What Are Tension Headaches, and What Are the Best Ways to Treat Them?

You know how annoying it can be if you’ve ever had a headache. The repeated throbbing in your head can make even accomplishing the most basic tasks feel like wading through a battlefield. If you have tension headaches or have ever struggled with them, you know how miserable it can make your life. Fortunately, there are plenty of solid solutions that won’t cost a fortune and can help you return to normal. Explore the world of tension headaches and how to prevent them from taking a toll on your everyday life.

What Are Tension Headaches?

One of the most common forms of headaches, tension headaches, can range from highly annoying on the lower end to extremely painful on the high end. This headache is caused by pain or discomfort in the head, neck, or scalp, usually resulting from muscle tightness in these areas.

When your neck and shoulder muscles tense up or contract, it’s often a reaction to depression, stress, anxiety, or some bodily injury. Tension-type headaches can also result from keeping your head in one steady position for an extended period like one would do during their daily work shifts. It can also result from sleeping in a cold room or with your neck in an abnormal position. Other things that might cause you to experience a tension headache include:

  • Physical or emotional stress
  • Too much caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
  • Sinus infections, the cold, or flu
  • Excessive smoking
  • Fatigue or eye strain
  • Alcohol use

How Do You Know That You Have Tension Headaches?

For many people, symptoms of tension headaches can be described as:

  • Tight bands around the head
  • A dull throbbing that feels like a build-up of pressure
  • Pain all around the head and not just in one set location
  • Pain that worsens in the scalp, temples, or back of the neck and can reach as far as the shoulders
  • Pain that worsens with stress, fatigue, or loud noises
  • Difficulty sleeping

Individuals are usually diagnosed based on a few criteria. As described, the pain is usually a pulsating feeling with high intensity. For most, tension headaches aren’t debilitating, but they can make it tougher to work or sleep comfortably. If further evaluation is needed, it’ll be completed with an MRI or CT scan to give your doctor a clearer picture.

What Are Some Ways to Treat Tension Headaches?

Now that you know a tension headache is the cause of your stress, what can you do about it? Doctors will recommend solutions, of course, but there are lifestyle and self-care remedies you can perform at home to help soothe your stress. Additionally, don’t discount the impact a good massage can have on your condition! Applying these methods is your best bet to find a surefire solution and prevent tension headaches from occurring once more. 

Home and Self-Care Remedies

Healthy lifestyle choices seem to be the best way to solve many life problems, right? Making healthier choices can mean incorporating things like regular exercise or eating nutritious meals regularly. 

It can also mean avoiding large caffeine amounts to avoid withdrawal or getting adequate amounts of sleep each day. Apply ice or a heating pad to sore muscles, and work on bettering your posture at work so you don’t strain your neck, shoulder, or back.

Support Methods

For those struggling with chronic tension headaches, consider talking to a professional therapist or counselor for more help in dealing with the mental and physical toll they can take. Join a support group of other people having trouble with tension headaches to keep you aware of the latest treatment methods and facilities.

Medicinal Methods

Have you tried alternative medical methods to help ease your symptoms? Acupuncture is a great way to relieve your symptoms, or you can take advantage of your job’s on-site massage therapist. Massages are also effective ways to ease stress in your entire body, relieve tender and tight muscles, and bring you the relaxation you never thought possible. Try other methods like deep breathing and biofeedback, which a qualified therapist can help you with!

Relax Your Mind and Body With SV Massage Therapy

A relaxing massage can take the sting out of any condition, and we have all you need at SV Massage Therapy. Enjoy a calming and soothing massage at an affordable rate with our team of massage therapists. Reach out to our team for a comprehensive back, neck, and shoulder massage and keep your tension headaches to a minimum. Schedule your appointment today!

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