For most people: a headache is a headache. When your head hurts, it’s called a headache, plain and simple.
However, it may interest you to know that there are many different types of headaches that can all cause different symptoms.
- Migraine headaches often affect only one side of the head and are usually accompanied by other neurologic symptoms.
- Sinus headaches generally cause pain and pressure around the nose, forehead, and eyes.
- Cluster headaches cause excruciating pain and are considered to be one of the worst types of headaches.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on a condition known as a tension headache.
What are Tension Headaches?
Tension headaches are often described by patients as a feeling of tightness surrounding the head. Many people indicate that it feels as if a belt or band is being pulled taught around their head throughout the duration of the episode.
This type of headache is the most common type of all headaches. Tension headaches tend to last roughly 30 minutes from beginning to end. However, there have been cases of tension headaches lasting for multiple days without relief.
What Causes Tension Headaches?
Often, tension headaches are caused by excessive stress. Additionally, many cases of tension headache are the result of muscular tension and poor posture.
The classic profile of someone who suffers from tension headaches is the teenager or adult who assumes a poor posture all day long (at school or work) and has a tough time managing stress. These individuals are at higher risk for developing tension headaches and may suffer from the condition periodically over their lifetime.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help With Tension Headaches?
Because the two primary causes of tension headaches are tight muscles (due to poor posture) and stress, chiropractors are perfectly suited to help these patients!
Tight neck muscles can pull on the head causing a significant amount of tension which, in turn, leads to a headache. By loosening these muscles and the surrounding joints in the neck, chiropractors can often decrease the intensity of a tension headache (or eliminate it completely) in a single session.
The loosening of these structures can be achieved in a number of ways. First and foremost, chiropractors may elect to use manipulation on the cervical spine. This treatment can serve to open up the space in the neck and encourage the neck and skull muscles to relax.
Alternatively, or in combination, chiropractors may choose to use soft tissue massage on these tight muscles. Through the use of a suboccipital release or similar treatment, patients often experience almost instantaneous relief from their tension headaches.
While joint manipulation and soft tissue massage can often do the trick, chiropractors may also recommend certain stretches and exercises to improve posture. Often, these can be done while seated. So, during a brief break from work, you can implement some preventative strategies for keeping tension headaches at bay!
As far as stress is concerned, chiropractors can work with patients in the development of stress management techniques. There are tons of ways to manage stress including journaling, exercising, and meditation. Your chiropractor will figure out what works best for your own, unique needs!
Choose At Last Chiropractic in Lithia, FL
All of us here at At Last Chiropractic are ready to help you with whatever issues you may be suffering from. Whether you’re having headaches, back pain, or something else entirely, our dedicated staff will help you get back to 100% health in no time.
We know your life is busy, but if headaches and pain are holding you back, book your appointment today. Let’s get you started toward feeling healthy and happy.