Tension headaches affect many people and are the most common type of headaches among adults. Sometimes they are called stress headaches. This article will discuss how to achieve tension headache pain relief without the use of medications.
The main symptoms of a tension headache are pain on both sides of the head and/or in the front or back of the head, they are brought on by a stressful event, and the pain is usually throbbing in nature. Women are twice as likely to suffer from tension-type headaches as men.
If a person’s headaches persist more than three months, they are considered to be chronic. Chronic tension headaches may be constant and almost always present although the headache pain intensity may vary throughout the day.
Tension headaches are commonly associated with neck pain. The medical anatomical term for the neck area is the “cervical spine.” Researchers have found that if spinal cervical bones are misaligned or not moving properly it can cause nerve and joint irritation which is the source or cause of tension headaches.
If one watches television, he or she will see no shortage of commercials advertising medications to help with tension headaches. A main drawback of headache medication is the harm caused to the gastrointestinal track stomach and intestinal linings. Many people suffer from ulcer side-effect problems caused by taking headache medicines.
Doctors of Chiropractic utilize a non-pharmaceutical, multimodal approach to help patients achieve relief of headache pain. Cervicogenic tension headaches show marked improvement with treatment of chiropractic adjustments. These adjustments allow realignment and restoring proper motion of the cervical spinal bones. This in turn, reduces pain of the nerves and joints of the cervical spine, resulting in improvement of tension headache frequency and intensity.
Chiropractors may also use other types of care to assist and accelerate pain relief. The use of cold packs, properly applied to the back of the neck helps reduce swelling and inflammation of the area. Deep muscle pressure and stretching of the neck and base of the skull musculature helps release spasms and stressed, tightened fascia. Learning simple corrective exercises to improve upper body posture expedites management for patients suffering from tension headaches.
Each patient is unique. There is no one approach that works for everyone. By discussing the problem with the patient, and conducting a thorough examination a doctor of chiropractic can determine the best method of care, monitor the patient’s progress and ultimately achieve tension headache pain relief.