Tension type headache
The fourth installment of the headache series is about Tension type headache. These are very common types of headaches and they are reported to be 90% of headache cases in a doctor’s office. These are the type of headache that it feels like your head is in a vice or a tight band is around your head. Most of the time this type of headache is caused by muscles or the neck joints.
Who is affected?
Females are more commonly affected by these types of headaches. They are rare onset over the age of 50, and more than 60% of the cases start in patients older than 20. Typically patients do not complain of nausea or sensitivity to light, as is the case in Migraines. To be classified as episodic at least two of the following symptoms must be present:
- Bilateral of the head (both sides)
- Pressing/tight quality pain
- No aggravation by walking the stairs
- Mild or moderate modification of activity due to headache
This type of headache might occur under emotional stress and most of the time there will be muscle tightness in the back of neck and in the upper back.
Treatment for tension headaches
There are various ways a Chiropractor can treat these types of headaches. Chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck, and muscle therapy like massage to the muscles of the neck can prove successful. The muscle part of the treatment might be the most important part. Stress management and posture evaluation is crucial in managing and prevention of a cluster headache.
Home care includes, rest, Ice/heat therapy, ensure healthy sleep hygiene is maintained. Stretching of the muscles involved is vitally important. Avoid trigger foods, do not skip meals. Ibuprofen can assist in patients with mild headaches, but for a more natural ways, you can use the following supplements: 5-HTP, omega 3 oils, magnesium and Vitamin B.
Tension headaches are usually chronic if life stress is not changed, but it will most of the time not interfere with daily work or activities.