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Understanding Tension Headaches

woman at home hand on headTension headaches are a common affliction, affecting a significant portion of the population. As the most prevalent type of headache, comprising 36-78% of all headaches, tension headaches can cause mild to moderate aching in the temples, forehead, neck, shoulders, and behind the eyes. But just because they’re common, it doesn’t mean they’re normal!

Tension headaches typically manifest as a dull, aching pain that may feel like pressure or a tight band around the head. The temples, forehead, neck, shoulders, and areas behind the eyes are commonly affected. While the severity varies, tension headaches generally fall within the mild to moderate range.

Tension headaches are more prevalent among adult females, although they can affect anyone. When it comes to treatment, traditional pharmacological options are often considered. However, these treatments may come with side effects that individuals wish to avoid.

Natural Treatment Approaches

Fortunately, there are effective conservative treatments available for tension headaches that offer natural, non-invasive alternatives.

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy focuses on addressing muscle tension, improving posture, and enhancing overall muscle strength and flexibility. Through targeted exercises, stretches, and manual therapies, physical therapy aims to reduce tension and relieve headache symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT involves identifying and modifying negative thought patterns and behaviors that may contribute to tension headaches. By learning stress management techniques and coping strategies, individuals can effectively manage and reduce the frequency and intensity of their headaches.

Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a technique that helps individuals gain control over bodily functions through real-time monitoring of physiological responses. By learning to regulate these responses, such as muscle tension and heart rate, individuals can effectively reduce tension headaches.

Self-Management Techniques: Self-management techniques for tension headaches encompass lifestyle adjustments, stress reduction strategies, relaxation exercises, and mindful practices. These techniques empower individuals to take an active role in managing their headaches on a day-to-day basis.

Nutrition: Maintaining a balanced diet and staying properly hydrated can play a crucial role in preventing tension headaches. Avoiding trigger foods, staying well-hydrated, and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into the diet may help reduce headache frequency and severity.

Both chiropractic care and acupuncture have shown promise in managing tension headaches:

Acupuncture: A study revealed that acupuncture resulted in a 50% greater decrease in headache frequency and duration compared to sham treatment. Acupuncture targets myofascial trigger points, muscle nociceptors, blood flow, and inflammation, providing potential relief for tension headache sufferers.

Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care, including manual therapy, has demonstrated efficacy in treating tension headaches. Studies have shown that chiropractic and manual therapy were 27-82% effective in reducing headache intensity and frequency, with minimal side effects reported.

Combining Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture

Combining chiropractic care and acupuncture has yielded excellent results for patients suffering from tension headaches. The combination effects of these complementary therapies can provide comprehensive relief and improve overall well-being.

“I’ve seen patients first hand thrive when they have a hybrid approach that includes chiropractic and acupuncture,” says Dr. Erik Camac.

Get Relief Today

Ready to make headaches a part of your past? Contact our team today to find out how our practice can help. Book a visit to get started!



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