Tension headaches are the most common, affecting adults and some children and teens who experience pain along both sides of the head. The headaches last for several minutes to several hours, although some adults experience chronic tension headaches, which last 15 days or more per month.
The intensity and causes of headaches vary among individuals. Some headaches are mild, while others are more severe and excruciating. These often start in the neck and spread to the head, bringing excruciating pain. When they reach the nape of the neck, they feel like someone is tightening a band around the skull.
The pain can be so intense that people feel like they are being choked. They often experience associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Anyone who is experiencing frequent or severe headaches should consult a doctor. Alternatively, visit a migraine specialist or a chiropractor to assess your condition since it can be triggered by muscle fatigue.
Tension Headache Causes
The exact cause of muscle tension is not known. However, specific triggers appear to cause muscle tension, such as stress and anxiety, poor posture, a lack of physical activity, and trauma, such as whiplash from an accident or a long period in front of a computer screen. These things cause the muscles to become tense and sore. Thus, the muscles responsible for movement between the skull and the vertebrae at the top of the spine are called the suboccipital muscles.
The above explanation shows that tension headaches are not the root cause. They are merely symptoms of muscular strain and fatigue. Therefore, we must address these by going to the root of the problem.
Tension Headache Solutions
Our licensed chiropractor shares simple pain relief techniques that may alleviate the pain for the time being. All it takes are a few home items such as:
- Heat and ice packs: Apply a heat pack on the base of your head for 15 minutes at a time or take a hot shower, then allow the warm jets of water to focus on the bottom of your neck.
Or, you can apply an ice pack or heat pad to the base of your head for five to ten minutes. Be sure to wrap either in a clean, dry towel, so you don’t cause self-inflicted burns or blisters.
- Tennis or golf balls: You can also take two tennis balls, stuff them into an old sock, tie off the bottom, and lie down on the floor. Put the tennis balls under the base of your skull. Relax and let your head rest on the tennis balls. Then, slowly and gently roll your head backward and forwards and from side to side. This will loosen the muscles in your neck.
Tennis balls are ideal if your pain tolerance is low since they compress when weight is put on them. However, if your pain tolerance is high and you desire immediate muscle relief, you can also use golf balls, which are hardier. Place them in socks as well to prevent them from slipping.
Talk to a Chiropractor about Your Tension Headache
These handy tips should help decrease the frequency of your tension headaches. If these provided only short-term relief, the problem might be skeletal than muscular. Book an appointment with a chiropractor today to discover the best treatment plan for you.
Contact Voyage Family Chiropractic and set your appointment with one of our licensed chiropractors to treat your tension headache ASAP! We are ready to help our family of patients live healthier, happy lives by correcting their alignments. Book with us now and discover a new level of wellness!