We’re all a part of today’s fast-paced and dynamic environment where survival becomes a bit strenuous at times with immense pressure coming from different directions. And, no wonder we fall prey to it and exhibit physical symptoms like experiencing headaches. These tension headaches are nothing but our body’s way of communicating that it is under severe strain.
Tension headaches are distinctive and can be very painful at times however rarely can they be a symptom of something more serious than a stressful lifestyle.
Some of the various symptoms of the same include: muscle tightness in the neck, jaws, and shoulder, sleep problems, pressure in both sides of the head, trouble eating, headache originating at the top of the head swiftly moving forward to the top and sides, and others alike.
In case you encounter any of the these symptoms quite often, we recommend you to foster a healthy lifestyle and follow the tips mentioned below to get a better handle of your recurring headaches. Moreover, if these headaches are persistent even afterwards, you must make a visit to a renowned chiropractor for headaches.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Paying attention to the basics and adopting a healthy lifestyle is one of the most significant ways of reducing stress thereby combatting tension headaches. This involves getting adequate sleep, consuming regular, balanced meals, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and avoiding stress and fatigue.
You can also enrol yourself in various stress busting activities like swimming, cycling, running and others alike. While you implement these habits in your everyday routine, you’ll surely witness the difference in your recurring headaches.
Relaxation techniques to the rescue
Bid goodbye to your tension headaches if you practise physical and psychological relaxation techniques regularly. These include meditation and yoga, applying a heating pad to your neck and shoulders to relax the muscles. Additionally, guided imagery exercises – the ones which help focus your attention to a particular part of the body are also helpful in relaxing muscles and releasing the tension and stress.
Biofeedback is one of the popular techniques which teaches you to control certain body responses that help reduce pain. Being connected to the devices which monitor and give you feedback on body functions such as muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure is what is generally experienced in biofeedback sessions.
You then learn to recognise when you’re experiencing muscle tension and practise ways to relax muscles before they tighten and further develop into a tension headache.
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT is a short-term therapy technique which helps people find new ways to behave by changing their thought patterns. Engaging with CBT has helped people in different ways like reducing stress, coping with complicated relationships, dealing with grief, and various other common life challenges.
When to see a doctor?
Stress is considered to be the reported triggers for tension headaches however there are various other factors contributing to the same. These include over exertion, anxiety, hormonal changes, dehydration, consuming too much alcohol or drugs, clenching the jaw and others such.
While these causes can be taken care of and easily overcome once you implement the practices suggested above in your daily lives and your tension headaches are sure to disappear. However, still in case there’s no improvement in your condition and you’re taking medications for your tension headache twice a week or more, it’s time to make an appointment with your chiropractor MD. In addition, if you have a history of headaches and you witness a change in the pattern or if your headaches suddenly feel a bit different from how they used to be, visit a doctor.
Jason Smith did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.