What is tension headche?
Tension headaches are usually because of chronic musculoskeletal pain, usually on both sides and feels like pressure or tightness around your head, at the back of the head, behind the ears , on the scalp all around the temples and above eyelids. These headaches were previously known by many terms such as psychogenic headache, stress headache, psycho-myogenic headache, muscle contraction headache etc.
What are the common symptoms?
- Feeling of tight band around your head.
- Pain behind the ears, around your eyebrows and temples.
- Pain is mild to moderate and is usually present bilaterally.
- Pain and discomfort in neck and around the shoulders is present.
- There is associated history of cervical problem.
- Pain does not worsen with physical activity.
- There is increased sensitivity to light, sound and stress.
- Such patients usually present with poor posture- forward head, rounded shoulders and curved upper back.
How physiotherapy can help?
- Patients suffering from Tension headache opt for Physical Therapy. A full musculoskeletal examination is conducted by a physical therapist to determine the headache symptoms.
- The musculoskeletal examination includes: Joint mobility, Range of motion of the neck, Tenderness, Strength & power of the deep neck flexor muscles, Posture Analysis and Trigger points.
- After the examination, a specific treatment plan is constructed by the therapist.Which includes:-
- Manual therapy to release trigger points in the tense muscles and set back the alignment of spine.
- Electrotherapy to manage pain at the back of the neck and around the shoulders.
- Stretching exercises to help maintain extensibility of tightened muscles because of poor posture.
- Strengthening exercises which are specific of your physical findings to prevent it from further occurrence.
- Posture modification to help maintain more aligned body.
- Ergonomics advice to help manage triggers in pain.
- Relaxation and deep breathing techniques to relieve stress and tension and thereby reducing the episodes of headaches.