A tension headache is described as scattered, mild to moderate pain felt in the head that has a sensation of a tight band around the head, squeezing it tighter around the temples and pain can also be felt in the scalp or neck. Tension headaches are caused by reactions to depression, stress, anxiety and injury.
- Take the prescribed pain medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen. It is recommended to use the lowest dose in relieving the headaches. Avoid using high doses of headache medications especially with alcohol or those who are suffering from liver conditions.
- Take a rest in a dark and quiet room since being stressed out can cause headaches. When suffering from a tension headache, there is sensitivity to sound and light. Close the eyes and relax the back, shoulders and neck.
- Close the eyes and cup them using the palm of the hands and then apply light pressure for at least 2 minutes in order to help shut down the optic nerve and helps in relaxing.
- Perform exercises for the neck by placing the palm of the hand on the forehead. Use the muscles of the neck to gently press the forehead against the palm. The head should be in upright position when pressing the forehead against the palm.
- Apply warm or cold compress to the head. These compresses help lessen the pain and tension in the muscles in the neck and head. Apply a warm compress or use a moist hot towel at the back of the neck or on the forehead. Another way is to take a warm shower. Just make sure that the water runs down from the head and on the back of the neck. Wrap a few pieces of ice cubes in a clean towel and place it on the forehead or at the back of the neck.
- Perform deep breathing exercises in order to help in relaxing and minimize the stress in the body particularly the head. It is best to take slow, even breaths and relax.
- Drink plenty of water in order to help relieve tension in the head. Another way is drinking herbal teas in order to help relax the state of mind. Remember that being dehydration can cause headaches.
- Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol beverages in order to prevent dehydration.
- Use the fingertips to gently massage the back and sides of the head and also the areas under the eyes. Move gently the scalp back and forth using the fingertips and also run the fingertips along the sides of the fingers and palms.
- Perform regular physical activities in order to help lessen the tension and stress in the body such as walking for at least 30 minutes as well as running or biking at least 3 times in a week
- Avoid foods that can trigger headaches such as cheese, chocolate, nuts, onions, avocado, banana, citrus fruits, bacon, hotdogs, cured meats and fermented or pickled foods.
- The individual should get enough sleep at least 8 hours every day.