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Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll – Oh! And tension headaches.
5 ways to relieve/alleviate tension headaches

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by Laurie Plouffe No Comments

Tension HeadachesFun fact; all of the above can help relieve tension headaches (well maybe not rock n’ roll, but that all depends on your taste in music). We’ve all heard the rumor that sex can relieve a headache – obviously there is little credible research available to reference but no one is judging if it’s your first go to option, it is physical activity after all! Many common over the counter analgesics are available for the treatment of headaches, and music (whatever your favorite is) can also relieve headaches owing to the fact that it promotes relaxation.

Take a step back though. What even is a tension headache?! Well, your friendly neighborhood Physiotherapist may refer to it as cervicogenic headache. This means that it originates in the muscles around the neck that support our head. Our heads are heavy people, we need to support them, but like everything, there is a right and a wrong way to achieve this.

What can I guarantee will relieve or completely alleviate your headaches? MOVEMENT – the right type of movement.

5 easy steps to being headache free at work or on the go

  • Posture; make sure that your shoulder blades are flat on your back and tuck your chin – if your nose is in the air your neck is in despair! Plus this helps you breathe better – more oxygen to the brain cannot be a bad thing!
  • Stability training; training your deep neck flexor muscles can significantly decrease the incidence of tension headaches. These are the muscles hat hold your head without you thinking about it. Many times we stop using them and use bigger muscles in their place. Your physiotherapist can discuss these exercises with you in more detail.
  • Stretch;
    1. gently tilt your ear towards your shoulder. Hold for 20-30seconds
    2. turn your head and tilt your nose so you’re effectively smelling your arm pit. Hold for 20-30seconds.
  • Breaks; take regular breaks from work tasks, especially if your work requires you to be in a static posture for an extended period of time. Get
    up and walk to the water cooler!
  • Hydrate; Drink. Fill. Repeat. Too often we forget to drink enough water or drink too much coffee! Coffee is a diuretic, which means it promotes the excretion of water from the body. So drink up to replace the fluids your morning “pick-me-up” may be depriving you of!

If headaches have been affecting you for too long check in with your physiotherapist to determine what your particular needs are. Remember that pain is often the last link in the chain of a chronic injury – it’s paramount to address the underlying dysfunction. This will ensure success in treating what ails you.

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