Tension Headache: What It Is & What to Do for Relief

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Tension headaches are common in adults, but some children and teens also encounter the problem. With the pain you feel on both sides of the head, these things can be quite uncomfortable. When tension headaches won’t stop, they can disrupt your daily activities, too.

If you commonly encounter trouble with tension headaches, this brief guide will help you.

What Are the Symptoms of a Tension Headache?

Tension headaches aren’t dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable. You may feel pain on both sides of your head. This pain can be dull and constant or sharp throbbing pain. You may have pain in the top, front, or back of your head. The pain may worsen when you move, bend over, or use your neck.

If you have a tension headache, you may also have symptoms of:

  • Nausea
  • Light sensitivity
  • Feeling too hot or cold
  • A stiff neck
  • Pain when pressing on the head
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision or blind spots

What Can You Do to Ease a Tension Headache?

1. Drink More Water

Dryness in the mouth can be one factor in tension headaches, so drink more fluids. These fluids don’t have to be water. You can drink other liquids, such as tea, fruit juice, or sports drinks. When you get up in the morning, have a glass of water to start your hydration for the day.

You can add a little flavor if you don’t want to drink plain water. You can add a slice of lemon, strawberry, or peppermint to your water. You can even put a few crushed ice cubes in your water to make it more refreshing.

2. Correct Your Posture

Posture can also be associated with tension headaches. When you slouch, your muscles become tense and tight. You can also feel pain if you have poor posture. Correct your posture to prevent these headaches.

So, sit up straight at all times when you are at school, work, or home. When you slouch, place your hands on the back of your head. This can stretch the muscles in your neck.

3. Use Hot and Cold Treatments

Heat can relax your muscles, so if you are experiencing a tension headache, you can use a heat pack. Simply apply the heat pack in 15-minute intervals or take a hot shower and direct the hot water toward the base of your neck.

Alternatively, you can use an ice pack if you have sharp pain and a tension headache. Wrap the ice pack in a clean, dry towel and place it on your head for 5 to 10 minutes. 

4. Consider Herbal Remedies

You can use herbal remedies to relieve the pain and treat your tension headache. Some herbs, such as lavender, have a relaxing effect. You can inhale the scent of these herbs directly or add them to an aromatherapy oil diffuser.

5. Visit a Chiropractor

Tension headaches sometimes stem from your neck, so you may want to get a chiropractic adjustment. A chiropractor can look at your neck to ensure it is properly aligned. They can also give you recommendations to help correct your posture and exercises that can help relax your neck muscles.

Final Thoughts

If you have a tension headache, you can do a few things at home to ease the pain. If your discomfort continues, you may want to make an appointment with your doctor to rule out any underlying problems.

You may also address your tension headaches at Kindspine Chiropractic Center, home to the best chiropractors in Atlanta. We offer patient-focused care through a comprehensive list of chiropractic services. Give us a call today to schedule an initial consultation.