Most people will get a headache at some time in their lives,
and many people will suffer form them continually.
We now know that headaches aren't "just in the head." They
are warnings that something in the body is out of balance
and needs to be fixed. While painkillers such as aspirin can
mask the pain, they don't deal with the real problem.
Researchers and clinicians have discovered a number of clues
as to the physiology of headaches, what triggers them, and
what can be done to ease or prevent them.
What Causes Tension Headaches
is often described as a "dull, persistent, vice-like pain
or tension headache. These headaches often begin with physical
or mental stress that causes prolonged muscle contraction
in the neck, back and head. These contractions starve those
muscles of oxygen, temporarily injuring them, and releasing
chemicals that transmit referred pain signals to the brain.
The psychological or physical stress that makes these muscles
contract and cause headaches are not always obvious.
A person sitting hunched over at a desk, typewriter, or computer
for long periods can suffer from physical stress in the form
of tightened muscles in the neck and back. Hunching the shoulders
to hold a telephone without hands can cause the same problem.
Jutting the head forward tensely while driving will also tense
the neck muscles. Eyestrain, due to poor light when reading
or working, can also cause headaches. Spinal problems are
often the cause of physical stress, leading to chronic muscle
Boredom, anxiety, frustration, worries about your job or
home life, contributes to muscle contraction and tension headaches.
The need to avoid rather than dealing with stressful situations
can also contribute to muscle contractions. Some expressions
of stress, such as frowning, tightening of the jaws and grinding
of the teeth, can lead to headaches.
What You Should Do
1) With the help of a doctor or your Chiropractic, first
determine if there is any physical or structural problem involved,
and whether it can be corrected. Chiropractic doctors are
very experienced in treating the causes behind headaches,
as well as relieving the immediate pain.
2) Check your posture. Take standing or walking breaks while
at work. Use firm chairs and mattresses. Relax your eyes,
and make sure that you have proper lighting. Don't read or
watch TV in bed.
3) Learn to relax. Practice progressive relaxation, slowly
tightening and relaxing each muscle group one after the other.
Practice relaxing imagery also; i.e. close your eyes and imagine
that you are at the beach.
4) Learn to deal with stress. It is inevitable in our lives.
Your Chiropractic can recommend massage/ exercise methods
to help relax your neck and back muscles