Neurosomatic Therapy and Tension Headaches
When it comes to Neurosomatic therapy and treating tension headaches you have come to the right place! Because NST focuses on postural distortions and imbalances within the body, tension headaches can be identified relatively easily. Often we find that those of us who slouch at a desk all day or go about their day looking down at their phone, slowly developing “Text Neck”, actually cause the muscles in the back of the neck to strain or overwork. Much like waking up with a stiff neck, when muscles are left in an odd position for extended periods of time, they adjust and tighten. We have found that these imbalances combined with a hectic schedule or work demands can cause a tension headache to flare up and worsen. Since alignment is so important in our work we will most likely look elsewhere in the body to determine where and how the tension headaches started. Something as simple as having rounding in the shoulders can cause tension headaches to consistently reappear. As with our approach to relieving pain in any situation, creating balance and symmetry is the key!
Symptoms and Treatment
Tension headaches are the most common form of headaches. They are caused by tightening of the muscles in the back of the neck and/or scalp, often triggered by emotional stress, fatigue, or depression. The two classifications of tension headaches are episodic tension and chronic tension headaches. Episodic headaches occur randomly and less frequently, whereas chronic tension-type headaches are daily or continuous headaches where the intensity of the pain may vary during a 24-hour cycle. Symptoms include:
1. Tight feeling in head or neck muscles
2. Tension headaches affect up to 80% of the population in varying severity
3. A tightening band-like sensation around the neck and/or head which is a “vice-like” ache
4. A constant dull, achy feeling on both sides of the head
5. Chronic tension-type headaches may also be accompanied by changes in sleep patterns or insomnia, feelings of guilt, dizziness, poor concentration, ongoing fatigue, or nausea.
For most, tension headaches can be common and an everyday occurrence. Tension headaches typically express themselves through a slow onset of the headache. Pain or tension can begin on both sides of the neck or just one, with the pain feeling like a band or vice around the head getting tighter. Pain can vary from mild to moderate but in extreme cases, such as whiplash, pain can become very severe. Onset of a headache can stem from stressful events or hectic days. Often, over use or improper posture of the shoulders can cause excess tension to build along the top of the shoulders and neck.
Traditional treatment for tension headaches are determined by your physician. Age, medical history, type of headache, and frequency are all factors. Physicians will focus on trying to reduce as much stress or tension as possible. The American Headache Society recommends not skipping meals, avoiding headache triggers such as lack of sleep, rest in quiet dark environments, and manage your stress as much as possible.