Tension-type headache is the most common headache disorder. Tension headaches are often caused by musculoskeletal tightness through the neck and shoulders that contributes to the pain.
Symptoms may include:
- Dull and persistent pain felt on both sides of the head.
- Constant tightness and compression sensation around the head.
- Tight muscles around the neck and shoulders.
- Decreased movement through the neck due to stiffness and tightness.
- So what triggers a tension-type headache?
- Excessive muscle contraction (e.g frowning or clenching your jaw)
- Poor posture at work, home and when driving
- Poor quality pillow used for sleeping
- Looking down at your phone or reading books for a prolonged periods
- Stress, anxiety, fatigue
What can you do to decrease the headache?
- Take time away from stress
- Ensure you have a work, life and leisure balance.
- Neck stretches
- Self-releases through your neck and shoulders using a spikey ball or foam roller.
- Stretching out the front of your chest to improve posture.
- Have an ergonomic assessment checked at work to see if you are set up correctly at your desk.
- Heat pack on the shoulders and neck.
Here are a few exercises that you can do to help relieve the symptoms:
Self-release through the sub-occipital muscles