Simple Steps for Getting Rid of
and Preventing Tension Headaches
Did it ever occur to you that
tight muscles are responsible for your tension headaches?
For example, do you spend your days hunched over a computer terminal
or stooped over a drill press?
Do you slouch at your desk?
Are you on the
phone all day with a phone crooked between your neck and ear?
If so, you're practicing poor posture, which is causing
your neck and shoulder muscles to tighten up.
Remaining in a poor posture for extended periods puts
a strain on already tense muscles. Fatigue sets in as blood flow decreases,
resulting in knots and muscle spasms. This causes even tighter muscles and
more severe symptoms, which can cause tension headaches.
Unless you take
action, they will plague you more often and become progressively worse.
Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can
take to help prevent this vicious circle:
Strategies and Stretches To Prevent
1. Sit up straight and stand up straight. In other words,
assume the military position: shoulders back, head up, chest out, stomach
2. If you sit all day, get a chair with good back support.
3. Bring your work surface closer to you. For example,
if your job involves stooping down to your work station, elevate it on a
platform so you don't have to bend down so low.
4. Take several breaks during the day to perform a series
of stretching and isometric exercises. These can be done sitting or standing.
a. With your hands behind your back, gently pull your
shoulders back and maintain this position for one to three minutes.
b. Turn your head halfway to the right (or left). Then
drop your head forward until you feel slight tension. Let the weight of
your head gently stretch the neck muscles. Go slowly - no pain! Hold this
position for up to two minutes, then turn to the opposite side and repeat.
How to Get Rid of a Tension Headache
So what should you do if you've already got a tension
1. Perform the previously mentioned stretching exercise
2. Apply moist heat on the neck and shoulders, a towel
soaked in very warm water, for example. If moist heat is impractical or
isn't available, use dry heat.
3. Get someone to give your neck and shoulders a deep