Tension headaches are nasty and can range from mildly uncomfortable to completely debilitating. They are caused by the tightening of the muscles in the neck and shoulders and are most often triggered by stress. It's a vicious cycle because once the headache starts dealing with the stress becomes exponentially more difficult and this quickly intensifies the headache.
Unfortunately in today's busy lifestyle the triggers for headaches are everywhere. The daily pressure on women in every aspect of our lives can be absolutely overwhelming.
Parenting, financial pressure, lack of sleep, juggling multiple roles and responsibilities and often feeling unable to fulfill your potential in any of these roles leads to stress and anxiety.
All of these triggers create very real physical reactions in your body. Muscles spams and hormonal changes are the most noticeable. Neck, back and shoulder pain, irregular periods and fertility issues, anxiety and increased blood pressure are some of the most common symptoms.
It's vital to find both long and short term solutions to managing both the symptoms of stress as well as the stress itself.
Short-term treatment options to provide pain relief include:
Research has found that regular exercise can relieve muscle tension and help alleviate stress-related symptoms such as tension headaches, anxiety, depression and some other mood disorders. Other ways to reduce the effects of stress in the long term, and help to decrease the incidence of tension headache, include:
Taking the first step towards managing your stress can be daunting, especially when you are already overwhelmed but just focus on one thing at a time. Find one exercise class, or make an appointment to see your doctor, or make a date to take a walk, or book a massage. The positive benefits of taking the first step to managing your stress levels can already make a huge difference in improving your health and quality of life.
Anice Lombard, Massage Mama. Mama of 2 and Massage Therapist