Do you suffer from tension headaches?
Do you know that funny feeling of wearing a cap on your head?
It feels weighed down, slowed down and the pain is constant, giving in to nothing.
What causes these headaches and how can you manage their symptoms?
This is what we will try to understand.
- 1 What is a tension headache?
- 2 What are the symptoms of tension headaches?
- 3 How to diagnose tension headache?
- 4 The frequency of tension headaches
- 5 How to deal with tension headaches?
- 6 Tension headaches treatment
- 7 Tension headache natural treatment
- 8 Acupressure for relieving tension headaches
- 9 In summary
What is a tension headache?
Tension headaches are the most common and almost certainly the most misunderstood primary headache.
It’s often said to be muscle tension or anxious tension.
But recent research has shown that this explanation is wrong.
Tension headaches are not related to muscle twitching or anxiety.
Its mechanism is an abnormality of the neuronal modulation of the trigeminal nerve.
This nerve brings sensory data from the face and skull to the central nervous system and connects to the muscles of the head.
Trigeminal nerve connections are documented in neurology but they also induce pain in cranial structures, blood vessels, mucous membranes, and peri-cranial muscles.
It is important to note that it is not the brain that feels the pain but the pericranial tissues including the bones and the meninges which are sensitive to pain.
The latest studies also show that tension headaches are linked to the neck and especially the cervical ones.
What are the symptoms of tension headaches?
Tension headaches are often bilateral and are described by patients as sensations of:
- head pressure
- screw stuck in the skull
- cap pain
- stiff neck
As a rule, this pressure is applied to the entire head from the forehead to the neck.
The intensity of tension headaches can vary but are rarely severe.
It is not made worse by physical activity.
How to diagnose tension headache?
Tension headaches can last from 30 minutes to a week.
They usually have at least two of the following characteristics:
- bilateral localization
- pressure or stiffness
- moderate-intensity not worsened by physical activity (such as walking or climbing stairs)
- they do not cause nausea or vomiting
Photophobia (sensitivity to light) or phonophobia (sensitivity to noise) can occur, but never both.
It is important to understand all of the characteristics that one may encounter with tension headaches.
Pericranial tenderness is detected by palpation all around the skull.
The doctor must differentiate between the points that trigger the pain in the temporal muscles and the suboccipital region.
There is a strong link between tension headaches and migraines.
These two types of headaches often occur together.
The major criterion that definitively diagnoses tension headache is based on a list of characteristics that completely excludes symptoms of migraines.
The frequency of tension headaches
The frequency of episodes of tension headaches is used to differentiate the subtypes of this condition.
– episodic tension headaches occur about once per month but less than 12 days per year.
– The frequent forms have about ten episodes per month for at least three months in a row.
– chronic tension headache evolves from a status frequently and occurs on average 15 days per month.
This chronic form is generally resistant to anti-inflammatory drugs and is accompanied by migraine.
In this case, we note that the migraine affects only one side of the head when the tension headache acts in a bilateral vice.
Likewise, nausea is only related to migraine.
How to deal with tension headaches?
The question to ask yourself is: “have you requested a medical examination of your neck?”
If not, it is highly recommended to carry out tests and consult a neurologist specializing in migraine quickly to identify the root of your problem and the underlying causes.
The second question to ask yourself is: “have you recently requested a physical exam of your brain stem?”
You need to know if it is the cause of your tension headaches because it is a major part of the nervous system.
If not, it is also recommended to schedule an appointment with a neurologist.
Tension headaches treatment
It is very difficult if not impossible to relieve tension headaches with conventional treatment.
They react very little to painkillers.
And because they are made worse by stress and fatigue, the underlying cause is often treated first.
Tension headache natural treatment
Magnesium boosts metabolism by stimulating the action of enzymes, regulating ion channels, and promoting nucleic acid synthesis.
Numerous studies highlight the benefits of magnesium in the prevention and relief of tension headaches.
It is essential to favor a non-aggressive form of magnesium for the digestive system so as not to aggravate the tensions.
Go for a bisglycinate magnesium (#ad) which has no noticeable side effects.
Melatonin is often put forward to improve sleep, especially during times of stress.
We know that stress increases tension and therefore headaches.
It has anti-inflammatory properties because it has toxic anti-free radical activity.
Some studies have shown abnormalities in melatonin secretion in patients with migraine and marked improvement after administration.
So it may be wise to take a melatonin supplement (#ad) to regulate sleep, improve its quality while taking advantage of its anti-inflammatory properties.
We know that restless nights can only prolong the pain.
A dosage of 2mg per day is recommended.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause chronic headaches.
And as you know, many of us on earth run out of it without knowing it, especially in winter due to the low level of sunshine.
With calcium, vitamin D has been shown to significantly reduce migraine episodes.
Choose a vitamin D3 more absorbable by the body like this (#ad) and take it daily or weekly so you never run out.
The recommended dosage is 2000 to 4000IU per day.
You can opt for a dosage of 10000IU per week.
Turmeric is well known for its health benefits.
He is especially an excellent natural anti-inflammatory that can replace conventional analgesics.
Add a turmeric complement (#ad) for pain relief without side effects.
Coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinol is a powerful antioxidant that is effective in preventing migraines for several years.
A controlled study shows that taking 100 mg of co-enzyme Q10 (#ad), 3 times a day for 3 months significantly improves the frequency of attacks and days without headache and nausea.
Coenzyme Q10 may therefore be an effective solution in the background treatment of migraine.
No adverse effects were noted, not even at an intake of 1200 mg per day.
Note, however, that Coq10 is not recommended for diabetics, people on anticoagulant therapy, and pregnant women.
Vitamin B12 can be a real relief from this form of migraine.
We know that B vitamins act directly on overactive stress in neurons.
It can therefore have a major impact on muscle relaxation and thus free you from the shackles.
A dosage of 25mg per day for 15 days is highly recommended.
Go for a vitamin B12 methylcobalamin (#ad) to benefit from the high absorption of its most natural form.
Acupressure for relieving tension headaches
Tension headaches can be relieved by specific acupressure points that just need to be squeezed and stimulated for a short time.
Neck acupressure point
You can strain the two points shown below in the hollow at the base of the skull.
For a satisfactory result, apply firm pressure with the thumbs of both hands while applying circular motions for two to three minutes.
Eye acupressure point
You can continue your session by stimulating the point described below, located between the two eyes, in the center of the eyebrows.
Apply moderate pressure, this is a sore spot.
Again, apply small circular motions at the same time while pressing and hold the exercise for two to three minutes.
Skull acupuncture point
End your session by stimulating the point indicated below located at the top of the head.
To locate it precisely, draw an imaginary line from the tip of the ear to meet the other ear.
The dot is in the center of this line.
Again, apply pressure this time firmly and hold for two to three minutes.
You can also apply small circular motions while squeezing.
Many factors cause migraines, but tension headaches are quite different.
Headaches are classified into four categories:
- cluster headache
So tension headache is not a migraine and is not handled the same way.
An impeccable lifestyle as well as the intake of certain targeted supplements can help you reduce or even treat your disorder.
Chronic headaches natural treatment