April 23, 2024

Seven Ways To Relieve Tension Headaches

3 min read
Seven Ways To Relieve Tension Headaches


Poor habits that lead to tension headaches include stress, routine tasks and bad posture.

Like a too-tight crown, they encircle the head and usually come in the form of pain at the back of the head. Fortunately, to prevent or relieve stress-type headaches, you can do a lot on your own. You don’t always have to go to a chiropractor, massage therapist or physical therapist.

A formula for trouble

Tension headaches can be caused by job stresses, relationship stress and other life challenges.

The pain begins in your neck and back, slowly moves up the base of your skull and then wraps around your head as you introduce repetitive movements and bad posture to the mix.

The following activities may cause tension headaches:

  • Looking down at your mobile phone continuously.
  • Working in your home office all day on your mobile.
  • Driving with no rest for hours.
  • Playing games for hours on camera.
  • At night or during the day, clench your jaw.
  • Sleeping on your belly.

These operations overstretch and weaken the muscles at the back of your neck, raising the vulnerability to stress headaches. The second part of the issue is that too much muscle use contributes to discomfort and, sometimes, spasms.

Episodic vs chronic

Episodic headaches from tension are frequently related to stressful events. Usually, they come on fast and are reasonably painful. If the traumatic incident is over or while you are taking over-the-counter drugs, these headaches resolve.

Chronic headaches from stress will recur regularly. As you wake up or after a long day of work or activity, they can come on. The muscles appear to remain clenched in your neck and scalp. On the two sides of the head, in the forehead and at the base of the skull, pain and tightness develop.

Seven ways to manage tension headaches

To avoid or alleviate headaches from tension, the following:

  1. Minimize stress: Strive to stop stressful activities or limit them.
  2. Take breaks: restrict the amount of time you spend looking down at the screen. On long drives, take breaks.
  3. Change the way you sleep: consider sleeping with a body pillow and your neck in a neutral position on your back or side.
  4. Exercise and stretch: Rub or stretch the neck and shoulder muscles using a therapy cane or a rough therapy ball.
  5. Over-the-counter use: Aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be very useful for headaches induced by episodic stress.
  6. Try drug-free therapy: massage therapy, chiropractic care, physical therapy or acupuncture.
  7. See a dentist: Look for a dentist knowledgeable about temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome if you’re clenching your jaw and having headaches. The right guard for the mouth will help.

The positive thing about drug-free therapies is that any side effects (increased soreness, discomfort or bruising) go away independently.

When a stress migraine begins to form, what about rubbing your temples, does it help? Muscle pain varies, so it does not offer relief from rubbing on your temples. But in your neck and shoulder muscles, rubbing on the sore areas, or trigger points can help.

If, after following these ideas, stress headaches don’t go away, it might be time to look at the psychological stress in your life.

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