We live in a stressful world, no doubt about it. Pressures at work, pressures at home, and just the turmoil going on in the world right now can lead to a lot of stress. If left unchecked, it can affect you physically. Tension headaches and unexplained sore muscles are usually your first clue that something isn’t quite right.

What is a Tension Headache?

Most people describe tension headaches as a tight band that wraps around the head. 

  • Head pain that can be mild to moderate 
  • Pain is described as a dull achiness 
  • Pain is accompanied by pressure and tightness on the sides or back of the head or the forehead
  • The scalp may be tender
  • Muscle soreness in the shoulders and neck

Tension headaches may be confused with migraines, but the two conditions are distinctly different.

Taming Your Tension Headache

While simple changes like improving your posture, changing your pillow, or changing your screentime habits to avoid text neck may help ease the pain, there are other things you can do to get relief.

Take a Nap

Poor quality sleep and sleep deprivation can lead to tension headaches. Lack of sleep puts stress on your body as you deny it the rest that it needs to rejuvenate and repair. Sleeping on your stomach can also cause problems because it causes the muscles in the back of your neck to overstretch. This weakens them and makes you more susceptible to tension headaches.


Your body needs water to do everything. If you don’t hydrate properly, it can cause several problems. Low-level dehydration can cause headaches, but it can also cause issues elsewhere in your body and that can show up as stress. This will affect everything, how you sleep, your posture, your activities (what you do to relax), everything! Often these things can lead to tension headaches. So make sure that you are getting plenty of water every day. And no, sodas don’t count.

Take a Shower

Sometimes just standing under a hot or cold shower can make a huge difference in your head pain. Let the water run over your back, neck, shoulders, and head to see if that brings relief. If you don’t want to get in the shower, you can use hot or cold packs to achieve a similar result.

Get Moving

Exercise and stretching can help work out the kinks and strengthen your neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles while keeping them supple. Rolling a therapy ball over your neck and shoulders can be very soothing as can gentle neck stretches. Magnesium cream with camphor can help make the stretches more productive as well.

See a Chiropractor

Chiropractic has long been a very effective treatment for tension headaches. It is preferred by many because it is drug-free and non-invasive, but works wonderfully. During an adjustment, the chiropractor will gently realign the spine which in turn relieves pressure on the muscles and nerves that connect your head, face, and neck.

A body that is under stress often hurts. If you are experiencing pain in your head, neck, or elsewhere, don’t suffer in silence. Call Sandstone Chiropractic or schedule an appointment online with one of our awesome chiropractors and tame that tension headache fast!