Tension Headaches and Chiropractic Care

Headaches are common. However, not all headaches are the same. Each type of headache has a different cause, with different parts of the body involved. For example, migraines usually start in the brain and have nerve irritation involved. The type of headache that I want to focus on is the tension headache, as it is most likely to respond favorably to chiropractic care.

Tension headaches involve the muscles of the neck, back, shoulders, and skull. A few of the muscles that may be involved in causing your neck pain and eventual tension headaches are the levator scapula, upper trapezius, posterior scalenes, and the suboccipital muscles. When these muscles become chronically tight, a tension headache may result. Many of these muscles attach at the base of the skull. When they become tight, they shorten, putting tension at their attachment point. Typically a patient will describe this sensation as neck pain that’s most noticeable at the base of the skull, which then refers around the top of the head to the forehead, or temples. Over contraction or tightness of these muscles may be caused by poor posture, emotional stress, and repeated movements (sitting at a computer desk for 8+ hours a day).

If you are experiencing tension headaches, chiropractic care may be an option for pain relief. Treatment at Rochester ChiroTherapy for someone believed to have tension headaches would include a combination of deep tissue stretching, chiropractic manipulation of the neck, and posture strategies/exercises to use between appointments. Our goal with treatment is to lengthen the short, tight muscles, release the tension in the neck joints, and then give the patient posture strategies to help improve symptoms between appointments. Natural pain relief for tension headaches is possible, and chiropractic care may be your answer.