Have you recently suffered from a headache? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, nearly all of us will suffer headaches during our lifetime. With hundreds of different causes, getting to the bottom of a headache can be well… a bit of a headache! In this post, we’ll talk about the most common causes of headaches and the best take-home products available to self-manage.
Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache that can be both episodic (comes and goes in a few days to weeks) or chronic (lasts for several weeks to months).
Symptoms may include:
- Dull, mild to moderate pain that usually presents on both sides of the head
- Tight, pressing sensation around the head
- Tightness or tenderness around the scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
- Difficulty sleeping
- Stiffness and discomfort with neck movements
So, what’s causing them?
As the name suggests, tension-type headaches mainly come from tension in the neck, shoulders and upper back. This tension can come from different sources such as:
- Poor posture at work/home/driving
- Stress and anxiety
Our top 5 products to manage tension-type headache
At Back in Motion, we have a range of products for headache management that work by helping to reduce tension and strain on the head, neck and upper back. So, without further ado, here are our top 5 recommended products to manage your headache at home…
A good pillow is extremely important for our necks and for a good night’s sleep. If you think about it, we rest our head on our pillow for several hours every day. Contoured pillows are shaped to provide your neck with adequate support when you sleep at night, reducing tension in the neck and back muscles and leads to better sleep. Both of which are very important for headache management.
The trigger ball can be used to self-massage tight areas in your neck, shoulders, and back. These handy balls can be taken anywhere (e.g. work, holidays) and used frequently throughout the day to relieve tension.
We’re all guilty of sitting hunched for hours in front of a desk or driving a car. Unfortunately, this can lead to stiff and tight upper back and shoulders, contributing to headaches. Foam rollers are a great, simple way to stretch and relieve tension in your upper back.
Neckrest is a self-treatment device that provides a therapeutic pressure to the muscles and joints of the neck to relieve pain and stiffness. It is small and simple to take anywhere to provide self-massage to the neck.
Heat is great for relieving tight muscles around then neck and shoulders. They’re easy to use if you have a microwave and stay warm for quite some time. If you do not have a microwave, don’t worry! Flexipacs can be used both as ice and heat packs. The great thing about them is that they can be heated up using a pot of hot water or in the microwave.
** Please note, all of these products can be used incorrectly causing injury. It is important that you discuss the use of these products, including safety and how often to use them, with your Physiotherapist. If you have not been to see us before you are welcome to attend for a FREE initial assessment to discuss any of the above products.
How do I know if my headache is tension or something else?
At Back in Motion Mentone we provide a FREE initial assessment. This allows you to attend, have your headaches assessed and receive a diagnosis. This is done through some simple questions and tests in the clinic rooms. The physiotherapist will inform you if your headache is due to tension or something else. They will also tell you how a physiotherapist can help reduce your headaches, including the prescription of the above products.
If we cannot help you for any reason, we can point you in the right direction to get help.
Author: Aki Nemoto