Tension headaches can make daily life challenging. They usually last for 30 minutes to several hours, but can last for several days. They can become more and more frequent so they can feel like they are there almost constantly.
The good news is that many of the most common types of headaches can be reduced or even eliminated by changing just a few of your daily habits.
Stress and tension, unsurprisingly, are two of the biggest triggers for tension headaches.
Chronic headaches can cause your nervous system to become sensitised, meaning each day it takes less and less “stimulus” to kickstart a headache. Sensitisation can become a vicious cycle, especially if your days are filled with repetitive motions.
One of the best ways to reset your system and decrease sensitisation is through movement. Whether you prefer yoga, stretching, or massage, movement of your body and especially your spine can ease the tension associated with headaches. Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be used to help relieve pain too.
So what are the most common symptoms of tension headaches?
- Dull, aching pain in the head and neck.
- Pressure and tightness across the sides, front, and back of your head.
- Tenderness in your shoulders, head, and neck.
Movement and exercise are key to life and one of the most powerful ways you can break a cascade of daily headaches.
If you’re struggling to get moving because of the pain, let us know. We’re happy to work with you to develop a comprehensive plan to help you reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches starting today!
When should you seek urgent medical care for a headache?
You should seek immediate medical advice for headaches that:
- come on suddenly and are unlike anything you have had before
- are accompanied by a very stiff neck, fever, nausea, vomiting and confusion
- follow an accident, especially if it involved a blow to your head
- are accompanied by weakness, numbness, slurred speech or confusion
These symptoms suggest there could be a more serious problem, which may require further investigation and emergency treatment.
If you don’t have anything like that then get in touch. We can help with tension and cervicogenic headaches.
Tension Headaches. Mayo Clinic. 2019