Tension Headache – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

A tension headache is probably the most common type of headache which people complain about. It can be so common that some people look upon it as being ‘normal’ or expected. They put it down to being a ‘headachey type of person’. It is though that 1 in 3 adults have tension headaches up to 15 times a month. Tension headaches often affect both sides of your head. You may feel pressure behind your eyes or at the top of your neck. Although they may make you feel slightly sick, they generally do not stop you getting on with your day. The cause of this type of headache includes; stress, poor posture, poor eyesight, inactivity, poor lighting, lack of food and water.

Tension headaches will generally mean that life style changes have to be made. Awareness of posture is paramount, and regardless of the treatment being sought, re-education of posture should be addressed. The body has to be mobile enough to get into the right position and strong enough to hold that position. Exercises to mobilise the joints and stretch the muscles should be combined with strengthening the core. Together they should assist in maintaining good posture.

Stress and anxiety also have a part to play. Yoga, massage and relaxation are all useful.

Age related changes to the spine (wear and tear) can also trigger a headache. At our clinic we use techniques such as deep friction massage, joint mobilisations, fascial release and muscle energy work to reduce the tension in the neck and head. Not only can these techniques ease pain, they promote a more normal range of movement which in turn encourages a better posture.

For more information on headaches Brain and Spine Foundation