For sufferers of chronic headaches you will understand of the often regular struggle to simply complete daily activities can be. Our Chiropractic office see’s many people suffering various types of headaches on a weekly basis. Today we will focus on perhaps one of the most common presentations, the tension headache. Recent estimates suggest that approximately 4 out of every 10 people will experience tension headaches throughout their life.

Tension-type Headache Statistics

  • Typical age of initial onset ranges from 10yrs to 50yrs of age
  • ~40% of individuals who suffer regular tension headaches also have a relative who presents with similar problems
  • ~10% of individuals also subjectively report migraine like symptoms during attacks
  • Majority of people suggest they experience headaches on a daily basis
  • Tension headaches are defined as ‘chronic tension-type headaches‘ when an individual suffers more then 15 episodes throughout one month

Tension Headache Pain Distribution

  • Dull, persistent mild to moderate pain that is felt on one or both sides of the head
  • Pain may radiate into the neck, shoulders and jaw
  • Associated symptoms may include pressure sensation within the head, scalp tenderness, muscle tightness, altered skin sensitivity
  • Headaches may be accompanied by reduce neck movement or general stiffness
  • Associated migraine symptoms may include nausea, sensitivity to light
  • Signs of depression and anxiety is extremely common

Common Triggers

  • Poor posture
  • Prolonged periods of sitting
  • Bright lights or loud noises
  • Inappropriate medication or prescription levels
  • Stress, anxiety, insomnia
  • Hormonal factors
  • Familial history

How Can You Better Manage Your Tension Headaches?

  • Consult with an appropriately trained musculoskeletal professional such as a Chiropractor. Chiropractors are ideally placed to assist individuals suffering particular types of headaches that originate from the cervical spine or associated muscular and soft tissue structures
  • Consult with your family general practitioner to discuss potential medication options
  • Investigate potential stress-relieving options

Can Headaches Be A Medical Emergency?

In particular cases headaches may warrant referral to hospital for further analysis. Symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • Onset of a headache following a traumatic injury
  • When your headache is accompanied with fever or vomiting
  • If you demonstrate signs of blurred vision and inability to speak
  • If you headaches are not relieved by medications