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Tension Headaches

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The most common type of headache is a tension headaches Pain with tension headaches usually spread throughout the head so that sufferers feel like they’re wearing a head band.

Episodic and chronic are the two groups Doctors divide tension headaches into. The episodic headache usually lasts from just a half to a full hour but usually recurs for up to 2 weeks and returns monthly each. Tension headaches that are chronic may last for hours. Chronic tension headaches may be continuous, meaning up to 15 days, and last for hours at a time. This process can stay consistent for up to 3 months on average. If you have the band-around-your-head feeling you may be experiencing a tension headache.

People suffering from Tension headaches usually also experience some form of emotional suffering like depression or  anxiety. However, the cause could also be the result of something physical like a muscle strain, a neck injury, or a shift in the in the neck bones themselves. Some adults and children develop tension headaches due to eye issues like eye strain.

Symptoms

Tension headache symptoms include:

  • Persistent dull ache in the head
  • Tender shoulder and neck muscles
  • Sensitive scalp
  • Tightness around forehead, sides and back of head
  • Worsening as the day goes on

Treatment

Treatment focuses on preventing tension headaches and on decreasing pain once they strike. You can take prescription-strength or over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. For non-drug pain relief, try altering temperature. A heating pad or an ice pack might help. You can also try acupuncture or massage.

Some doctors prescribe preventive medicines, including antidepressants, muscle relaxants and anticonvulsants. These help some sufferers, but have side effects.

Given that tension headaches often go hand in hand with anxiety and stress, some sufferers try calming activities, such as yoga, meditation or spending time in nature. Regular aerobic exercise can ease depression and possibly decrease headache pain.

Chiropractic Care and Tension Headaches

Improving your posture might keep your neck muscles more relaxed. A chiropractor can assess your spinal alignment and make manual adjustments as needed. Because many tension headaches start in the neck, your chiropractic doctor might focus on adjusting your cervical vertebrae. He or she might also advise you on ergonomics, relaxation techniques and helpful exercises.

Chiropractic care offers pain relief without the side effects of medications. If you suffer from tension headaches, call our clinic today so we can help alleviate your symptoms.

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