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Headaches are a common problem for many people, and most people get them at least occasionally. Muscle tension headaches are a specific type of headache related to tight or spasming muscles in the back of the neck and head. Muscle tension in this area irritates nerves and reduces blood flow, causing pain. Chiropractic treatment has been shown to be effective in treating these types of headaches, as well as preventing them from recurring.
The muscles of neck originate in the area between the shoulder blades. They then run up the back of the neck and attach to the base of the skull. When these muscles become too tight or start to spasm, the tension on the muscle attachments to the skull causes pain in the head.
Tension headache pain is different for every person, but it can often feel like a band pulled tight around the head. The pain is usually dull and mild to moderate in intensity. However, severe tension headaches can occur, and some people get headaches with mixed features of tension headaches and migraines.
Anything that causes muscle tension in the upper body can potentially lead to tension headaches:
It is impossible to list every single trigger for muscle tension headaches because the underlying cause can occur for so many reasons. Any time there is tension in the muscles of the upper back and neck, there is a risk for tension headaches. The muscle tension itself may not be noticeable, but the effect can still be enough to cause head pain.
There is evidence that chiropractic care is effective in the treatment of muscle tension headaches. Treatment is aimed at providing relief from pain by relaxing the tense muscles that are attached to the base of the skull. A secondary aim of treatment is to reduce the frequency of headaches by maintaining a relaxed state in the relevant musculature.
Primary treatment usually includes stretches to loosen the muscles in the back and neck, which should relieve pain. Chiropractic adjustments can help ensure that the joints are properly aligned and will not put additional stress on the muscles. Once the initial pain is relieved, exercises may be prescribed to help patients strengthen their muscles and prevent a recurrence. Regular stretching, especially during periods of increased risk such as working on a computer, can help prevent recurrences as well.
If you suffer from muscle tension headaches, our award-winning chiropractors can help you feel better and stay that way. Ringer Chiropractic in Tracy, CA, treats many conditions related to muscle tension headaches, including back and neck muscle tightness, joint misalignment, and acute injuries. To make an appointment for a FREE initial consultation, call us today at 209-835-2225.