Tension Headache – causes and relief

At the Melbourne headache + migraine group in Williamstown, we understand many people have experienced a tension-type headache (TTH) at some stage with up to 7 million Australians experiencing them. In fact, 36% of men and 42% of women suffer them on a daily basis.

In fact, tension-type headaches usually start in the teenage years and often decline after 40 years of age.

60% of those with a tension type headache experience reductions in social activities and work capacity.’

Symptoms of TTH:
  • TTH are normally felt on both sides of the head and it’s often the persistence of the headache as opposed to the severity, that interferes wih daily activities.
  • constant, tight heavy or pressing sensation around the head
  • tautness and tenderness of the scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
  • neck movments may also be limited
  • recurrent and episodic pain (often associated with stress) that can last for minutes, hours, days, months or even years
  • nausea and indigestion
  • depression and anxiety (common)
  • trouble concentrating and difficulty sleeping

Whilst commonly attributed to tension or stress, TTH triggers can include excessive muscle contraction such as frowning or jaw clenching.

  • poor posture
  • bright lights, prolonged reading or loud noise
  • medication overuse
  • stress, anxiety
  • fatigue, emotional upsets, depression
What can you do?:

Depending on symptoms and precipitating factors a diagnosis is usually made by a medical professional and treatment can include:

  • taking time away from stress
  • take regular breaks from gaming, working at a desk/computer
  • balancing work and life, sleep and regular exercise
  • meditation
  • support to manage stress, anxiety or emotional pressures
  • treatment of neck, shoulder and head tension via massage or acupuncture
  • over the counter medications.
  • magnesium supplementation.

If you’re looking for a different approach to your tension-type headaches our experienced Williamstown Osteopaths Sharyn, Cliff and Tim have learnt an evidence-based approach for assessment and treatment of headaches and migraines known as the Watson Headache Approach.

This approach focuses on the joints and muscles of the upper neck and may help to reduce the occurrence of tension-type headaches.

Book your initial appointment with us here or request a FREE 15 min phone consult if you’d like more info.

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