Do you suffer with headaches?

25 Jun Do you suffer with headaches?

Knowing Your Headache

There are many different types of headaches and the most common is the Tension Headache. In this Blog we will outline what a Tension Headache feels like, what could cause it, how to manage it and how to prevent one from occurring!

So, what is a Tension Headache you might ask?

Tension Headaches are often felt as an even pain or pressure that spreads and squeezes around the head, much like a headband. This particular type of headache can be intermittent and can last from anywhere up to 7 days to 6 months in chronic cases if left untreated.

What are the most common causes for a Tension Headache?

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Neck and shoulder muscular or joint tension
  • Postural imbalances, most commonly prolonged desk work!!!
  • Temporomandibular Joint (jaw) syndrome
  • Previous neck injuries

What are the treatment and management options for Tension Headaches?

Massage is an excellent treatment option and is highly effective with removing this unwanted discomfort. A physical examination would be required to identify what tissues are at fault through Range of Motion testing and palpation (touching the muscles or joints). Following the testing, specific treatment modalities would be used such as trigger point therapy and gentle stretching to relax and soothe soft tissue tension. For this type of condition, a minimum of 30 minutes or 1 hour treatment time would be recommended.

What are some effective home remedies to relieve my tension headache?

  • Self-massage to the neck area
  • Use of a heat pack to increase blood flow and reduce pain
  • Take regular breaks away from a seated position
  • Regular exercise
  • Stretching of the neck and shoulder regions

Top 3 Stretches for Tension Headaches

Stretching of the neck and shoulder regions are fantastic ways to relieve the symptoms of a tension headache.  All stretches should be held for at least 15-30 seconds and completed 2-3 times per stretching session.

  • Levator Scapulae Stretch – Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Reach behind and grab the object you are sitting on with your right hand. With the left hand reach around place it on the back of your head and gently pulling towards your left armpit. Repeat on the other side. You should feel the stretch through the back of the neck and down to the top of the shoulder. This should help to decrease any unwanted neck tension.
  • Upper Trapezius Stretch – Be seated and place left arm behind your back and with the right arm apply light pressure on the side of your head, with you head facing forward. Gently pulling it towards your right shoulder. Repeat on the other side. You will feel this stretch on the side of your neck and into the upper shoulder. This stretch is great for relieving stress around the base of the skull and the neck.
  • Pectoralis/Chest Stretch – Finally, extend your right arm out 90 degrees from your body, placing your arm or hand on a door frame and lean forward very gently. Repeat on the other side. You should feel a stretch through the chest area. This stretch is great because it will bring the shoulders back to a neutral position and will take pressure off the neck muscles.

If any of these stretches are giving you any pain or discomfort, please stop and come and get an assessment from one of our practitioners.

If you are experiencing a tension headache today, feel free to book a remedial massage appointment on the website or call our reception team on 88408066. We would be happy to assist you from a headache-free life.

Thank you and be well

Dean Baldwin