The majority of headaches are tension-type (up to 90%).
Tension-type headaches are caused by trigger points in the muscles of the neck and head.
Tension-type headaches are generally bilateral, of mild to moderate severity and generally described as achy, tight or pressure type pain. Pain can be at the base of the skull, radiate from the neck, back, into the eyes, on top of the head or the face. They are generally not associated with nausea, vomiting or auras; which can be related to cervicogenic or migraine headaches.
General factors that increase symptoms of tension headaches include stress, sleep deprivation, bad posture, eyestrain, hunger, and fatigue.
Stress can increase holding patterns and muscle tension leading to increased headaches. Sleep deprivation can cause decreased healing of tissues in the body leading to chronic inflammation. Poor posture is almost always associated with headaches and can lead to increased stress and strain of tissues and joints in the body. Eyestrain can lead to an increase of muscle tightness at the base of the skull due to common nerve pathways.
Treating Tension Headaches
A Manual Physical Therapist can assess and treat dysfunctions of joints, muscles, fascia, and nerves of the cervical spine. Improving balance and mobility of the cervical and cranial joints and soft tissues can significantly improve tension headache symptoms.
Therefore tension-type headaches can be treated with soft tissue mobilization of trigger points in the muscles of the head and neck. Joint mobilization is used to improve the alignment of the spine and mobility of the cranial sutures.
Nerve tension can be treated manually to improve the function of nerves. Exercise for the cervical spine is also used to improve and increase overall strength and stability. In addition, relaxation techniques along with education on proper posture and body mechanics are all important components in the prevention of tension headaches.
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FMT is the key to faster healing. It is why many clients tell us they received the same benefit after one FMT session as five traditional physical therapy sessions they had tried before. FMT is not traditional physical therapy. Learn more...
Founded in 2004, Elite Health Services, with locations in Old Greenwich, CT, is a world-class provider of certified Functional Manual Therapy™, personal training, pilates and running services. Elite Health Services has already helped thousands of your colleagues, friends and neighbors throughout Lower Fairfield County.