Tension-Type Headaches

Do you have a headache?

Headache PuppyYou’re not alone! Headaches are extremely common. According to the World Health Organization, over 1/3 of men and over 1/2 of all women in developed nations suffer from tension-type headaches. Neck and head pains may come and go, but if they are chronic or recurrent, they may be labeled as a headache disorder. Not all headache disorders are the same, so before you can attempt to make this problem go away, you need to discover what kind of headache you are personally dealing with.  This article will help you understand the most common type of headache between all age ranges and genders: the tension-type headache. It is usually fairly mild and in short duration, but can be a major disruption to your health, wellbeing, and productivity.

What can cause a tension headache?

When dealing with most different types of headaches, the exact cause is often unknown.  There may even be more than one root cause!  We do, however, understand various factors that contribute to this and many other headaches. Typically for a tension-type headache, the muscles located in the neck at the bottom of the skull (known as the “suboccipital muscles”) become tightened and irritated. These guys are responsible for keeping your head attached to the rest of your body and the amount of strain placed on them increases as your head migrates toward the computer screen.  This is one of the main contributing factors that makes your head feel like it wants to explode.  Poor desk posture, eye strain, anxiety, stress, medications, dehydration, and lack of proper nourishment can also exacerbate this type of headache.Suboccipital Muscles

How do make it go away?

Many people tend to treat various types of headaches on their own by taking medications that mainly mask the pain for a period of time.  This might be a quick fix for certain types of headaches, but you can have a really big impact on your headaches by learning stress management techniques, getting up out of your work chair at least once an hour, engaging in regular exercise, and drinking adequate water. These simple tools can create a major shift in your headaches experience and improve your quality of life.

Soft tissue therapy to relieve tension in the suboccipital muscles at the base of the skull can often provide immediate relief of headache pains. Specific spinal adjustments can also have a major impact on the intensity and frequency of headaches by restoring proper spinal biomechanics and reflexively relieving tension in the surrounding muscles.  Finding a healthcare practitioner (like a Chiropractor or Registered Massage Therapist) who can help you unravel and manage the specific triggers for your headaches can be a life-altering experience for chronic headaches sufferers.

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