How to Get Rid of a Tension Headache︱IMPACT Physical Therapy

How to Get Rid of a Tension Headache

Tension headaches are the most common form of headaches, causing many to seek tension headache relief on a regular basis. Knowing how to get rid of a tension headache can help you get your day back on track after pain strikes, so let’s explore what causes tension headaches and how to relieve this unwanted discomfort. 

What is a Tension Headache? 

Tension headaches are caused by the muscles in the neck and head. When these muscles contract, they can cause a ripple effect of pain behind the eyes, around the skull, and down the back of the neck. The pain level of tension headaches can range from mild to severe, and can feel like a tight band squeezing the head. 

Tension headaches are caused by a wide variety of triggers, including stress and environmental factors. Common causes of tension headaches include: 

  • Eye strain: the muscles in your head are very sensitive, so excessive screen time, dry eyes, and fatigue can play a big role in tension headaches. 
  • Food and beverage: consuming caffeine or alcohol can make a big difference, as well as becoming dehydrated or skipping meals. 
  • Illness: tension headaches can be brought on by allergies, a cold, or the flu.
  • Stress: your emotional wellbeing can trigger a tension headache, especially if you find yourself overwhelmed. 

What Does a Tension Headache Feel Like?

Tension headache symptoms can vary from person to person, and can range from a mild discomfort to severe pain. Those seeking tension headache relief will often report feeling: 

  • Pressure, especially around the forehead 
  • A dull pain throughout the head and possibly neck 
  • Forehead and scalp tenderness

More intense tension headaches can often be confused with migraines, but those types of headaches usually also come with nausea and more throbbing pain. 

How to Relieve Tension Headaches

So, how does one get rid of tension headaches? The first step is to think about what could’ve caused your symptoms. Drinking water, moving away from screens, and getting rest are good ways to find tension headache relief, and you should also make sure you’ve had enough to eat. An ice pack or heating pad may also target your pain. If none of these remedies help relieve your tension headache, you can also try taking an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin. However, pain relievers should be used as infrequently as possible. 

If you are experiencing chronic tension headaches, it may be time to address certain lifestyle choices and introduce more proactive tension headache relief solutions. Stress management techniques such as meditation and mindfulness practices can help soothe aggravated systems, and physical therapy can address your posture and muscle strength for improved wellness. 

Physical Therapy for Tension Headaches

If you’re looking for more advanced techniques on how to get rid of a tension headache, the physical therapists at IMPACT Physical Therapy can help. We have multiple locations throughout the Chicagoland area, and can introduce pain management techniques to help relieve your headache symptoms. Learn how to relieve tension headaches with our team today when you request an appointment