14 Jun Headaches – Treatment Tips
At least 1 in 6 people are affected by chronic headaches, and not the self inflicted sort!
A common type of headache is the tension headache, which is caused by tightening of the muscles in the neck or jaw, or from a physical response to stress. Other causes include pressure on the nerves in the upper neck due to a musculoskeletal issue such as stiff joints and tight muscles, trigger points in muscles, jaw tension, lack of sleep and migraines.
Quick tips to relieve muscular tension:
- Stretch neck to the side by tilting head while lowering your shoulder on that same side, hold for 30 seconds. repeat on the opposite side
- Nod your head and tuck you chin in, now reach back and lift the base of your skull up to stretch the top of the neck
- Use a heat wheat pack on your neck and shoulders after work to relieve muscular tension
- For relaxation from stress – breathe in for 4 secs and out for 4 seconds, then 5 seconds up to 8 seconds will help to relieve tension.
Postural tips for best neck position while at the computer:
- Sit to the back of your chair and pull it in close to your desk. If your chair has arms, take them off or get another chair.
- Have your computer screen so your eyes line up with top third
- Chair high enough so elbows are just touching the desk when your shoulders are relaxed
- Swivel chair not your body if you do it repeatedly through the day
- Tuck your chin in and lengthen the back of your neck when you can
Physiotherapy treatment for headaches:
For more chronic headaches, physiotherapy offers an alternative to long term medication, as it is kinder on your body and is a successful treatment for headaches, helping to treat both the cause and relieve the pain. Treatment includes:
- Mobilisation of stiff neck joints (reducing nerve pressure)
- Release tense muscles and relieve trigger points
- Teach correct posture
- Stretching and strengthening exercises specific to your posture
- Assess and treat jaw pain (including clicking)
- Craniosacral therapy
To read more about causes and specific treatments for Click Here