35 Proven Ways on How to Relieve Chronic Tension Headaches
Do you often feel like there is a tight band on your head or pressure around the back of your neck or forehead? It is probably because of tension headaches. However, when it happens more often than 15 days per month, it is called chronic tensions headaches.
This kind of problem can come and go over a period of times. However, it can last from 30 minutes and even longer. Although it feels painful, the patient usually can still fo their daily activities because it doesn’t affect vision, balance, and strength.
There are many reasons why this problem occurs, some of them are:
- eye strain
- poor posture
- stress (emotional or mental)
If you suffer from these symptoms, it is possible that you have a tension headache:
- dull pain in the head
- trouble sleeping
- pressure around the forehead
- feeling tired
- muscle sore
- sensitive to light or noise
- trouble focusing
How to Relieve Chronic Tension Headaches
There are some methods you can try to ease your headache. Here are 35 ways to relieve your chronic tension headaches
1. Hot or Cold Treatment
Put a warm towel or hot water bottle at the back of your neck. Or if you prefer cold, wrap an ice pack in a towel and put it at the back of your neck.
2. Tennis Ball Massage
Another way to relieve the pain is by applying pressure to the back of your neck. Put two tennis ball into a sock and tie it tightly. Then, lie on your back on the floor and put the tennis balls under the base of your skull. Move your head around for a few minutes so that you feel light massage with the balls.
3. Rest in Dark and Quiet Place
Sometimes headaches are accompanied with sensitivity to sound and light. To help you ease the pain, you can rest in a dimly lit room and close your eyes.
4. Massage Around Neck and Back
A gentle massage will help the tight muscles to relax. Massage the painful spot gently with your fingertips to help you ease a headache. Press gently and move your thumbs in small circles.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar Compress
Add 1/4 cup of apple cider to a half bowl of boiling water. Place a towel over your head so that it drapes over the bowl and hold your face over the bowl, but don’t get too close so that your face doesn’t get burned by the steam.
6. Try Stretching
Staying in one position for a long time may also be the cause of your headache. Take a break every 30-60 minutes and move your head and neck around in circular motions.
7. Try to Relax
For a headache that caused by stress, relax is a good way to help you relieve the pain. Take several deep breaths slowly and relax your body that feels tight.
Caffeine can help the pain relief drugs for your headache to work faster and better. But you should see how your body response because sometimes it is the headache trigger for some people.
Stimulating certain points in your body through acupuncture may help you ease the pain in your neck, shoulder, and head. In fact, some studies said that acupuncture treatment over several months can reduce the amount of headache tension.
Reflexology is a traditional Chinese medicine healing method by massaging certain points at your feet. It is effective in treating various health problems, including headaches.
11. Make Sure You’re Hydrated
Drink water can help you reduce the severity of headaches and migraines. In fact, when you don’t drink enough water daily, that alone can cause a headache. Make sure you’re hydrated by not only drinking enough water but also eat high-water-content fruits and vegetables.
12. Lavender Oil Can Also Help
Beside peppermint oil, lavender can also help you ease a headache due to its advantages as a mood stabilizer, sedative, and migraine treatment. Rub diluted lavender oil on your forehead, temples, and back of your neck.
12. Reduce MSG Intake
For some people, food containing MSG can trigger their headaches due to its capability to excites neurons. Try avoid MSG if this is the trigger for your headache.
13. Take Magnesium
Magnesium can reduce the frequency of headache attacks. You can take magnesium supplements or eat foods that are rich in magnesium such as beans, whole grains, broccoli, squash, nuts, and meats.
14. Take a Detox Bath
A detox bath can help you brings out the toxin from your body that might make you sick. Add a cup of baking soda to a hot bath water and sit in the cooling water to help your body release the toxin. You can replace baking soda with essential oil or apple cider vinegar.
15. Peppermint Oil
This oil helps you increase the skin blood flow on the forehead and soothes muscle contractions. Massage peppermint oil to your temples, forehead and the back of your jaw.
Some over the counter drugs like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can help relieve a headache. However, don’t use these medications for more than 3 days a week because it may cause another headache caused by overused medication.
Chiropractic helps to relieve pain by reducing the oxidative stress in the body. Studies show that this practice can reduce a migraine and tension headaches.
18. Do Yoga
Yoga can boost relaxation because it combines postures, breathing exercise and meditation. It will help you with the muscle tension that causes your headache.
- Acupressure: Press in slightly upward with your thumbs the base of your skull where the depressions on both sides of where your head meets your neck.
- Fix Your Sleeping Habits: A poor sleeping habit can be the cause of your headache. Pay attention to your sleeping routine to help alleviates a headache and migraine.
- Daily Exercise: A tension headache is best relieved by exercise. Choose exercise that can unwind muscle tightness and stress.
- Drink Ginger Root: Simmer 3 slices of raw ginger root in 2 cups of water, covered for 30 minutes. Sip slowly.
- Exercise Your Neck: The tension around the neck can be the cause of headache pain. Exercise your neck by pressing your forehead lightly against your palm.
- B-Complex Vitamin: Some headaches caused by serotonin deficiency. Taking one B-complex vitamin supplements can help you with this problem.
- Cayenne: Cayenne pepper can stimulate the circulation. Use it as muscle rubs to help alleviate your headache symptoms.
- Eat some Nuts: Almonds contain salicin which is found in painkillers for a headache. Eath a handful of almonds when you start feeling the headache.
- Cinnamon: Grind some cinnamon into powder and add some water to make a paste. Put it on your forehead and rest for 30 minutes before wash it with lukewarm water.
- Take Some Feverfew: Add 1 ounce of fresh or dried feverfew flowers to a boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes before straining it, and then drink half a cup twice a day.
- Thyme: Rub gently one or two drops of thyme essential oil on your temple and forehead.
- Apple: Not only apple cider vinegar, the apple fruit itself will help you with your headache. Eat a piece of apple sprinkled with salt. Then, drink some warm water after.
- Grape Juice: Make grape juice by blending fresh, ripe grapes with a bit of water and drink it. Grapes is a good pain reliever, thus it will help you relieve the pain because of headache.
- Basil: Basil leaves has many analgesic benefits and help you relieve a headache. Put 3 or 4 basil leaves in a cup of boiling water and simmer. Add a little honey and drink it.
- Cloves: Inhale the smell of crushed cloves whenever you feel a headache. You can also massage your forehead and temples with 2 drops of clove oil mixed with a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Don’t Skip Your Meals: Skipping meals can also be the reason you’re suffering from the tension headaches. Therefore, try to eat regularly and don’t skip your meals.
Tension headaches are caused by specific triggers, therefore understanding what causes your headaches will help you prevent another episode of tension headaches by avoiding triggers. Additionally, these things will also help you to prevent this problem:
- stress reducing therapy
- don’t smoke
- drink lots of water
- limit your alcohol, caffeine, and sugar intake
- exercise regularly
- get enough sleep, but not too much
- eat a regular, balanced diet
- Improve your posture
Beside what I explained above, here I give you visually about relaxation on how to relieve chronic tension headaches. Check this out.
Finally those are proven ways on how to relieve chronic tension headaches, as well as causes and effects you must know, then prevention for this kind of disease.