If you’ve been suffering from regular tension headaches, then chances are you’ll try anything to make them stop. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of people will eventually deal with tension headaches, so you’re not alone. If traditional treatments haven’t been helping, it could be time to experiment with alternative therapies. These aren’t necessarily traditional medical procedures but have still been shown to provide many benefits.
All of the treatments listed below are safe and non-invasive, so you’ve got nothing to lose by trying them. Headaches are so common that the practitioner you see is sure to be experienced in treating them.
During an acupuncture session, fine needles are inserted into the body at special points believed to manipulate the flow of energy and reduce pain. You shouldn’t feel any more than a mild discomfort while the needles are inserted, and everything will be fully sterilised and safe. Research on the use of acupuncture to treat headaches has shown that it may help by increasing endorphins in the body, reducing inflammation and stimulating nerves which affect the way we process pain. Many people also find acupuncture helpful in relieving stress, which can be a common cause of tension headaches.
Aromatherapy uses different essential oils specially blended to target your specific problem. Your practitioner will take a detailed medical history and then put together a blend of oils tailored to you. The oils can be applied to the skin during a massage, inhaled gently or dropped into a bath of water for maximum relaxation.
Peppermint oil is sometimes applied directly to the head due to its cooling properties and ability to stimulate blood flow. Lavender oil can help reduce stress and alleviate sleep problems, which are often seen in combination with regular headaches. Eucalyptus can help to relieve pressure in the sinuses, a common culprit when it comes to head pain. You might need to experiment a little before you find the aromatherapy treatment that works for you.
There are several different types of massage which can be really helpful in stopping headaches and reducing stress. A craniosacral massage involves a therapist gently massaging your skull and scalp, stimulating the nerves and reducing pain. A massage around the neck and shoulders can also help to release the tension that often contributes to headaches. A neuromuscular massage is an effective way to relax muscles by applying pressure to special ‘trigger points’. You might feel some discomfort while the pressure is applied, but the relaxation you feel afterwards will be worth it.
Acupressure is a simple type of massage that works by applying pressure to different areas of the head. Once you’ve had the massage carried out professionally, you can try some of the techniques yourself next time a headache strikes.
Nagging, persistent lower back pain can affect life at many different levels. Comfortable movement is impaired, sleep can be disrupted, and your ability to concentrate or work effectively can be hindered. Lower back pain may be a result of injury, overuse, or poor posture, but sometimes lower back pain is a symptom of a problem in other areas of the body.
Lower back pain is most frequently caused by direct damage to the muscles, tendons and / or ligaments that support the lower spine. When these structures are torn or strained, the surrounding muscles will often become inflamed and sensitive, which in turn may cause spasms and difficulty moving. Any type of movement that causes improper pressure, strain or torsion on the structure of the lower back can cause these things to happen. Pain may flare up suddenly and often persists for several days or even weeks after the initial injury.
Lower back pain can also be caused by injury caused to other major muscle groups, particularly the legs. Several large muscle groups attach over the hip into the spinal column, and misuse of these muscle groups will cause pain in the lower back even though the muscles themselves may not be painful. If the lower body is engaged in activities like leaning, lifting or slouching and the upper body is still, the lower back will often become irritated.
Massage therapy works to relieve muscle tension, muscle spasms, pain, inflammation and general stiffness. Massage techniques involve a practitioner using their hands or specialized tools to apply pressure and motion to affected muscles, that in turn increases circulation and blood flow. Improved blood flow to impaired muscles helps deliver oxygen and nutrients needed for repair and function as well as remove waste products that are trapped. With reduced muscle tension and stiffness, less strain is placed on the lower back, allowing it to move more freely with less pain. Muscles can move in a more coordinated fashion, improving balance and reducing the chance of further injury.
Being thoroughly checked by a doctor and a qualified physiotherapist can help you determine the cause and the best treatment for your problematic lower back pain. Without knowing the actual problem, the pain and lack of mobility can continue for a prolonged period of time. Getting a proper diagnosis and proper treatment will help shorten recovery time, minimize inconvenience and reduce overall pain.
Modern life has many people working in ways that are not entirely natural to the human body, such as spending much of the day sitting hunched over a computer screen on straining their neck to focus on smart phone screens. These can lead to tension in trigger points which not only cause immediate pain and discomfort but can also lead to referred pain such as headaches, pain in the shoulders or finger pain.
Here are some of the causes of neck and shoulder trigger pain as well as tips on how to deal with it.
What causes trigger point tension?
Some people are naturally vulnerable to tightness in the shoulder or neck muscles due to having relatively short muscles in this area. Jobs or hobbies that encourage working in one position such as positions that involve staring at a single computer screen (either for work or gaming) can also exacerbate neck pain. Sports that encourage rapid asymmetrical movements can also lead to tension in the neck (including tennis if players overly favour forehand or backhand shots).
Some people find that sleeping in a unusual position can create tension in the neck. Overweight people, especially those with large breasts or substantial belly fat, can also have a have strain on their spine and neck due to the extra weight. An injury can also lead to sustained tension in one or more muscles.
How do I know if I have trigger point tension?
The main way that you can determine if you have tension in a trigger point is that the pain or other symptoms leave after either massage or acupressure in the those points. It’s important to use an experienced massage therapist, as stimulation to the neck and shoulder can usually cause a twitch reaction, but a true trigger reaction can be felt by an experienced therapist.
How can I solve my trigger point tension?
If you have trigger point tension, it can be a good idea to get regular massage therapy to release the tension in those points. Additionally, you can ask your therapists for some self massage techniques so that you can give yourself some relief between sessions if you need. You can also explain your normal routine to the therapist and get some feedback on simple ways to modify your work or sleeping positions to provide some ongoing relief.
Getting some professional support can help you to manage neck and shoulder pain through non-medical options such as massage therapy.
Used to sitting in front of the computer working for several hours? Your devotion is impressive, but it can be stressful for your shoulders. The rotator cuff in your shoulder is a group of muscles connecting your shoulder blade and arm. Weak rotator cuffs triggered by frequent inactivity cause shoulders to feel tense because they are unable to provide postural support to your upper body. Pilates equips you with precise exercise patterns to strengthen your rotator cuff and relieve tender muscles.
Build A Strong Rotator Cuff Using A Resistance Band Standing Up
To build your rotator cuff muscle, your Pilates instructor may recommend a specific exercise using a resistance band tied to a wall support. You will need to stand upright with your back straight. Place your elbow on your hipbone and bend your hand. Pull the resistance band against the wall support sideways and keep repeating this movement a few times. Do this on both sides everyday to strengthen your rotator cuff. The resistance caused by your action of pulling the band away from the wall support will strengthen your rotator cuff muscles over time, which will reduce the strain you feel. A resistance band tied to any wall support is a supremely easy exercise you can perform at home or at your office.
Perform Chair-Based Exercises Every Time You Feel Tension Building Up
Your Pilates instructor may even show you how to do some specific chair-based exercises to help you strengthen rotator cuffs while you’re working. Taking a few minutes off will make a big difference to the way your body feels. A good chair-based exercise for your rotator cuff is to place your arms in line with your shoulders sideways with your hands over your shoulder blade. Rotate your elbows in the backward and forward position a few times to ease shoulder muscle tension. Follow other exercises prescribed to protect your shoulders from severe stress.
Lie Down On A Yoga Mat To Alleviate Shoulder Stress
Your Pilates instructor will make you lie down on your side while placing your arms in front. Align your knees to your hipbone in the front. This will help you take advantage of the stretching exercise comprehensively. Place a cloth or small cushion below your head to avoid pulling any neck muscles. Keep one hand to the ground and turn the other in a full circle to the other side. If you are unable to keep one hand constantly on the ground, you know that your rotator cuff muscles are tight. Keep practicing to succeed. At the fully stretched position with both hands grounded on either side of you, make sure your chest faces upwards to stretch your rotator cuffs exhaustively.
The best part of these Pilates exercises is the fact that you can do them at home or in your office without any difficulty.