What are Tension Headaches?

There are many kinds of headaches that people may have for many reasons. One of the most common types of headaches is called tension headaches. These types of headaches are usually brought on by stress, anxiety, or muscle tension. Some people may get them due to poor posture, strained muscles, or dehydration.

Tension headaches can be moderate or severe. Trying to get through a day with a tension headache can be difficult, but thankfully the right treatment can greatly reduce or eliminate tension headaches.

Signs and Symptoms of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches generally are felt in the forehead, around the temples, or in the back of the head. It may feel like you have pressure across these areas of your head as if the muscles are tight or strained.

Some people with tension headaches may suffer from light or noise sensitivity. When you have this type of headache, it can make you feel fatigued and make it difficult to concentrate. Some sufferers may experience nausea or dizziness during a headache.

How the Upper Cervical Spine Affects Tension Headaches

The upper cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae. These vertebrae make up the upper part of the spinal column, starting just below the skull and going down the neck. They play an important role in supporting the weight of the head and protecting the central nervous system right where the brain stem connects to the spinal column.

When these vertebrae are misaligned, it can cause inflammation, swelling, or compressed nerves. It can throw off the posture of the head and neck, causing strain and fatigue in the muscles and ligaments. All this can result in tension in the head, bringing on tension headaches, or in worse cases, migraines.

The head and neck are vulnerable spots on the body and are prone to injury. Misalignments can happen from a jolt to the head, craning the neck to look down at devices, or even from a poor night's sleep on a bad mattress. Without intervention, the problem can grow worse over time, making headaches more frequent or more severe.


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