TENSION TYPE HEADACHES
- 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.
TIPS FOR MANAGING ACTIVE TENSION HEADACHES
- 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.
TIPS FOR MANAGING ONGOING/RECURRENT TENSION HEADACHES
- 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)