Tension Headaches

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If you constantly develop an intense ache in your forehead, you might not know what to think about your situation. Your pain may be due to tension headaches. Tension headaches show up when you have something wrong with your neck and shoulders. Here's what you should know about your pain and what you can do to alleviate it.

What Are Tension Headaches?

Tension headaches usually develop when the muscles in your head (scalp), neck, and shoulders contract from tension, stress, or trauma. Muscles that stay contracted don't relax. Instead the tissues stay tense or tight.

The contracted muscles eventually develop trigger points, or sore spots. Trigger points can radiate, or transfer, pain to different areas of the upper body. For instance, you might have sore spots in your neck muscles that radiate pain to the muscles in your forehead. The pain manifests, or shows up, as headaches.

A number of things can cause stress and trauma in your muscles, including lifting very heavy weights and hunching your shoulders for long periods of time. Some people develop trigger points in their neck and shoulders from sleeping with their heads tucked under their arms.

No matter what the cause is for your tension headaches and trigger points, it's important that you take steps to correct it.

What Can You Do About Your Problems?

Before you do anything, take a moment to relax the muscles in your neck and shoulders. You can do this by massaging the area or by taking a soothing warm bath. Sometimes stretching with Pilates or yoga exercises can help alleviate tension in your neck and shoulders and, by extension, the pain in your head and forehead.

After you find some relief, see a chiropractor for care. A chiropractor will generally examine and assess your neck and shoulders for "knots," or bunched up muscle tissue. The knots may indicate the origin or position of your trigger points. If a specialist finds trigger points, they may treat them with massage therapy. 

Heat therapy and muscle manipulation may work well for you. These types of treatments can help heal your muscles so that they function properly and without pain. If possible, you may need to attend physical therapy to help you regain strength in your tense muscles. However, not all chiropractors offer this service.

For more details about how to alleviate your tension headaches and trigger points, contact a chiropractor today like those found at Burgman Chiropractic Clinic PC.