Ways To Tame Tension Headaches
If you ever had a tension headache, you know it can put a damper on your day. This kind of headache usually develops in the afternoon, causing mild or moderate pain that may feel like dull tightness or a band of pressure. Tension headaches occur when neck, shoulder, and scalp muscles become tense. Some people experience tension headaches from time to time others get them more often. While a tension headache is rarely debilitating, it can certainly make life miserable.
If you have frequent tension headaches , here are some strategies that can show you how to get rid of a headache.
What Causes The Neck To Hurt When Youre Stressed Or Anxious
Pain is typically caused by an automatic reaction in the musculoskeletal and nervous systems after the body experiences trauma. However, stress-related pains in the neck are usually the result of emotionally-driven anxiety, which affects the primary muscles and nerves running through the spine, shoulders, and neck.
Becoming so stressed out or anxious that you begin to tense up could cause harm to your body, even if only temporarily. Meanwhile, long-term tension could create a snowball effect that might lead to chronic neck or back pain. Because of the potentially damaging effects that stress can have on the body, its reasonable to consider neck pain remedies before the situation gets out of hand.
How To Control Neck Pain From Anxiety
Generally, when anxiety causes neck pain through muscle tension, the best thing to do is to control the muscle tension first and anxiety second. Most anxiety symptoms require you to respond to the anxiety directly in order for the symptoms to go away, but muscle tension has a tendency to linger. This means that additional treatments might be needed. Consider the following:
- Massage – Massage is one of the best ways to reduce neck pain. It can either be a self-massage or one performed by someone else. Either decision you make, massaging out your tense muscles can genuinely assist in reducing muscle discomfort in your body. This will also help in relieving some of the stress that caused the muscle tension to begin with.
- Hot Bath/Shower – The application of heat is very soothing to tense muscles. A hot bath is ideal however, a hot shower can still be beneficial if you stand in there long enough to have your muscles warm up. Heat forces muscles to relax, making it harder to hold tension. For some, hot water and/or steam can be soothing for anxiety.
- Exercise – If it is not too painful, exercise can improve muscle tension symptoms. Jogging and stretching are especially helpful. When you regularly workout your muscles, it will become harder for them to tense up during times of stress.
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What Is Psychosomatic Pain
The mind and body are linked in complex and diverse ways. Psychosomatic pain, which is more commonly called somatic pain, is pain that has no direct physical cause and often comes along with mental or emotional pain or discomfort.
For example, a stress response leads to changes in hormones and the nervous system that decrease the effectiveness of the immune system.
Similarly, muscle tension naturally follows an anxiety-related stress response as the body prepares to face the danger perceived or caused by the anxious thoughts.
Why Do I Have Tension In My Neck And Shoulders
Posture can be a big factor in developing stress and tension in the neck and shoulders. A lot of people also carry their stress in this area and will often be tight/tense through these muscles without even realizing it. Tension in the neck and shoulders may also happen due to improper lifting mechanics.
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Destress With Essential Oils
Essential oils arent just good for cleaning your yoga mat. Like a stretchy yin session, they can also help soothe tense muscles. I recommend using a few drops of peppermint essential oildiluted in a base of unscented almond oil or other any natural oiland massaging this into the area of your neck that hurts, Ebbin says. Peppermint oil help to relieve pain, as well as calm any muscle spasms. Bonus points if you also take a few whiffs of lavender or rosemary oil, said to help calm your mindor just go wild and make a bath experience out of it.
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This Article By Danielle Sinay Is From Healthline With Medical Review By Debra Sulluvan Phd Msn Rn Cne Coi
When stress and anxiety rear their ugly heads, it is often your neck and shoulders that feel the resulting tension and pain. If you are constantly stressed , this can lead to chronic pain as well as other health issues. Fortunately, muscle tension in your neck and shoulders responds well to stretching, yoga, massage, acupuncture, meditation and other stress management methods. Chiropractic care can also help relieve pain caused by stress-induced neck and shoulder tension or migraine. The following article explores several simple techniques you can use to help release tension in your neck and shoulders, as well as some stress management strategies to help calm your mind and body.
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Prepares The Body For Physical Exertion
If you are working out, no matter if the exercise is light, moderate, or heavy, you should be stretching beforehand. As mentioned prior, doing so helps prevent injury, but it also enhances your workout. Make sure to hit all areas of your body during the stretch, whether or not you think theyre involved in your movements.
Serious Pain See A Therapist
Additionally, you might want to think about visiting a massage therapist. There are trained professionals all across the country and even around the globe that are able to work on tight and tense muscles. While some of these practitioners charge quite a bit, it can be a dollar well spent if you are able to sleep more soundly.
Over time, you will benefit immensely from the regular visits to a massage therapist. As with personal stretching sessions or classes, you will have to repeatedly expose the muscle to stretches if you are going to experience relief. The longer you work on it, the better it will be for you. If self massaging hasnt helped relieve the stress, a massage therapist may be a good consideration.
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Get Help For Chronic Neck Pain Today
Yes, its true. Emotional stress can cause physical neck pain. But that doesnt make the discomfort less real or professional medical treatment less necessary. Let us help you determine the cause of your neck pain and help you create a treatment plan to move forward.
Call our Fremont or Pleasanton, CA office today or book an appointment online at your convenience. We are here to help!
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Quick Ways To Reduce Stress
Taking care of your long-term mental and physical health is an important part of stress management. However, there isnt always time to take a nap, hike a fourteener, or read a novel. Thus, here are 25 ways to reduce stress in five minutes or less. From eating chocolate to meditating, there is a quick stress-relieving tactic for everyone.
1. BreatheSlow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique is supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.
2. Listen to Music No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If youre in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
3. Take a Quick Walk When youre feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. Youll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts.
4. Find the Sun If its a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy people.
8. Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball You can get an impromptu, relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.
12. Be Alone
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Stretches That Relieve Neck And Shoulder Tension
Do you know just how crucial it is to stretch? Stretching is not just for athletes and the physically active. Those of us who deal with too much stress need to do stretches, as do people who live a relatively sedentary lifestyle.
So, why do we need to stretch? Heres the thing: Stress is stored in the body. Whenever we push away unwelcome emotions fear, irritation, sadness we are, in effect, sending stress to live somewhere else. Repression and denial of negative emotions only worsen the problematic physical and psychological effects of stress.
In this article, well discuss 10 stretches that you can do in less than 10 minutes that will relieve neck and shoulder tension. Prior to doing so, well discuss the role that your mood plays in tension. Finally, well give some additional tips for releasing any pent-up tension.
Apply A Warm Compress
Heat brings blood to your muscles, which helps soften the muscle tissue and allows it to stretch and relax.
- Place a blanket or towel between your skin and a heating pad thats not too hot.
- Dont leave the heating pad on for longer than 15 minutes.
- After waiting for 20 minutes, you can apply the compress for 15 more minutes.
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Getting Help For Your Pain
So you think your neck pain might be stress-related. Even so, allowing Dr. Mallavaram to examine you is still a critical part of the diagnosing process.
Through a physical examination and perhaps even image testing, he may be able to find something else that could be affecting you, or he could help you pinpoint the location of your pain. Any of these results could benefit you in treating your pain long-term.
There are several ways you can treat pain of this nature, and the most important is to try and reduce stress. This can be done through relaxation and visualization techniques, meditation, and better prioritization of your needs. Group or individualized therapy can also do a world of good.
However, there are many physical treatments that could help as well, such as:
- Physical therapy
- Avoiding smoking
In some cases, certain injections may be helpful for those with severe chronic neck pain that has gone beyond the point where the above suggestions alone can help. Dr. Mallavaram will be able to assist you in determining which treatment option will be best going forward.
How Do You Relieve Tension In Your Neck
Massage Therapy to Relieve Neck Tension
What could cause pain in your neck?
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How Do You Loosen Tight Neck Muscles
Side Rotation Keep your head squarely over your shoulders and your back straight. Slowly turn your head to the right until you feel a stretch in the side of your neck and shoulder. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, and then slowly turn your head forward again. Repeat on your left side. Do up to 10 sets.
Give Yourself A Massage
Although splurging on a massage is always a good idea, if your busy schedule or budget doesnt allow it, you can totally go the DIY route. All you need is a tennis ball.
Heres how Ebbin suggests you do it: Lay down on a hard floor with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place the tennis ball under your neck right where you feel the tension. Let the weight of your neck and head fall onto the ball, then gently rock your body back and forth so the ball massages your neck. Doing this for a few minutes will stimulate circulation and blood flow to that area, helping to release the tension.
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Adjust The Height Of Your Computer Screen
Whether your dining room table has become your new “office” or you are on the couch with your laptop, there’s a good chance your posture is taking the hit, says Rebecca Brown, a physical therapist.
“Due to the height of the laptop, laptop users often sit with rounded shoulders and a downward tilted chin, which is not ergonomically sound,” she says. “To keep your shoulders expanded and neck elongated, I recommend subbing your laptop screen for a computer monitor that can be positioned at eye level, which will encourage an upright sitting posture.”
You can also try propping your laptop on top of a stack of books to achieve a more posture-friendly position.
How To Relieve Stress From The Neck Or Shoulders
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When it comes to pain, the neck and shoulders are common sites for many people in the modern world. But may people are not so up to date with learning how to relieve stress from the neck or shoulder muscles. Although the sedentary lifestyle keeps much of the musculature throughout the body from being activated, the neck and shoulders are different. As millions of people sit at the keyboard all day, these muscles become and stay tense without us even knowing for such a long period of time.
As a result, the tension in the neck and shoulders can sometimes seem insurmountable. This pain is usually an ongoing thing, which might have flare ups at certain times. For instance, when you return to work on Monday after a couple of days off. The muscles have had a couple days to rest and recover, but the common story is that they contract even more, causing more pain then what they did on Friday.
On the other hand, Saturday afternoon might be when your pain gets really bad. The bit of a break from work might be all these muscles need to begin objecting to the daily abuse from being stuck typing out words 40 hours each week. Either way, hoping to relieve stress in the neck or a knot in the shoulder without much assistance can prove fruitless.
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