Headaches are something that everyone is familiar with. Hardly anyone hasn’t had or doesn’t know someone who has had one. Headaches happen when tense muscles press against the blood vessels and nerves in the head and neck and create pain. According to research, headaches account for more than 10 million visits to doctors each year. And they are not just restricted to the head, neck aches frequently lead to headaches or combine with them.
Headaches can be caused by a multitude of factors, including but not restricted to weather, hormonal changes, neck position, stress, fever, hypertension etc. While there are many types of headaches, in this article we will show you how to deal with a tension headache.
Tension headaches are the most common type of a headache and are named so because it can feel as though there is a tight band around the head that’s squeezing or causing tension. Unlike migraines, tension headaches do not cause nausea, visual disturbances or vomiting, nor are they aggravated by physical activity.
Tension headaches are divided into two main categories — episodic and chronic. Episodic tension headaches: Episodic tension headaches can last from 30 minutes to a week. Frequent episodic tension headaches occur less than 15 days a month for at least three months. Frequent episodic tension headaches may become chronic. Chronic tension headaches: This type of a tension headache lasts hours and may be continuous. If the headaches occur 15 or more days a month for at least three months, they're considered chronic.
There are a variety of ways to deal with head and neck pain caused due to a tension headache. These include adjusting the body position, exercising, relaxing in a warm bath, stretching, watching the eating habits, taking painkillers, and getting a massage. So the next time you feel a tension headache coming on, try the following five self-massage practices to help ease the muscle spasms that create pain, and they will get a head start on prevention and treatment.
- Press the fingertips against the temples.
- Without sliding the fingers over the skin surface, move the scalp back and forth.
- After a few seconds, move the fingertips farther back around the headache band and repeat the back and forth movement.
- When the fingers meet at the back of the head, reverse direction until you've massaged the entire headache band, including the forehead. Then relax the arms and hands with the eyes closed for a few minutes.
- Finish by gently squeezing each eyebrow between the thumb and index finger. A few hints as you perfect this self-massage:
A few things to keep in mind:
- Only move the scalp a half-inch at the most. Don't rub it.
- This doesn't require a lot of pressure. You don't want to exhaust the hands and arms in the process.
- Try gently massaging the entire scalp if necessary, taking rest breaks as the hands and arms tire.
So the next time you are struck down by a tension headache, remember to massage it and chase the pain away!