Tension headache is one of the several types of headache that affects everyone at some point of time. And this article tells you how to relieve this form of headache with a few simple tips.
There are 150 types of headaches, and the most common types include tension headaches, migraines, headaches that arise from sinus problems, a combination of migraine and tension and cluster headaches. The characteristic feature of the tension headache is the mild to moderate pain or hatband tightness (a feeling of tightness or weight around the head) that is felt by the affected individual.
It is obvious that most people turn to over-the-counter pain relievers to manage these headaches. However, the main disadvantage of OTC drugs is that if they are continued for a long time, they can actually worsen the problem. Common painkillers available over-the-counter include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), and naproxen sodium (Aleve).
Drugs that are commonly prescribed to reduce pain may include naproxen (Naprosyn), indomethacin (Indocin), and ketorolac (Ketorolac Tromethamine). Some people are recommended with a combination of drugs. This method proves more helpful in some cases. It must be known that the frequency and severity of the condition is a big factor that influences the treatment.
Apart from drugs there are a few self-care measures that can be followed at home to manage the problem:
- Since stress is the biggest trigger, the first step you need to take is to manage the stress level in your daily life. Organize your tasks in a systematic way by prioritizing things. Get involved in activities such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and help yourself relax. If you feel you are getting overloaded with work, then take a day off to relax. Most importantly, use your free time in doing what pleases you.
- There are certain stretching exercises which also help people reduce the intensity of these headaches. All you have to do is stretch the muscles of the neck and the back. Here’s one simple exercise that you can perform. Sit in a comfortable position, while keeping the shoulders relaxed. Turn your head gently in an anticlockwise direction, and then in a clockwise manner. Another exercise is sitting in a straight back chair and lowering the chin. Tilt your head towards the right, keeping the chin down. Now using your hand(s) pull your head towards the right and stay in this position for about 30 seconds. Remember not to pull to a point where it starts to pain. Repeat with the other side. Take a 10 minute walk outside your house.
- Application of hot compresses might also provide relief. Using a heating pad, a warm compress, or taking a hot shower helps in reducing the pain.
- One of the primary causes of muscle strain is an improper posture. So, make sure that you correct your posture, so that you exert less strain on the muscles.
- For acute headaches, a good head massage using an aromatic oil surely provides a great deal of help in lessening the pain. It works better if you have someone to do it for you. Massage helps in increasing blood circulation, which lessens the pain.
If your tension headache is episodic, then you may not have to go through much of a trouble in dealing with it. It is the chronic form that is a bit more difficult to cope with. If you often have such episodes, then seek medical assistance at the earliest.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.