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Can Tense Muscles Cause Migraines

Tension Headache Risk Factors

Neck Pain and Tension Headache

Up to 80% of adults in the U.S. get them from time to time. About 3% have chronic daily tension headaches. Women are twice as likely to get them as men.

Most people with episodic tension headaches have them no more than once or twice a month, but they can happen more often.

Many people with the chronic type have usually had them for more than 60 to 90 days.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mixed Tension Migraines

Mixed tension migraines have symptoms of both tension headaches and migraines. However, symptoms may vary from person to person. In other words, you may have more symptoms associated with a migraine than a tension headache or vice versa.

The pain of a mixed tension migraine can vary from dull to throbbing and from mild to severe. Mixed tension migraines typically last 4 to 72 hours.

Symptoms of a mixed tension migraine include:

  • pain on one or both sides of your head that may get worse with activity
  • nausea or vomiting

Make Sure That Your Headaches Arent A Sign Of A Serious Illness

Headaches can be a symptom of stress. Or they may be a sign of a serious physical problem. For example, a headache may be a symptom of a tumor in your brain, or of an infection of your brain or the coverings of your brain. Or of any number of serious health problems.

This means that if you have chronic headaches, the first thing to do is to go see your doctor to make sure that your headaches arent being caused by a physical illness.

You want to be sure to go see your doctor if you have a headache with any of the following qualities:

  • Your headache comes on abruptly and is severe
  • Your headache is accompanied by fever, a stiff neck, confusion, double vision or difficulty in speaking.
  • You have a headache after a head injury.

Your doctor will take a history, do a physical examination and if necessary do blood tests and imaging studies.

If your doctor doesnt find any physical cause for your tension headaches, then you can pretty much assume that they are probably caused by stress and/or anxiety. And then you can treat them accordingly.

You can confirm for yourself that your tension headaches are probably caused by stress and/or anxiety if they have the following qualities:

  • Your headaches tend to occur during periods of feeling stressed/anxious.
  • Your headaches tend to occur along with other symptoms of stress or anxiety.
  • Your headaches tend to come and go depending on your level of anxiety/stress.

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Comparison Of Tension Headache With Similar Headaches

A few examples of differentiating factors of tension headache from other headaches are:

  • Symptoms of tension headache such as neck pain and tenderness in the head and neck regions are also seen in migraine headache or cervicogenic headache. However, the pain in tension headache has a constricting nature and usually does not worsen with physical activity.
  • The pain in tension headache is always triggered by stress; unlike food, smell, hormones, or postures known to trigger other headaches.

A condition called mixed tension-migraine is a headache with characteristics of both tension headache and migraine headache. The migraine headache is believed to occur first, causing muscular tension that leads to tension headache.

There are no diagnostic tests to confirm tension headache. Diagnosis is based on physical examination and medical history including type, location, and characteristics of pain. Diagnostic tests are conducted when a possibility of tumor, infection, or nerve disorder is suspected.

Migraine Relief Waynesville Oh

Headache After Yoga (The Why and How to Fix)

Stress is such a big factor in these types of headaches that a good place to start is to try to find the . Some ideas are:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Change up your daily routine
  • Include stress-relieving activities
  • Make time for exercise
  • Be sure to have some down time to relax

Another area to look into is seeking the care of an upper cervical chiropractor. If a misalignment is present in the upper bones of the neck, a change may have occurred in the blood or cerebrospinal fluid flow to and from the brain, hindering the nervous system and causing muscle tightness.

At Thrive Chiropractic, we use a gentle method to help these bones move back into place and improve the health of the upper spine. This is often all that is needed to see a decrease in headaches, migraines, and muscles tightness. To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Waynesville, OH office at You can also click the button below.

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

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What Are Migraine And Tension Headaches

Although there are several types of headaches, migraine and tension headaches affect the most people. When you have a headache, it isn’t your brain that’s hurting. Your head aches because nerves in the bones, blood vessels, meninges, and muscles of your head are irritated. These irritated nerves send pain signals to the brain, which identifies where you hurt and how bad the pain is.

Talk with your healthcare provider about a treatment plan that may help relieve pain and prevent future headaches.

Treatment For Migraine Headaches

Find out what your triggers are and avoid them. Keep a headache diary so you can track things like what you’ve eaten and had to drink, how much you’ve slept, activities you’ve taken part in, weather, and other factors. After you’ve had a few migraine headaches, you can see what things they have in common.

You may be able to catch a migraine on the front-end. Abortive medications, which you take as soon as you feel one coming on, can often stop the process. Drugstores carry over-the-counter ibuprofen medications specifically for migraine headaches. If they aren’t enough to help, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications.

If you don’t respond to other treatments and you have more than 4 migraine headache days a month, your doctor may suggest preventive medicines. You can take these regularly to reduce the severity or frequency of the headaches. These include seizure medicines, blood pressure medicines , and some antidepressants.

It’s also possible you will be prescribed use of external medical devices for relief. They include a hand-held called gammaCore which is a noninvasive vagus nerve stimulator . I, it can be placed on the vagus nerve in the neck to interrupt verve signals for migraine relief. Another device called a SpringTMS can be used for treatment or prevention or migraines. It is placed on the back of the head and gives off a pulse of magnetic energy into part of the brain to stop or ease

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Natural Relief For Migraines

Most people are trending toward more natural care for their head pain. Here at Mountain State Wellness in Morgantown, West Virginia, we understand the way that muscle tension affects the blood vessels in the brain. Our focus is on making sure the top bone of the neck is in proper alignment.

A misalignment here affects the muscles of the entire neck, even causing one side of the neck to be tighter than the other. Using a gentle method, we help realign the atlas bone, helping our patients with migraines get some well-needed relief.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lucas Watterson or Dr. Amy Watterson call our Morgantown office at You can also click the button below.

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.

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Chronic Tension Headache: How Long Can They Last

Headaches caused by lower trapezius trigger points – trigger point for headaches and stiff necks

What if youve had a tension headache for a week? Maybe many times? Or what if you just have a constant tension headache, indefinitely? All these awful scenarios can still be just a tension headache or some other musculoskeletal headache, and most are but the longer a tension headache lasts, the more likely theres something else going on.

This tutorial is mostly about chronic tension headaches, but with plenty of comparing and contrasting with migraine and many other kinds of headaches. Its about troubleshooting unexplained headaches that may or may not have anything to do with tension. Theres lots ahead about diagnosis and when to worry about headaches, the multitudinous causes of headaches,3 reviews of all the best and most popular treatment options . There are some case studies, some dad jokes, and plenty of fun facts and mythbusting along the way.4 Headaches are awful, but they are also interesting!

About footnotes. There are 201 footnotes in this document. Click to make them pop up without losing your place. There are two types: more interesting extra content,1 and boring reference stuff.2 Try one!

The interesting ones are mostly dorky digressions, clarification, context, whatevers needed to fully inform a keen reader. And some are whimsical and silly, like this random selection from the PainSci comic archives

weirdness standard

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The Link Between Migraine Headache And Neck Pain

When migraine causes neck pain, physical therapy, a different pillow, and trigger point injections can all help.

If you often have neck pain during a migraine attack, you may wonder if its a sign of something more serious, or possibly not a migraine at all.

Although there can be other underlying reasons for neck pain that comes with a headache, its a common symptom of migraine headaches, says Sandhya Kumar, MD, a neurologist who specializes in headaches at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Its also possible for neck pain to be associated with different types of headache other than migraine, says Dr. Kumar.

If youre not sure if your neck pain is a related to your migraine attacks, or if the pain is in fact causing your headache, keep reading to find out more about how neck pain and head pain are linked.

Treating A Pinched Nerve In Your Neck

Your doctor may recommend one or a combination of the following treatments:

  • Cervical collar. This is a soft, padded ring that limits motion. It allows the neck muscles to relax.
  • Physical therapy. Following a specific set of guided, physical therapy exercises can strengthen neck muscles, improve range of motion, and relieve pain.
  • Oral medication. Prescription and OTC medications your doctor might recommend to ease pain and reduce inflammation include aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, and corticosteroids.
  • Injections. Steroid injections are used to lessen swelling and relieve pain for a long enough period for the nerve to recover.

Surgery is an option if these less invasive treatments dont work.

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Cervicogenic Headaches Leading To Migraines

When one feels a tightening of the muscles of the neck preceding head pain, it is called a cervicogenic headache. The nerves and the muscles near the cervical spine are stimulated and become tense. These nerves extend up into the head, leading to head pain. In turn, this can be a trigger for a migraine. This is often brought about by emotional or physical stress. What is the best way to care for this type of a headache?

Your Headaches May Be Caused By Tense Neck Muscles

The "Migraine Maker": Can this Shoulder Muscle be the ...

By;;|;;Submitted On March 10, 2010

Massage therapists report that neck massages are some of the most common they perform…a fact that’s not really surprising when you stop to think about that area of your body. The most obvious contributor to neck pain is – as we all know – that unavoidable stress. Whenever we suffer from stress and tension, the neck can suffer most – in the form of pain and swelling – very quickly. And when that happens, the pain is felt not only in our neck, but in our head, back and shoulders as well. The good news is that a neck rub is a proven treatment for the pain and swelling brought on by stress.

Many factors can contribute to neck pain and can also be effectively treated by neck rub therapy. As mentioned, the most dominant cause of neck pain is stress, but some other common contributors include trauma/injury, muscular problems, trapped nerves or arthritis located in the neck area. Neck massages can provide relief from these contributors as well as those associated with pain from sleeping in an awkward position, carrying a heavy object or sitting too long at work. Engaging in neck massage therapy can reduce the instances of future problems.

So how do you know if the pain you are experiencing is actually neck pain? Below are some identifiers of neck pain…an indication that a neck rub is needed:

*Stiffness that affects the neck muscles;

* A radiating pain to the shoulders or between the shoulder blades;

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Overview Of Physical Therapy And Manual Manipulation

To put things briefly:

  • Physical therapy and manual manipulation are extremely effective in reducing cervicogenic headaches and dizziness
  • These treatment techniques provide long-term results;with continued use.
  • While many types of physical therapy provide immediate relief, the biggest improvement is seen a few months after the treatment

Here at Cellaxys, we provide treatment options that could help you avoid surgical intervention if the problem persists.

Mesenchymal Stem cell and Platelet Rich Plasma treatments are most effective in combination with physical therapy.

Can You Prevent Tension Headaches

Even with treatment, most people still have some headaches. But with treatment, you will probably have them less often. And when you do get them, they probably won’t be as bad.

Home treatment may help you avoid headaches. You can:

  • Try to reduce stress.
  • Make sure you sleep, exercise, and eat on a regular schedule.
  • Make sure you practice good posture. Stand and sit up straight.
  • Try not to strain your eyes when you use your computer.
  • Get treatment for depression or anxiety if you have those health problems.
  • Try using a headache diary. Every time you get a headache, write down the date, the time, and what you were doing and feeling before your headache started. This may help you and your doctor find out what is causing your headaches. Then your doctor can use the diary to plan your treatment.

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Finding Other Possible Causes

In very rare cases, headaches can be caused by more serious health problems . But most headaches aren’t caused by anything serious, so you probably won’t need to have tests.

You can treat most tension headaches with:

  • Over-the-counter pain medicines.
  • Prescription drugs if you have chronic or very bad headaches.
  • Avoiding things that trigger your headaches.
  • Meditation and other ways to lower your stress.

Home Remedies For Migraine

Anxiety and that Awful Muscle Tension / The Root Cause for Most of Your Symptoms

Prevention is always better than trying to treat a headache that’s already underway. Try these strategies at home to prevent Migraine attacks and better manage your symptoms.

1 – Drink Plenty of Water. Dehydration is a common trigger of TTH and Migraine attacks

2 – Relax with Yoga. Practicing yoga is an excellent way to relieve stress, reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches, and improve your overall quality of life.

3 – Avoid Strong Smells. Strong peculiar odors of certain perfumes and cleaning products may be the possible triggers.

4 – Use Ginger. Ginger helps ease stomach discomfort and nausea.

5 – Try Supplements for Prevention. Magnesium, CoQ10, and B2 all have evidence behind them.

6 – Avoid Foods High in Histamine. Histamine is naturally present in the body and plays a role in the immune, digestive and nervous systems. Commonly found in certain foods like aged cheeses, fermented food, beer, wine, smoked fish and cured meats.

7 – Use Essential Oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that contain aromatic compounds from a variety of plants. They offer many therapeutic benefits, often used topically. Peppermint and lavender essential oils are especially helpful when you have a headache.

8 – Try an Elimination Diet. Research suggests that food intolerances can trigger headaches. The best way is to avoid food that causes a headache. Try an elimination diet that removes the foods most related to your headache symptoms.

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Q Can I Buy This Anywhere Else Amazon

A.;Not yet. Maybe someday.

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  • The role of general exercise in headache treatment
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  • The cannabinoids: marijuana and hemp, THC and CBD its complicated!
  • Muscle relaxants , psychoactives, and sedatives
  • Botox for chronic daily headaches
  • Reducing vulnerability: tackling the things that make all kinds of pain worse
  • A bit more about booze
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    Part 3.2

    Tight Posterior Neck Musculature Causes

    Figure 7. Cervicocranial myofascial attachments on the head. Permission Joseph E. Muscolino. Advanced Treatment Techniques for the Manual Therapist: Neck .

    When posterior extensor musculature of the neck and head become chronically tight, they exert their constant isometric contraction pull upon their attachments, which is primarily the head . This results in constant pulling on the fascia of the scalp, which can cause irritation and pain at the scalp, in other words pain or aching at the head, in other words, a headache . This type of headache is termed a tension headache. So, tight posterior neck musculature can cause a headache!

    Note: Tight fascial adhesions in the back of the cervicocranial region can also create a extension force to oppose the flexion force of gravity upon the head and neck, as explained in the last paragraph. This would also create tightness in the back of the neck/head region, which can, as this paragraph explains, create a tension pulling on the head, resulting in a headache.

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