Tension headaches are one of the most frequent kinds of headaches. They can be very common because stressful situations often trigger them. However, just because they frequently happen (every day for some people) does not mean we should accept them as part of our lives. We can’t allow these tension headaches to make us suffer when we can certainly do something to stop them. Let us learn more about this type of headache, so we can better become ready for them.
The reason why tension headaches occur every day differs for every person. There are a few factors that may contribute to why they hit you, such as:
- Skipping meals
- Impaired sleep
- Stress (from various sources like emotional, mental, physical, and environmental stimulus)
Also, various conditions may cause tension headaches, such as:
- Vision problems
- Poor posture which leads to muscle strain
Tension Headaches vs. Migraines
Tension headaches are not similar to migraines. Migraines can be triggered by specific types of food or hard physical work. These do not trigger tension headaches. However, there are times when a person may experience both migraines and a tension headache simultaneously. In fact, for some people, a tension headache can be a reason that causes a migraine attack. Also, migraines are usually due to sensitivity to light and sound, one-sided head pain, nausea, and vomiting. Further, some patients experience migraine attacks that can be so severe that they would seek medical care due to the excruciating pain on one side of their heads. Migraines can cause moderate to severe head pain.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tension Headaches?
Frequently, tension headaches can happen quickly and infrequently. They commonly end within several minutes to a few hours. However, there are rare cases when tension headaches can last for a few days at a time. If you experience tension headaches that occur every day for more than 15 days in any given month, they are known as chronic tension headaches.
The pain caused by tension headaches can be:
- Constant and pressure-like
- Similar to muscle tension in the neck or shoulder area
- Coming and going in intensity
- Impacting the entire head but frequently starts at the back of the head or above the eyebrows
- Feeling like a band or cap-like feeling that wraps around the skull.
- Coming on slowly and even at its worst is not incapacitating
- Not intense enough to stop you from doing your daily routines and activities
- Very rarely causing any sensitivity to loud sound or bright lights
Taking Care Of People With Tension Headaches
One way to alleviate tension headaches is to make sure you are minimizing stress in your life. The good thing is that it is possible to do! Here are a few stress-reducing techniques available today:
The following methods can help control stress and also increase your mental and physical well-being.
It is sometimes called guided imagery, and it uses calming and pleasant images to help your body and mind relax. It can be straightforward to learn, and anybody can do it without any worries.
It is one technique of learning to control your stress responses and adjusting the body’s reactions by keeping track of information that is not regularly available. The doctor will monitor your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. Learning how to control your reactions can be very valuable in managing your levels of stress.
- Progressive muscle relaxation
It would involve relaxing and tightening your muscles in progression without any special skills or conditioning. Anybody can learn how to do this. You can start doing this for about 10 to 20 minutes a day. Practice and patience will be a requirement for this to succeed.
It is a standard solution to various health issues. Exercise can be an essential element that can effectively deal with your daily stressors. Aside from improving your physical well-being, it can help manage your daily dose of stress. Also, exercise is excellent in helping you sleep better. Finally, it can help prepare yourself to face stressful situations and physical challenges easily because you are more physically capable and confident. The best thing about exercise is that it improves oxygen and blood circulation to the entire body, especially to the brain. Therefore, improved circulation means fewer headaches and migraines.
Tension Headaches in a Nutshell
People often mention the word headache as something that usually happens. We are so used to this term that we often tell jokes about how we give each other a headache. However, as soon as an individual experiences a headache, it is no longer a laughing matter. Things become more serious. Therefore, when people talk about headaches, they usually refer to tension headaches.
Tension headache is also known as a stress headache. Almost 50 percent of adults experience some form of headache in the previous year. Thus, when people feel headaches that are often described as mild and very quick to end, it is probably tension headaches.
Unfortunately, women have twice more tension headaches compared to men. Teens and young children can experience tension headaches too. A considerable percentage of them are prone to experience tension headaches by the age of 15.
Finding Natural Relief for Tension Headaches
There is one area that is successful in caring for people with migraines and headaches. This form of effective, natural, and non-invasive care is known as upper cervical chiropractic.
Researchers found that a misaligned bone in the upper cervical area can be the underlying cause of most headaches and migraines through various case studies. Chronic headaches and chronic migraines are often due to a misalignment in the upper neck’s atlas or axis vertebra. How can this happen? Most misalignments are caused by:
- Car accidents
- Sporting accidents
- Any head or neck trauma and injuries
If a misalignment occurs, the atlas and axis bones block the adequate flow of oxygen-rich blood and cerebrospinal fluid to the brain. Also, the brainstem suffers from pressure and stress. As a result, it would malfunction and start sending wrong signals to the brain. Either of these conditions can cause migraines or tension headaches.
Upper cervical chiropractors apply a very gentle and precise means that will correct these misalignments. Once fixed, the vertebra will move back to its proper position. Thus, the body’s natural healing ability would kick in. Finally, once the neck problem is appropriately corrected, numerous patients can see their migraines and tension headaches go away entirely.