A tension headache basically refers to the pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck that is usually associated with muscle tightness in these areas. It is the type of which it occurs in relation to constant or periodic emotional conflicts. This condition is highly prevalent which can be disabling. Publish estimates of the prevalence of tension headaches vary over a wide range from 1.3% to 65% in men and 2.7% to 86% in women. They may occur at any age, but they are most common in adults and adolescents.
It tends to occur on both sides of your head. They often start at the back of your head and spread forward. The pain of tension headache is usually described as a feeling of heaviness, pressure or tightness which is steady rather than throbbing. If it occurs 15 or more days in a month for several months, they are considered chronic tension headaches. Chronic types feel more like throbbing in the head with more severe pain that is felt most of the time.
Muscular tension and contraction in the shoulders, neck and head are involved with tension type headaches. Usually this tension is an outcome of emotional stress, though injuries can also become a factor of muscle contractions. It is normal for muscles to contract when you are threatened, irritated or angry. Although, if work or home life creates a constant source of stress which you cannot counter, the muscular tension can become chronic which can lead to uneven stresses on the skeletal structure of the body, and changes in normal posture and movement to compensate. These misalignments result in more muscular tension and contraction which can cause headaches.
Tension headaches may be a sign that you may be doing something in your daily life that is causing stress to your body such as not eating enough, dehydration, poor posture, or eyestrain. Physical stress may also cause tension headaches. This includes activities such as prolonged manual labor or staying in one position for a long time like sitting at a desk or computer, reading, or playing video games. Staying in a cold place or sleeping in an awkward position can also be some of the triggers. Physical activities, however, do not usually worsen the pain.
Although tension headaches can be painful, they are not associated with structural changes in the brain and they are rarely a sign of more serious illness. Pain killers may help but overuse of them can cause complications such as rebound headaches which are headaches that keep coming back. A combination of lifestyle changes, relaxation techniques, and traditional and complementary therapies such as chiropractic can help reduce the pain you have.
Chiropractic care uses a holistic approach that can successfully provide permanent headache relief. It has been proven to be highly effective in treating tension and migraine headaches as well as other musculoskeletal problems.
Chiropractic adjustments if combined with other therapies such as trigger point therapy and massage can relax stressed muscles and correct misalignments. Patients with chronic headaches often get relief with just few chiropractic visits.
Even if your headache has gone, continuing to receive chiropractic adjustments is essential to help keep your body function more efficiently. In time, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and visiting your chiropractor will help you stay healthy and enjoy living life free from pain.