There’s nothing quite like a headache to put a damper on your day. Between a busy schedule at work, home and in life, a headache is the last thing anyone wants. But when you start to feel pressure, tension and pain settle in behind your eyes and forehead, you know that a dreaded headache has officially arrived.
For a majority of people, the likely culprit of this pain is a tension headache. And with stress and tension as major factors, it’s no wonder that this is the most common type of headache. So you may be wondering, how can I get rid of this pesky headache? Well, as it turns out, it may be far easier than you expected.
To help you find some much needed relief, let’s start by looking at the common symptoms of a tension headache, simple treatment options (that don’t involve medication) and easy ways to prevent them all together.
If you spot these symptoms, you’ve got a tension headache on your hands.
Before you begin treating your headache, it’s important to ensure that you actually have a tension headache. Surprisingly, there are several different types of headaches that not only differ in their symptoms, they also have different causes and respond best to different treatments. When it comes to tension headaches, these are the most common symptoms:
- Slow onset of the headache
- Head usually hurts on both sides
- Pain is dull or feels like a band or vice around the head
- Pain may involve the back part of the head or neck
- Pain is usually mild to moderate, but not severe
If you have a tension headache, these simple treatment options will be your new best friends.
Try using a warm compress. The soothing warmth on your forehead will allow your blood vessels to expand, helping to relieve pain.
Avoid bright light and loud noises. Oftentimes, light and sound can intensify headache symptoms. By avoiding these, not only will be able to reduce pain, this should also promote relaxation and even sleep.
Give relaxing meditation techniques a try. These techniques can help to reduce stress and relieve tension, which may be the primary causes behind your headache.
Don’t forget the temple massage. By gently rubbing your temples on either side of your forehead, you can find some much need relief. Focus on using a gentle pressure and rub in a circular motion.
Try eating a snack…and drinking some water. Dehydration can often cause headache like symptoms, so make sure to stay hydrated. Also, if your energy is low or you haven’t eaten in a long time, a light snack may be just what you need.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good stretch. Because tension is often the main cause, try stretching your neck and shoulders to relieve tension that may be causing your headache.
If you have frequent tension headaches, it’s time to give prevention a try.
Lifestyle changes are the key to preventing tension-type headaches. Learn what changes in your environment and daily activities can prevent the strain and tension that lead to headaches.
Posture and movement. Your posturewhile you sit, work, drive and even sleep can put stress on your shoulders and neck. This can tighten muscles in the back of your head, causing headaches.
Change the setup of your workspace and car to avoid straining. Learn and maintain good posture.
Certain sports. Activities that involve jumping, running and sudden starts, stops or changes of direction can jar your neck and head. This may lead to tight muscles and pain. Weightlifting and other activities that require upper body strength can lead to tight neck and shoulder muscles.
To help relieve stress on your neck and head, cut back on activities that depend on upper body strength or that put a lot of twisting motion on the back. Also, make sure to stretch both before and after activity as this can help to relax muscles and relieve tightness.
Jaw tension. Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth can result in tension and pain. This may happen while you sleep without your knowing it.
Your doctorand dentist will be the best resources for this.
Eye problems. Eyestraincan cause tension in the muscles around the eyes. Or a problem with your eyeglass prescription can make you hold your head at an awkward angle. This can cause neck strain and headaches.
Again, your doctorwill be the best resource for resolving any eye problems.
Emotional stress. Many factors lead to emotional stress: overwork, family problems, financial difficulties or sudden life changes. This may cause muscle tension.
Learn techniques for relaxing and reducing emotional stress, like deep breathing, visualization, progressive relaxation and biofeedback. Regular sleep habits can also help to control stress.
Preventing tension headaches for good.
Between a variety of causes, treatment options and prevention techniques, caring for tension headaches can be a tall task. To help you find lasting relief, the experienced providers of Gwinnett Medical Group will work to provide a customized treatment plan tailored to suit your unique needs. With a variety of specialties, the latest in treatment options and access to GMC’s extensive range of services, you can count on comprehensive care for all of your health needs.