaw pain, poor posture, any form of muscle imbalances due to your spinal malalignment.
Generally, it starts at the back of the head and progresses to the top of the head and eyes. Sometimes, you may even feel pain on your face along your jaw and cheeks when experiencing this kind of headache.
These kinds of headaches affect people of all ages, although they’re the most common type of tension headaches in adults and older teens It’s also possible to experience them when feeling anxious or depressed. Many of us are most likely experiencing a range of these emotions this year due to COVID-19. These can be so debilitating to the point that your quality of life is negatively affected. Dealing with them can be isolating and leave you feeling exhausted, unable to concentrate on your work or your family.
We can give you some strategies and key information about tension headaches: and how to gain pain relief from them so they don’t interrupt your day!
How can you get relief from tension and headache?
There are many ways you can gain relief from tension headaches. Finding the source of your pain is the key!
Take a 10 minute break from your routine. Press your hands into the muscle of your face, neck, and upper back area. You will find points that feel good to massage those areas are your tender points, massaging over those areas may hurt, but it’ll feel good afterwards. You ‘ll feel a sense of relief and relaxation..
- Doing some deep diaphragmatic breathing will help with releasing the tension.
- Calming your mind with some happy thoughts
- Warm compress with your favorite scent will be soothing
- A tolerably hot shower will help open the nasal passage to breathe better and relax the tense muscles.
- Massage yourself (with or without use of any instrument) or by a masseuse
- Prevent eye strain by taking frequent breaks from your computer during the workday.
- Staying hydrated is one way to cut back on the number of headaches
- Use teeth protectors at night to sleep if you are grinding your teeth regularly during sleep.
- Sticking to a routine sleep schedule can help as well.
- Be aware of your sitting and standing posture at work and at home, correct it when you know you are in a compromised posture.
Taking over-the-counter medications for headaches is what many people turn to, which is fine if you rarely experience headaches. However, for those who unfortunately deal with chronic headache pain regularly, other conservative methods like physical therapy treatment may be necessary. Much safer than popping pain pills.
How can physical therapy help?
Physical therapy is a non invasive, natural and safe method of treatment for tension headaches. Our bodies don’t function properly if any part is out of alignment. A doctor of physical therapy will be able to diagnose accurately and treat the source of your tension headaches.
First, your physical therapy doctor will examine your condition and ask you questions about your past medical history, digging deeper into any trauma you had in the past, you moved on brushing off the pain back then, but now it might be a trigger point of your tension headache. S/he may palpate (gently press on your skin) your face, head, and neck to find tightness and tender points.
Your doctor may ask you questions about your daily activities, exercising habits, and working environment. This will be followed by diagnostic testing to thoroughly evaluate your posture in sitting and standing, range of motion, muscle strength, gait, balance, and endurance. The physical therapy doctor will typically perform manual therapy and stretches first, followed by targeted exercises designed to improve posture, provide pain relief.
It’s time to put your health first
Headaches can control your life but they don’t have to. Knowing how to prevent tension headaches from occurring can be the difference between enjoying life with your loved ones, and feeling pain, fatigue, and helplessness.
Physical therapy is a safe and effective method of headache management too. If you’re dealing with chronic headache pain, contact us at Jeevam therapy today for help. You’re in good hands here; we’ll find the source of your pain and treat it properly, once and for all.
Read About Sarvani’s Tension Headache Story:
After having spent years trying different doctors to address my tension headaches and pain due to scoliosis, I came across Dr.Eva and her team. Within a week she was able to lessen my pain and I saw tremendous changes to my muscle strength- which is something no prior doctor I visited was able to address. She has a very holistic approach and takes the time to help each person understand their body, gain strength and the knowledge to maintain sustained improvements. She is an excellent doctor who treats her patients like family- giving attentive care and careful explanations to everything. Not just Dr.Eva but her entire team has helped me feel extremely comfortable and encouraged! Definitely recommend it to anyone else struggling with scoliosis!Sarvani K.
Contact us at Jeevam Therapy for more information and to set up an appointment for a full evaluation of your headache.