Has homeschooling started to take it’s toll? Has the luxury of working from home been ruined by the aches and pains caused by working at an improper work station? Our Oakville chiropractor expects that tension headaches are on the rise, and we want to help you get rid of them!
What Do Tension Headaches Feel Like?
Tension headaches are generally more annoying and nagging than extreme. They feel like a low-to-medium grade tension in the head (and sometimes the neck). Tension headaches are the ‘everyday’ headaches people can suffer from after a long day or a stressful time. These headaches are the most common type of headache. Tension headaches are often described like a band of tension squeezing the head. A feeling of wearing a sport sweatband around the forehead too tightly. The sensation is referred to as ‘tight-hat sensation’ or ‘vise grip sensation’.
Tension headaches can also be felt in the sides and back of the neck, especially at the base of the skull. These headaches feel like a dull pain. They feel like a sore, tired muscle that needs to be stretched.
Causes of Tension Headaches?
The jury is still out on the specifics, but these headaches seem to be caused by nerves in the affected area experiencing an increased sensitivity to pain. This increased sensitivity can be triggered by stress, and likely also by tight muscles.
There are a few muscles that are common culprits that can start causing this pain, especially when posture is poor. These muscles can cause scalp, head and neck pain when they aren’t functioning properly. Our Oakville chiropractor can help!
The Common Culprits
There are a few muscles commonly associated with tension headaches. The traps, suboccipitals (tiny muscles at the base of the skull) and scalenes can all cause head and neck pain. Lets break it down even more…
Suboccipital Pain Treatment
These muscles at the base of the skull are tiny, but they can pack a punch when they’re irritated. These muscles can become too tight and short due to poor posture. Sitting with slouched shoulders results in our head and neck resting in a less than optimal position in relation to the rest of the spine. When these muscles get tight, they can cause pain in a band like pattern of pain in the head around ear-level.
Most of us carry our stress in our necks and shoulders. Stress can make us hold our shoulders up by our ears and leave these muscles in a constant state of contraction. Eventually they get tired and start to rebel. The trapezius muscles are big, and they do a lot of work over the course of the day.
Splenius Capitus Pain
Have you ever experienced pain on the top of the head? The pain may even feel like it’s in your scalp. The splenius capitus is a muscle that attaches to the base of the skull from the upper back, and it can refer pain to this area. Isn’t that weird? Vertex head pain can come from one of two muscles, and this is one of them!
Treatment For Tension Headaches
Our Oakville chiropractors are experts at treating headache pain. As we mentioned above, tension headaches are the most common type of headache we treat at the clinic. These headaches don’t typically feel like the end of the world, but they are certainly annoying! Trying to manage these headaches while staying sane during a global pandemic is not fun. We can help!
Muscle Release For Tension Headaches
Muscle release techniques can work like magic. Whether you receive ART, MRT or Graston techniques, the end result will be the same – a looser, less painful muscle. Our chiropractor will use his/her hands to lengthen and shorten the muscles while applying pressure to the sore points. These techniques can result in immediate results!
Spinal Adjustments for Tension Headaches
You may be thinking to yourself, if the problem is the muscle then why would we adjust the joint? The answer is simple. Tight muscles will start to affect the way joints move. If the muscles in the neck are too tense, the joints will start to stiffen up too. Chiropractors are experts at spinal adjustments and a skilfully applied adjustment will feel amazing! The adjustment will unlock stiff joints and really help to release the feeling of tension in the head and neck.
Acupuncture for Tension Headaches
If you suffer from regular headaches and haven’t tried acupuncture yet, then what are you waiting for? Dr. Jenn uses acupuncture to treat headaches all the time! Acupuncture can be incredibly helpful for any muscle related pain. This technique is safe and effective and can provide long lasting results. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into the affected area to stimulate blood flow and boost a healing response to the muscles.
The last few months have been stressful. Our Oakville chiropractors are here to help alleviate the aches and pains that have been exacerbated by the stress of COVID-19!