The Pain & Injury Doctor ONLINE Newsletter

Here is your latest pain relief tip. If it doesn’t apply to you, still take note because life is full of surprises. If you know someone who is dealing with this type of pain, please forward this email to that person– thanks!

Curing Tension Headaches

 

What is Happening:

Common causes of tension headaches include external, noxious environmental stimuli; long periods of concentration, long periods of looking at computer screens and misaligned neck bones; usually a combination of one or more of these things.

Note that there are many things that can cause head pain.  Tension headache is the name given to head pain that is thought to be generated by constricted muscles around the head and/or neck.  But they can also be due to constricted blood vessels in the scalp.

Recommended Home Therapy Products Covered in Today’s Newsletter:

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Self Treatment for Tension Headaches

If you have a headache, lie down on your back and place a neck roll or TempurPedic neck pillow under your neck. You can also place a frozen gel ice pack on the neck roll with a thin towel on top of it. Close your eyes and rest for 15 minutes. The neck roll will relieve muscle tension to the back of your neck.

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TempurPedic Neck Pillow

This contoured neck pillow provides ideal support to the neck when sleeping. The curved end is close to the natural curvature of the neck, so when you sleep on your back it actually helps reform this ideal curvature which typically flattens over time. The viscoelastic “memory foam” material provides firm yet comfortable support and resists flattening.

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Rub 3 drops of peppermint oil in your palms and apply to your temples, forehead and back of neck. Peppermint relaxes muscles.

Drink a cup of black coffee. Tension headaches are often caused by dilated blood vessels in the scalp; the caffeine in coffee can constrict them back to normal.

Take Formula 303 natural pain reliever.  I have been recommending this supplement to my patients for over 17 years, and most report significant improvement in the way they feel:

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Formula 303 Pain Reliever

Formula 303 is a natural pain relief supplement for muscle spasm & leg cramps; tension, stress, anxiety, insomnia, fibromyalgia, menstrual cramps, headaches and other forms of muscle pain. It contains 6 parts valerian root (quad-strength); 1x 3 parts passiflora (quad-strength); 1x 1 part magnesium carbonate.

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Apply red light therapy to your supra-orbital sinuses (bony ledge above your eyes) and temples:

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TendLite Personal Red Light Therapy Device

Studies show that red light has therapeutic effects on human tissue, similar to how sunlight stimulates plants to produce energy (sugar) in their leaves. It stimulates cells to increase ATP (energy) production, enhancing tissue repair and regeneration and decreasing inflammation which may lessen or eliminate tension headaches.

redlite

More Information

Check your neck.  Many tension headache sufferers have acquired a straight neck, or even a reversed neck (cervical spine) instead of a normal “curved” neck.   Having a desk job, or a history of whiplash car accidents can lead to this.   The loss of curvature strains the neck muscles due to the weight of the head, which can squeeze nerves that go to the scalp causing a headache to form.  A straight neck also promotes degenerative disc disease, as the discs in the cervical spine are forced to absorb more pressure.

neck-curves

If this is your case, doing exercises to restore curvature to your neck can be instrumental in reducing headache frequency.

One device I personally use and recommend to my patients is the PosturePump™ Disc Rehydrator:

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PosturePump Neck Disc Rehydrator

The cervical Posture Pump Disc Rehydrator gently pumps and stretches the discs in your neck, drawing in fluids and nutrients to the disc. This helps reduce the progression of degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. It also helps restore the normal, lordotic curvature in your neck and corrects forward head posture; thus reducing muscle tightness behind the neck, upper shoulders and upper back.

posturepump

If you have a chronic stiff neck and early stage degenerative disc disease, the PosturePump Disc Rehydrator is a good investment. Use daily to keep your neck flexible and prevent your discs from thinning.

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If you feel a tension headache approaching right in the middle of work and need immediate relief, take two Formula 303 tablets and place an infrared shiatsu massage pillow underneath your neck:

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Infrared Thermal Heat Shiatsu Massage Pillow

Use this device on those days when you need fast relief from neck or lower back muscle stiffness and soreness. The infrared light and heat penetrate deep into your muscles, increasing circulation and energizing fatigued muscle cells.

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Headaches can be a symptom of a food allergy. Consider doing a home food allergy test to identify if certain foods you eat are triggering an immune response and resulting in headaches:

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Food Safe Home Food Allergy Test Kit

Headaches, as well as fatigue, weight gain, abdominal discomfort and skin rashes may be due to an underlying food allergy.  The Food Safe Allergy Test measures your sensitivity to certain foods from an antibody-mediated immune response. It requires a “finger stick” blood spot to be collected and shipped directly to a laboratory in a pre-paid envelope.  All necessary components for the test are included in the kit, with a complete set of instructions for easy collection.

The Food Safe Allergy Test tests your immune response to 95 common foods: Fish, Dairy, Meat, Shellfish,Grains, Nuts, Vegetables, Fruit and Miscellaneous.  If a food you eat regularly is identified as an allergen by the test, eliminate it from your diet and note any improvements in the way you feel.

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Recommended Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Headaches

1. For one week, keep a log of places you go during your day and what you eat and drink. List potential noxious stimuli in these environments– machinery, electromagnetic fields, chemicals, noises, etc. Note days of your headaches and see if there is a correlation to something you did or ate. Take measures to remove/avoid those noxious stimuli.

2. Reduce the screen brightness of your computer monitor, or get an anti-glare screen. Practice looking away from your monitor every 10 minutes to remove strain to your eye lens.

3. It is easy to lose track of time when your job requires intense focus. This taxes your brain and may cause blood vessels to dilate, triggering a headache. If your job requires extended, intense concentration try practicing the Pomodoro Technique, which advocates breaking up your work into 20 minute, focused segments.

4. If your neck feels tight, sore and/or restricted; if you have a slouching posture you may have misaligned neck vertebrae that could be irritating nerves and causing abnormal pressure in your neck joints. Consider visiting an experienced chiropractor, as specific adjustments to these areas can correct the problem.


BOTTOM LINE:  Tension headaches can be alleviated or eliminated using a combination of the methods mentioned above.   If you pay close attention to when your headaches occur, you can usually associate it with an activity.  An obvious course of action is to modify or eliminate that activity to avoid future headaches.  But if you can’t make an association, using any or a combination of the approaches mentioned here can help.  As always, if your symptoms persist check with your doctor to rule out any potential red flags.

These are some of the products I recommend for tension headaches.  They are generally safe to use, and patients have reported positive results.  ~Dr. Perez

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For more detailed, step-by-step guidance on permanently resolving chronic muscle and joint pain, visit

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The information contained in this email and on www.PainandInjuryDoctor.com is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as a medical directive. It is provided as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dan Perez, D.C. Every person is unique, and individual cases of pain are therefore unique. Dr. Perez encourages readers of PainandInjuryDoctor.com to use available sources of information to help them make a more educated and informed decision regarding their health, in partnership with one or more qualified health care professionals.

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