April 23, 2010

Treatment & Remedies for Tension Headache

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

What causes tension?

Headaches caused by tension are perhaps the most common type of illness that affects millions of people all over the world. Usually described as a dull ache, they can occur at the on the forehead, the back of the neck or the base of the skull. The other symptoms of this condition include irritability, insomnia, tenderness in the shoulders, neck and scalp and feeling constantly tired. Tension headaches are caused by a variety of factors which include inordinate stress, changes in sleep routines, insomnia, skipping meals or eating too little, as a reaction to certain kinds of medication, constant clenching and grinding of teeth, a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, sitting in cramped spaces and maintaining an uncomfortable position for long periods of time. They can also be triggered by conditions such as pregnancy, menstrual periods or menopause when the hormones tend to fluctuate. Ailments affecting the joints or muscles in the neck and shoulders can also lead to headaches. Occasionally they are also a sign of a tumor in the brain, or the rupture of a blood vessel that has weakened over a period of time. It is advisable to visit a doctor and to get a series of tests done to eliminate the latter possibilities.


Acupuncture is a widely advised remedy and some insurance plans even cover it as a medical expense, although you may want to avoid it in case you have a blood disorder or are under medication to thin the blood. As far as home remedies are concerned, take deep breaths the moment you feel a headache coming on and breathing in the scent of essential oils such as lavender will ease the headache by relaxing the body. Massage the neck, upper shoulders and head with a soothing balm or some essential oil to ease the muscles and release stress. While you could go to someone for a massage, a self massage is also highly beneficial. You could try a few steps to reduce the pain, such as scrunching up your forehead and releasing the muscles, squeezing up the eyes tightly and then opening them slowly, tightly clenching your jaw and then releasing it, pressing your lips together tightly and then slowly releasing it. A bath in lukewarm water with some aromatherapy oil added to it can also relax the body and help control the headache. Meditation and yoga are popular remedies as these teach you to control stress to an extent but be sure to go to a trained professional for these as some regimens may adversely affect the body.