• Tension type headaches are one form of headaches. They are one of the most common forms of headaches.
  • Tension headaches usually arrive during times of stress (physical, social, mental or other)
  • Commonly they are located at the front of the head with a ‘band like’ sensation. They can also be located at the base of the skull or a combination of both.
  • The origins of these headaches usually are from muscles or joints of the neck, shoulder, upper back or TMJ (jaw).
  • Poor posture is a common driver for these headaches and they can often be managed well if postural stressors are improved.
  • Trigger points is the term used to describe muscular ‘triggers’ that refer tension to the areas of the headache. Below are some common trigger points.


  • Drink plenty of water during your day. Double what you are currently drinking.
  • Use a heat pack through your day to relax the muscles of the neck and shoulder.
  • Keep moving- shrugging your shoulders, rotating your neck and doing the exercises prescribed will help manage your symptoms when you have these headaches.
  • Make sure you sleep on a supportive pillow either on your back (ideal) or on your side. No stomach sleeping.


  • Fix your posture. These headaches are often caused by poor posture. If tension headaches are something that has been an ongoing problem, it is time to start on a postural specific exercise program. Maintenance treatments are advised for people who have ongoing tension headaches as this will maintain/prevent these symptoms well.
  • If stress is a trigger for these headaches it is important to find a way to best manage this stress. Regular exercise, meditation, breathing exercises can be a good start. Seeking further counselling may be needed if your stressors need further attention (we can help refer you to the correct person)
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Daniel Rothenberg

Daniel Rothenberg is a Sports Chiropractor with a Masters of Chiropractic and Masters of Exercise Science majoring in Strength & Conditioning. He works closely with a range of athletes in Brisbane and Ipswich.