Natural Treatment options for tension headaches

Posted on: 16 June 2016

Chronic tension headaches can be incredibly isolating and affect the patient's ability to participate in their work and home life. There is a range of options for dealing with headaches including lifestyle changes, use of painkillers, and remedial massage. Many people prefer to avoid long term use of medications due the side effects and prefer a more holistic natural health care approach to their problem. 

Lifestyle changes

There is a range of lifestyle changes that can help reduce tension headaches including reducing stress, drinking enough water to avoid dehydration and maintaining good posture throughout the day to avoid undue stress on the neck and shoulder muscles. Many people also find that drinking alcohol can increase the frequency and duration of tension headaches, so it's a good idea to try avoiding alcohol to see if that helps your headaches. It can often be useful to learn some relaxation techniques such as visualisation and breathing exercises to help relieve stress in the moment for unavoidable situations such as being stuck in a traffic jam. 

Sleep hygiene

It can also be valuable to monitor your sleep habits and see if your headaches tend to occur when you have had a poor night of sleep. Many people find that poor sleep can also trigger headaches. 

People who have chronic teeth grinding during sleep can also develop jaw pain which can lead to tension headaches. If this is the case for you, it can often help to wear a nighttime dental splint, which you can get from a dentist.  

Remedial massage

There is a growing body of evidence that regular remedial massage can help reduce the frequency and duration of chronic headaches. In one study participants started to see improvements after just one week of twice weekly, half-hour remedial massages of the neck and shoulders. This can be a powerful option to help relieve headaches and prevent future headaches. 

There is growing evidence that there are some particular trigger points in the trapezius muscles, where the muscle is permanently harder and more tender in sufferers of tension headaches. Releasing tension in this area can help to relieve headaches. 

If you suffer from chronic tension headaches it can be a good idea to try some natural health care options to see if these provide you with some relief. Why not head into a massage clinic and see if getting some remedial massage helps you to have fewer tension headaches?