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How to Treat Tension Headaches



If you have regular headaches, you know that they can really bog down your day. According to the Mayo Clinic, a tension headache is the most common type, and it can feel like you have a “tight band” around your head. There are many ways to treat a tension headache, but did you know that your physical therapist may be able to help?

What is a tension headache?

The exact cause of a tension headache isn’t well understood. However, they are incredibly common. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 2 in 3 adults in America get them. 

Tension headaches are marked by a dull pain in your head, and can be accompanied by pressure in your forehead or tension in your neck and shoulders. Some people experience chronic tension headaches, which can become disruptive to daily life.

Tension headaches are distinguishable from migraines in that they usually aren’t accompanied by nausea or vomiting, and it’s uncommon for them to occur with an increased sensitivity to light or sound. If you are experiencing migraines, our chiropractors at Motus Integrative Health can help.

How can you treat a tension headache?

Over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol are common remedies for a tension headache, but for frequent headaches, you may be seeking other solutions. According to writers at VeryWell Health, soft tissue therapy can be helpful in relieving chronic tension headaches. One example is trigger point therapy, a type of medical massage in which your physical therapist targets trigger points, or “knots,” in the muscle. Trigger point therapy helps relieve stiffness and tenderness in those areas, ultimately lessening your tension headache. 

Can headaches be prevented?

If you have frequent tension headaches, a lifestyle change might be in order. Day-to-day stressors like working at a computer, looking down at a phone frequently, driving for long hours, or poor posture can contribute to the problem. 

If any of these potential causes sound familiar, you may want to start thinking about ways that you can take a break and relax during the day. If you work from home, stepping away from your workstation periodically can help. 

Make it a priority to exercise and stretch. This, combined with improving your posture, can help reduce the muscle tightness associated with tension headaches. If you aren’t sure where to start with exercise, a physical therapist is an excellent resource. Our physical therapists at Motus Integrative Health can teach you the best ways to exercise to reduce any pain that you might be dealing with, without the risk of injury. 

Seeing a Physical Therapist

If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, know that we’re here to help. Our expert chiropractors and physical therapists at Motus Integrative Health can guide you through treatments to diminish your pain and get you back to feeling your best. To learn more, reach out for a FREE consultation today! 


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