If you’ve got a headache, you’re not alone; 90 percent of Americans suffer from occasional head pain. April is National Stress Awareness month, and that means this is a great time to discuss the problem of tension headaches and explore how they can be overcome.
Understanding Tension Headaches
Tension headaches are extremely common. Almost 80 percent of us will experience a tension headache during our lifetime. They typically begin at the back of your head and move forward, eventually encompassing the head, scalp and neck. Some sufferers liken a tension headache to having a tight band tied around their head.
There are quite a few ways for a tension headache to get started. Stress is an obvious factor, but other situations, like sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time, can also lead to a throbbing ache. Sometimes there’s no obvious cause for tension headaches, they just come out of nowhere and then leave on their own timetable.
Tension headaches may be painful, but it’s rare that they’re a sign of serious physical problems. An exception to this would be if you’re experiencing regular stress headaches over a period of months. This can be a sign of either episodic or chronic tension headaches, and should be checked out by a physician.
Tension Headache Signs
The symptoms of tension headache include:
- Tightness in the shoulders, neck and jaw
- Difficulty eating
- A headache that begins at the back of your head and moves forward gradually
- A pain that’s frequently described as “squeezing”
- Pain occurs on both sides of head
Things That Cause Tension Headaches
There’s no single reason for tension headaches. There are many different “triggers” that can lead to them, including:
- Clenching your jaw
- Staying in the same position for too long
Who Gets Tension Headaches
While four out of five people will suffer from a tension headache in their lifetime, there seems to be certain risk factors that increase one’s chances of suffering from recurrences. These include:
- Being a woman
- Sleep disturbances
- Skipping meals
How to Survive Tension Headaches
Your chiropractic team is an excellent resource for helping you learn how to manage tension headaches. Your chiropractor can perform an adjustment that will improve the function of your spine, which will lead to decreased stress on your body.
In addition, your chiropractor is an excellent resource on how diet and vitamins can help reduce your levels of stress. He or she may also prescribe some type of exercise or yoga poses to help you stay strong and learn how to calm yourself when necessary.
If you’re struggling with stress headaches, or any type of pain in the head, neck, shoulders or back, contact your chiropractic team. They’ll be able to get you back on track again quickly.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.