by Cade Holmseth
What are Tension Headaches and how do you cure them?
Tension headaches are triggered by mechanical stresses of the body. The range of causes are vast. Some of the causes can be simple fixes. Poor posture at your work computer and holding your emotional tension in a particular area such as your shoulders are two good examples of that.
These stress patterns can often be treated and, with a little education and some effort, can be avoided altogether. Others are more congenital in
nature (e.g. scoliosis) and may not necessarily reversible even if the symptoms and pain are treatable. In these kinds of cases, regular maintenance may be necessary to stave off muscle pain and headaches.
There are so many physical triggers to mention, so I’m just going to talk about a few of the most common ones I come across in my practice. Many of the home remedies that will be mentioned will work for various types of headaches.
By far and large, headaches of this nature are the most common ones mistaken for migraines, and much more frequently than you might think. Most of my “migraine” sufferers don’t generally seem to have the symptoms of migraines and are “fixed” by tension headache techniques within minutes.
Case Study: Mary
Let’s talk about Mary again (still not real name). This woman is an active woman in her mid-twenties. I’ve already talked about her issues with migraines and the connection with tension headaches as a trigger. Sometimes it gets even more complicated.
Mary is a circus performer. She climbs up the aerial silks and does various tricks while hanging 15-25 ft in the air. One day she was trying to practice a new trick with her partner. He hangs up in the air and she hangs from him. Well, she went to twist into a trick and their hands slipped and she fell onto the thick crash pad mat below. The mat is made for this thing, but instantly she got a headache anyway.
The headache was intense, and as she does when they get bad, she came in to see me.
Now, it is very possible that she could have had some minor head trauma (concussion), even with the padded fall. It’s important to check those types of injuries out with a doctor, especially if other symptoms like balance issues or nausea are involved. She didn’t think it was necessary since all she had was a headache, so she came in.
In one session, I was able to relieve most of the muscular discomfort and most of the headache. In two sessions, even more.
One of the interesting things I found though, was that she had components from several types of tension headaches, all of which could cause a
headache individually. And they did, one right on top of the other.
Headaches are often more complex than people assume, and even a trained massage therapist may not have enough training to find and differentiate all the different triggers. To learn more about other headache causes read: Computer Neck Can Cause Headaches and How Your Eyes Can Cause Headaches
Cade Holmseth is an expert when it comes to healing massage therapy . To find out everything about sports and massage therapy , visit his website at Hands of Health Bodywork.