Easing Your Tension Headaches: 6 Tips From A Chiropractor
When you add up stress, long work hours, repetitive activities and poor posture, what do you get? Tension headaches.
They encircle your head like a hat that is too tight. “Fortunately, you can do a lot on your own to prevent or relive tension-type headaches,” says Chiropractor Andrew Wiese, DC from South Main Chiropractic in Alpharetta.
A Recipe For Trouble
Pressure at work, relationship stress and other life challenges can cause tension headaches.
When you combine repetitive activities and poor posture to the mix, “the pain starts in your neck and shoulders, slowly travels up the base of your skull and then wraps around your head,” says Dr. Wiese.
The following activities can contribute to tension headaches:
- Constantly looking down at your cell phone
- Working at a computer all day
- Driving for hours without rest
- Playing video games for hours
- Clenching your jaw at night or during the day
- Sleeping on your stomach
“These activities overstretch the muscles on the back of your neck and weaken them, increasing your susceptibility to tension headaches,” says Dr. Wiese. “The second part of the problem is that using any muscle too much leads to pain and, often, spams.”
Episodic vs. Chronic
Episodic tension headaches are often tied to stressful events. They typically come on quickly and are fairly painful. “These headaches resolve once the stressful event is over or when you take over-the-counter medication,” says Dr. Wiese from South Main Chiropractic in Alpharetta.
Chronic tension headaches can occur daily. They may come on as you wake up or after a long day of work or activity. “The muscles in your neck and scalp tend to stay contracted,” he says. “Pain and tightness develop on both sides of the head, in the forehead and at the base of the skull.”
6 Ways To Manage Tension Headaches
To prevent or to ease tension headaches, Dr. Wiese recommends the following:
- Decrease Stress. Try to avoid or limit stressful events.
- Take Breaks. Limit the time you spend looking down at your phone. Take breaks on long drives.
- Adjust The Way You Sleep. Try sleeping on your back or on your side with a body pillow and your neck in neutral posture.
- Exercise and Stretch. Get regular exercise and use hard therapy ball to massage out or stretch your neck and shoulder muscles.
- Use Over-The-Counter Medicines. Aspirin, Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can be quite effective for episodic tension headaches.
- See A Chiropractor. Numerous research studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments are very effective for treating tension headaches, especially headaches that originate in the neck.
Dr. Andrew Wiese is one of Alpharetta’s Top Chiropractors. If you are suffering from Tension Headaches, please feel free to give South Main Chiropractic a call at 678-404-8944 to schedule an appointment. We want you to feel your best and function pain free!