Dull, aching head pain? Sore shoulder muscles? A tender neck or scalp? A feeling of pressure across your forehead? All these are symptoms of a tension headache.
Unfortunately, most of us have experienced headaches at some point. Research reveals that tension headaches occur most commonly in the 40-49-year age group, with women being more likely to experience them. However, they can affect individuals of all ages. It’s important to know the various ways in which they can be triggered and work on preventing them from occurring in the first place.
There could be numerous reasons for your headache. Triggers can include physical or emotional stress, fatigue, alcohol or smoking, colds or sinus infection, eye strain or dental problems. Other factors like the temperature of the room and sitting in one posture for too long (e.g. while driving or sitting in front of a computer) can also bring on headaches.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is one way to help prevent tension headaches. Although, there is another technique that may seem surprising.
Today, more and more physiotherapists are recommending strength training to help your neck get stronger and ‘fitter’ for the demands you place on it. Physiotherapists now recommend strength training of the neck muscles as a long-term strategy toward preventing headaches.
Strength training includes weight-bearing exercises that burn kilojoules and improve posture. We’re used to strengthening our legs, core and back, so why not the muscles around your neck? Think about it like this: If you had any other serious or recurring injury, such as knee or elbow problems, a physiotherapist would give you different exercises to improve the range of movement and the strength of those muscles. It is no different with the neck and shoulder muscles. You can train them to cope with certain movements or the sustained positions that you employ in work or sport.
So if you’re suffering from headaches, don’t let it be a pain in the neck. Book in to see a physiotherapist today.