ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tension Headache Relief and Prevention

Updated on April 2, 2013

Do you suffer from tension headaches?

A tension headache is the most common type of headache. It can be brought on by stress, muscle tightness, and spinal misalignment.

How do I know so much about tension headaches?

I began learning about tension headaches after I began suffering from them as a result of brazilian jiu jitsu training. Jiu Jitsu students are especially vunerable to tension headaches because spinal misalignment is common during practice, and your muscles can become tightened for prolonged periods of time. When I started getting headaches after jiu jitsu I asked around and always got the same answer; drink more water. That was frustrating because I was already drinking more water than most people, and I was still getting these massive headaches. Through trial and error, and a lot of research, I have learned to manage my headaches, and even learned how to prevent them from happening.

Tips for Tension Headache Relief

It is always a good idea to prevent a headache before it happens, but sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop them. Tension headaches can be extremely painful, and can disrupt your normal daily activities if they are not addressed. Here are some tips for achieving tension headache relief.

  1. Massage - if you are able to have someone give you a neck and shoulder massage, that is the best option. Find the knot that is causing the pain and work it out; you will get the best results through massage.
  2. Neck and Shoulder Relaxer - if you don't have anyone around that can give you a massage, then use a neck and shoulder relaxer, like the one featured in this lens, to stop your headache. It will relieve the tension in your shoulders and neck, and the headache will soon fade away.
  3. Stretching - stretching your shoulders and neck can sometimes help, although this is best when combined with a second treatment.
  4. Anti-inflammatory Drug - like stretching, I have found that this usually works better when combined with another treatment. Tension headaches can be very painful, and although the drugs might be able to dull the pain the problem is still going to be there. The best therapy would be to address the problem and work on relieving your shoulder and neck tension.

Headache Poll

How do you relieve your tension headaches?

See results

Massage Therapy for Tension Headaches

We have all had a lousy massage before, and although people might be willing to work on you, not everyone knows how to properly gift a massage. In this video, courtesy of Love Life Massage, you will see exactly how to massage someone who is suffering from a tension headache.

Back Buddy and Thera Cane - ( for when you don't have someone to massage you)

I use a Thera Cane at home when I need a massage and don't have anyone available. The Thera Cane was suggested by our doctor to help with knots in my mother's shoulders. It quickly became a family favorite and now I have my own and have used it many times to work out a shoulder knot that was giving me a tension headache.

The Back Buddy is the same concept just a different manufacturer; both do the same thing.

Tips for Tension Headache Prevention

1. Use a neck and shoulder relaxer - use a relaxer, like one featured on this lens, to help prevent tension from building in your shoulders and neck. When used every day for 10-15 minutes, this is a great tool to help prevent headaches.

2. Take an anti-inflammatory drug - If you know you are about to get a headache, take an anti-inflammatory drug like Ibuprofen; this will help stop the headache before it starts. For example, when I go to jiu jitsu classes in the evening I know I will be woken at 3-4am with a tension headache; so before bed I always take an Ibuprofen. An anti-inflammatory drug combined with a neck and shoulder relaxer always keeps me headache free.

3. Back Alignment Exercise - When I feel like my back is misaligned I know I'm at risk of getting a tension headache. To prevent the headache I do an exercise to help align my back and relax my muscles. See below for instructions.

Back Alignment Exercise

I like to do this exercise to help align my back after jiu jitsu; I have found that it helps prevent headaches from starting when combined with another prevention tip.

To do the exercise, sit on the floor and hold your knees; then roll back and forth on your spine over a hard surface. You might even hear your back crack as it re-aligns itself. If you can, put your legs over your head and touch the floor for a couple seconds, then release and roll back to sitting position.

Neck and Shoulder Relaxer - (use this to prevent and stop tension headaches)

When I would get headaches, I would roll up my pillow and put it in the curve of my neck to relieve the tension in my shoulder and neck area. Other than massage, this was the only way I could find any relief. When I found this Real-Ease product I kicked myself for not thinking of it first because it is designed to do exactly what I was doing with my pillow at home.

Real Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer
Real Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer

This product was designed to cradle your neck at the base of your skull to release muscle tension in your neck and shoulder area. This is the best investment you can make for yourself if you suffer from tension headaches. If you know someone that gets headaches, give them this and they will thank you forever!

 

Did you find this helpful?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 

      7 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Exercise helps me overall with pain. I tend towards neck and shoulder pain versus headaches.

    • jojokaya lm profile image

      jojokaya lm 

      7 years ago

      Nice lens.....

    • GuyB LM profile image

      GuyB LM 

      7 years ago

      I don't do jew-jitsu, but I get terrible headaches listening to my stupid wife all night. I'll give these tips a try. Thanks chief.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)