Joseph Bommarito asked:
If tension headaches have been the bane of your existence, undertaking a specific headache program for relief is absolutely essential to your health and well-being. The good news is that with just a few lifestyle changes and easy treatment regiments outlined here, you stand a good chance of experiencing immediate headache relief. But, before we get to the good stuff, let’s take a look at what these nasty thumpers are and why you keep getting tension headaches in the first place.
What is a Tension Headache and Why Do I Get Them?
These headaches differ from other types of headaches in that the pain is usually dull, aching and diffuse (i.e. the pain spreads around the whole neck and head region rather than focalizing in one spot.) It can feel like someone has put a vice around the base of your skull or a tight band around the head.
Tension headaches are generally brought on by stress. This stress can be emotional (your kids are failing school, your significant other has left you, your boss makes your life a living nightmare, etc.) or the stress can be physical (long hours spent hunched over a computer screen, poor posture, being overweight, not getting enough exercise, eating poorly, etc.)
How to Give Yourself a Program of Tension Headache Relief
Treating tension headaches effectively means fostering healthy habits, exploring non-drug treatments, and using medications only as a last resort. Here are some Healthy Habits for Relief:
One of the easiest ways to prevent tension headaches is to take care of yourself. Make sure that you are eating foods that provide your body with all the nutrition it needs to function properly. Get enough sleep and change your pillow or sleeping position if you wake up with a headache already underway. Stretch, exercise, and drink water regularly to help your muscles limber up and release tension naturally.
Non-Drug Treatments for Tension Headache Relief
There is a ton of things you can do to alleviate headaches without reaching for the painkillers. The easiest options include:
Getting a massage. (Or, massaging yourself if you don’t have a partner – focus on the muscles along the shoulder blades and along the top of the shoulders, the muscles on both sides of the neck, the pressure points at the base of the skull, along the scalp, around the back of the ears, and across the top of the forehead.) Learn basic yoga postures. (A beginner’s yoga class is cheap and usually lasts about 6 weeks. That’s all the instruction you’ll need to learn the basic moves that keep your body light and limber, your muscles loose and your mood naturally elevated.) Learn stress management. (Realize that in any given situation, you have a choice about how you are going to respond. Identify your stress triggers and figure out how to manage them better so that they don’t make you crazy. This could involve taking a class, getting a new job, going into therapy or simply taking a walk – the point is to eliminate stress from your life, no matter how you choose to do it.)
Use Medications to Treat Tension Headaches Appropriately
There are a variety of over the counter and prescription medications that are designed to kill pain, but remember to use them sparingly. Overuse of medications not only increases tolerance, making them less effective over time, but it can also cause what is known as rebound headaches – otherwise known as headaches that happen any time you are not on medication – which is certainly a situation you want to avoid.
All in all, tension headache relief is within your grasp. So take action now by implementing these easy lifestyle changes and stop the pain before it starts. If you are looking to include some form of a pain reliever you might consider one of the many natural and safe homeopathic pain relievers on the market today. As we move forward we explore a few of these options.
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