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Tips to help with tension headaches

By Melinda Maskey
from Maskey Massage

All of us sometimes have “those days”. Ones where you have more to do than hours to do it. Where you relate to the song “Under Pressure”. Worst of all, ones where your head feels as if is it caught in a vice.

That vice like feeling is probably caused by a tension headache. It’s the most common form of headache, and it is estimated that around 7 million Australians have experienced them.

You will probably feel a dull aching pain on both sides of the head, and sometimes your neck. Muscles around the area may feel tight, tender or sensitive to touch, and movement may be restricted.

But there are things you can do to help.

Tips to help with tension headaches:

  1. Have a large glass of water. Hydration is important. Fatigue is a side effect of dehydration. Both fatigue and dehydration can cause headaches.
  2. Take a break. Make sure you take a break from your work every 30 to 60 minutes. That means getting up and moving around. The goal is to rest and reset. Look to getting movement through different muscle groups.
  3. Play ball. Grab your massage ball of choice (lacrosse/tennis/spikey), stand up straight and place the ball between your neck or shoulders and the wall. By bending your legs up and down, you can use the ball to gently massage the areas of tension. Just remember, keep those shoulders relaxed, your neck elongated, stand with your feet hip width apart and breathe.
  4. Get a massage: Your qualified massage therapist can target and soothe those muscles that are causing your discomfort.

There are also some steps to take to avoid getting tension headaches in the first place.

  1. Look at your triggers: Stress may not be avoidable, but the way we approach it impacts the way our body responds. If possible, avoid triggering situations. If you can prepare for them, do so by treating your body well.
  2. Sleep: As mentioned above, fatigue is a factor in causing headaches. Make sure you get enough quality sleep.
  3. Make Good Choices: You know the drill… exercise, limit caffeine & alcohol intake and give up smoking.
  4. Check your bedding. If your bed or your pillows aren’t giving you the support you need, it may be time to look to upgrade.

Wishing you all a pain free future.

More about the author

Melinda Maskey
Melinda Maskey
– Maskey Massage

Melinda Maskey is a Remedial Massage Therapist and the Founder of Maskey Massage.

Maskey Massage offers Remedial Massage, Sports Massage, Cupping and Dry Needling. With over 18 years of clinical practice and a strong client outcome focus, all treatments tailored to individual needs.