Q: Whos More Likely To Get Tension Headaches
A: Men and women, young and old, are all equally at risk. The most significant cause is feeling stressed or overwhelmed so a person who has a high-stress job or works long hours may be more susceptible. And people who are prone to depression, anxiety or sleep disorders are also more likely to experience tension headaches.
What Can I Do To Relieve My Headache
The good news is that gentle stretching exercises can help alleviate the aches associated with tight muscles around the neck and upper back.
These really simple stretches can be done first thing in the morning, as well as during breaks at work to help minimise tightness and decrease the potential of tension related headaches.
They can be performed without any fancy equipment and only takes a few minutes whilst sitting at your desk.
What Type Of Headache Is It
There are many different types of headache, and one natural remedy may be more suitable than another to ease a specific kind. Some common headache types include:
- Tension headaches. The most common headache, these often occur after a person has become overstressed and their muscles have tensed. Pain appears in the middle and top of the head, which may feel as if it has a tight rubber band around it.
- Sinus headaches. This type involves pain behind the eyes and nose and a general congested feeling in the head. A similar headache occurs when a person has a hangover.
- Cluster headaches. These headaches may appear throughout the day, causing a stabbing, sharp pain that occurs in one spot of the head.
- Migraines. Migraines usually cause a throbbing pain behind the eyes that grows and pulses throughout the head. The person may also become very sensitive to light, activity, or movement.
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Simple Stretches To Relieve Headaches
Are you one of those people that regularly suffer from headaches associated with day to day living, or poor postures? ;Are you looking for relief of your headaches that doesnt rely on taking medication?
Then read on you will be pleasantly surprised to hear that there are lots of simple things you can do to help reduce or relieve your headaches naturally.
Ways To Relieve Headaches Naturally
Treating headaches depends on type, frequency, and duration. Work with a healthcare professional to find triggers and incorporate appropriate remedies to address your specific concerns. There are also ways to prevent migraines and other headaches and if they do occur, these natural remedies can reduce their duration and pain levels. Here are nine natural headache relief strategies.
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Pay Attention To How Food Makes You Feel
Outside of blatant inflammatory foods, Dr. Cotter points out that food sensitivities are very individual. Some food items, such as gluten or lactose, may cause inflammation in you, but not in other people.
“The best way to identify what works for you is to pay attention to your body,” she suggests. “Notice what gives you energy and what makes you feel poorly,” meaning tired, bloated or achy.
And while you might be tempted to try at-home food sensitivity tests that promise to help you identify foods that are causing inflammation in your body, Dr. Alejandro Junger, MD, an LA-based cardiologist, founder and medical director of the Clean Program, and author of Clean and Clean 7, cautions against them. “They are overused and misinterpreted, and they only serve those who happen to use them correctly,” he says.
Instead, he recommends trying a specific food elimination diet by cutting out potential inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy and caffeine for a minimum of two weeks, then reintroducing foods one by one to see how your body reacts.
Here’s everything you need to know to try an elimination diet.
Q: How Do I Know If My Headache Is A Sign Of Something More Serious
A: The most common fear I hear is that headaches are a sign of a brain tumor or other problem. You dont have to worry unless your headache comes with numbness or tingling, facial droop, or vision or cognitive changes. But if youre over age 50 and only just starting to experience headaches, talk to your doctor.
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Acupressure May Help Relieve Tense Muscles
Acupressure is used in traditional Chinese medicine and can improve tightness and tension in the neck and shoulder muscles, which can sometimes trigger or worsen a migraine attack or headache.
According to UCLA Integrative Medicine, acupressure sends a signal to the body to turn on self-healing or regulatory mechanisms. Its performed by applying firm pressure to stimulate each pressure point. You can do acupressure to yourself or have someone else do it.
A few common pressure points for treating headache include:
- Gallbladder 20 , also called feng chi, is located by feeling the mastoid bone and following the groove back to where your neck muscles connect to the skull.
- Triple Energizer 3, or zhong zhu, is found in the groove formed by the tendons of the fourth and fifth fingers, behind the knuckles
How Can Physical Therapy Help Relieve My Headaches
The treatment of your stress-related headaches will depend in part on the diagnosis. For example, one course of treatment that would work for correcting your posture and strengthening the neck muscles might not be appropriate if your headaches are the result of a past injury. In general, you can expect stretching and strength training to be part of your treatment.
Other options that your physical therapist might employ can include:
- McKenzie therapies
- Hot and cold compressions
- Soft tissue mobilization
Aside from your physical therapy sessions at the clinic, your therapist will also recommend exercises, stretches and lifestyle changes that you can make at home, which will all contribute to eliminating your headaches.
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Scalp Massage May Help Relieve Migraine Pain
Do-it-yourself scalp massages may be an effective way to alleviate migraine pain.
For some people with migraine, scalp massage will offer relief from pain by helping reduce tension and promoting more robust circulation, says Dr. Rothenberg. “For others, the idea of being touched anywhere, especially the head, won’t be appealing and could make the pain worse. Like many aspects of natural, individualized medicine, nothing will work for everyone!”
Scalp massage is unlikely to be comfortable for people with allodynia, a fairly common symptom of migraine in which people are very sensitive to touch and other stimuli that isnt typically painful. Allodynia can make even normal activities such as brushing hair or resting your head on a pillow very painful.
How To Seek Stress Headache Relief
The action plan to seek relief from stress headache consists of
- Lowering stress levels
- Eating healthy food at regular intervals
- Quit smoking
Is this difficult to achieve?
You may need to make efforts to change your lifestyle, but it will all be for your good. Most importantly, take care of your stress levels and body posture.
Remember one thing when you try to lower your stress levels that if you cant change the stressful situation; change your reaction towards it.
This will help you maintain your composure. You also need to achieve mind-control so that you dont raise your stress and anxiety level, and eventually not have stress headache.
A good posture puts minimal strain on your ligaments, muscles, tendons, and bones. So, they dont get tensed up.
However, poor posture puts continual strain on your shoulders, neck, and upper back. This causes the muscle fibers to tear.
As a result you feel tightness in those areas and the flow of blood to the back of your head is restricted, besides causing some nerve ending irritation too.
Dont worry; you do have an army of stress headache relief techniques that can really help you normalize the muscles, nerves, and achieve mental balance.
Heres a short video that shows some exercises that you can do on your own to seek relief from stress headache, whenever you take a break from your work.
Dr. Kevin McDougal ~ Get Rid of Computer Neck Headaches and Shoulder Pain ~ You Tube Video
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What Could Be Causing Your Stress
One of the main causes of stress-related headaches is in the name of stress. Headaches generally occur when muscles in the neck or scalp become tense and contract. Depression and anxiety are similar conditions that foster stress and can also lead to headaches.
There may also be a physical cause behind your stress-related headaches. An accident or injury to the neck or back can lead to headaches, as can poor posture and arthritis.
Some common causes of stress-related tension headaches include, but are not limited to:
Magnesium May Reduce Migraine Frequency And Intensity
In a meta-analysis published in 2016 in Pain Physician, oral magnesium was shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks. There was also evidence that intravenous magnesium could help reduce the severity of an acute migraine attack within 15 to 45 minutes.
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Use Meds In Moderation
Pharmacy shelves are stocked with pain relievers for all kinds of headaches. To get the most benefit with the least risk, follow the directions on the label and these guidelines:
- Choose liquid over pills. Your body absorbs it faster.
- Avoid ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if you have heart failure or kidney failure.
- Do not give aspirin to a child under age 18.
- Take painkillers as soon as you start to hurt. Youâll probably beat it with a smaller dose than if you wait.
- If you get sick to your stomach when you get a headache, ask your doctor what might help.
- Ask your doctor what to take to avoid a rebound headache, which is pain that sets in after a few days of pain relievers.
And be sure to talk to your doctor about what headache symptoms you should not treat at home.
Are There Other Things I Can Be Doing To Prevent Headaches
Tight muscles are generally the result of a number of different causes. ;These can include:
- Poor Ergonomics
- Reduced Flexibility
- Repetitive Actions
- Increased Stress and Anxiety
If the above stretches do not start to relieve your symptoms quickly, we would advise you to make an appointment with one of our excellent physiotherapists.
They will be able to make a thorough assessment of your neck and surrounding muscles, as well as reviewing your work postures and ergonomics to see if they are contributing to your pain.
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Q: Can Tension Headaches Be Prevented
A: Yes! Because of their strong link to stress, take thesesteps to prevent or minimize the severity of tension headaches:
- Drink water: Dehydration can increase headache severity, so drink eight glasses of water each day.
- Exercise: Physical activity produces brain chemicals that are natural painkillers. Exercise also leads to improved sleep.
- Gentle stretches: Yoga and tai chi both blend relaxation, breathing and stretching to reduce stress levels.
- Good sleep hygiene: Improve your sleep by minimizing daytime naps, avoiding caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime, getting exercise and avoiding electronic devices before bed.
- Massage: Whether you prefer a light touch or deep-tissue work, massage helps relieve built-up muscle tension in the shoulders, neck and scalp.
- Mindfulness: Using your breath as a guide to keep your thoughts in the present can help reduce overall stress and pain.
Soothe Pain With A Cold Compress
Using a cold compress may help reduce your headache symptoms.
Applying cold or frozen compresses to the neck or head area decreases inflammation, slows nerve conduction and constricts blood vessels, all of which help reduce headache pain .
In one study in 28 women, applying a cold gel pack to the head significantly reduced migraine pain .
To make a cold compress, fill a waterproof bag with ice and wrap it in a soft towel. Apply the compress to the back of the neck, head or temples for headache relief.
Coenzyme Q10 is a substance produced naturally by the body that helps turn food into energy and functions as a powerful antioxidant .
Studies have shown that taking CoQ10 supplements may be an effective and natural way to treat headaches.
For example, one study in 80 people demonstrated that taking 100 mg of CoQ10 supplements per day reduced migraine frequency, severity and length .
Another study including 42 people who experienced frequent migraines found that three 100-mg doses of CoQ10 throughout the day helped decrease migraine frequency and migraine-related symptoms like nausea (
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Practice Good Sleep Habits
According to Mark R. LaFlamme, MD, poor sleeping habits can trigger or exacerbate migraines. In one study, rats deprived of deep sleep showed changes in expression of key proteins that suppress and trigger chronic pain. Conversely, people with frequent headaches have trouble sleeping, creating a vicious cycle. Work with a chiropractor or other healthcare professional to find out what might impede your sleep levels so you can get eight hours of quality, consistent sleep.
Searching For Long Term Headache Relief
In the long-term, your best bet is to get evaluated by a professional to determine the type of headache and proper treatment plan to resolve true cause of the headache.Correcting the true underlying cause can often greatly reduce the pain of headaches and even eliminate them altogether. If you are suffering from frequent headaches, Restoration Spine and Wellness can help!;Please call our office at to learn more about our Headache relief program.
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Q: Are There Different Types Of Tension Headaches
A: We categorize tension headaches as episodic or chronic.Episodic tension headaches are milder, less frequent and relativelyshort-lived.
If someone reaches a threshold of 15 headache days a month, orrealizes their headaches are affecting their life quality, we would label thoseas chronic tension headaches.
How To Treat A Tension Headache With Massage
Tension headache massage therapy is quite helpful in alleviating the pain and relaxing the tight muscles and help you on how to get rid of tension headaches.
How to do?
- Gently place both your thumbs on each cheek near the ears
- With fingers touching the temples, gently massage the temples of your head and forehead in circular movements
- You can use any of the essential oil blends that are listed above to do the massage for better results
- Repeat the same twice or thrice a day
- You can also seek the help of someone in the family, a friend or a massage therapist to do the same
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Different Types Of Headaches
Tension headache is one of the headaches that can cause a constant ache. Its felt at the back of the head, neck and at your temples. This type doesnt cause any nausea or vomiting. It can be treated with simple home remedies.
Another type of headache is a cluster headache. Its a recurring type that can cause a severe pain on one side of your head. Theres no cure for cluster headaches but natural treatment options can cut its duration and severity.
Sinus headache has symptoms similar to a migraine. Patients with this type often treat their condition with medicines that are intended for migraine headache. Theyll be relieved but not for a long time. The pain will come back.
Rebound headache happens when you overuse your medicines. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other drugs can lead to a rebound headache. This is one of the reasons its best to embrace the natural ways of getting rid of the headache instead of prescription drugs or over-the-counter meds.
Migraine is a type of headache that affects 9 percent of the people in the India. Patients with this condition often take prescription medicines but they dont work all the time. For that reason, many of the sufferers shifted to natural treatments by avoiding some foods to get rid of their migraine.
Foods to Avoid. Certain foods are believed to be responsible for up to 30 percent of all migraines.
- Pickled Foods
Frequent Migraine Sufferers Are Often On A Regimen Of Both Preventive And Acute Medications
Acute medications for mild headaches include over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen , naproxen , and acetaminophen . For more severe headaches and migraines, a prescription drug from the triptan family is usually needed to help relieve co-symptoms like light sensitivity and nausea.
Whether youre suffering from a mild headache and looking for relief sans medication, or are wrestling with a particularly potent migraine and want to give your prescription a boost, there are plenty of DIY remedies to try.
Ahead, a handful of tactics to help relieve the pain and discomfort of a headache.
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When To See A Doctor
While home remedies and over-the-counter medications can help with headaches, Devine recommends working with your doctor to determine and treat the underlying cause of recurring headaches.;
Migraine and tension headaches, for instance, are often caused by a lack of adequate sleep, stress, poor circulation, eye-strain, allergies, and poor dietary habits.;
If you experience frequent headaches severe enough to disrupt your life, then you should visit a primary care doctor or neurologist who can diagnose and treat conditions that may be contributing to your headaches.;
Know Your Facts About B3
Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is a water-soluble B vitamin that may trigger vascular headaches, thanks to something called a flush. Niacin dilates the bodys blood vessel, right down to the small capillaries, which increases blood flow. While it can be helpful in some cases, it may cause a headache triggered by the pounding blood flow and possible nerve pressure caused by it. Its best to talk to a healthcare practitioner about B3 to know how you should properly take, or if it will be helpful.