You might know that feeling of coming home late from the office, sitting down after a stressful day, and being plagued by a pain on the sides of your head. Tension headaches may be less intense than migraines, but it does not make it any less painful or any less of an unwelcome inconvenience. These dull pains are usually brought on by stress, either emotional or physical. Imbalances in the nervous system can lead to these headaches as your body resides in a fight-or-flight mode from stress, instead of allowing itself to relax.
Tension headaches may also stem from muscle tightness. If you hold your head in a bent forward position, or are extremely tense from anxiety, it could cause pain and headaches later in your day. Fortunately for tension headache sufferers there are things you can do to find relief from pain. While grabbing pain killers may be the most common action against headaches, this could come with unwanted side effects and potential long term dangers, especially if you are experiencing pain on a regular basis. For natural tension headache relief try these effective tools:
- Avoid making the headache worse by keeping yourself away from smoke, strong fragrances, and loud noisy areas. The key here is to relieve stressful situations, and strong odors and smoke can cause your headache systems to be heightened.
- Make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night on a pillow that is not compromising your spine. Being well rested can make it easier to handle stress, and the position of your neck and back while you sleep can help to ease tension in those areas.
- Consider taking up a yoga class. Yoga is not only beneficial in reducing stress that may be causing your headaches, but also can be helpful in stretching out back and neck muscles to offer instant relief from pain. Neck stretches can do wonders on a tension headache. Slowly stretch your neck while at your desk, this can release stress and also make you mindful of any posture issues that might be contributing to your headaches.
- Make it a point to make time for self care. Massages can loosen muscles and release stress. Rubbing slow circles on the sides of your temples and between the eyes can bring relief from headache pain. A heating pad or warm towel can soothe tired shoulders and necks.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice