1 min read


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What are Tension-Type Headaches?

Whether it be today, this week, or this year, chances are – you’ve experienced a headache.

Did you know 50% of people experience a headache every year?
The most common form of headaches is tension-type headaches.

What Are Tension-Type Headaches?
Tension-type headaches (TTH) are headaches associated with muscle tension and stress. They can appear at any age and generally affect women more than men. The time experienced with them varies from a few hours to several days. They can occur sporadically throughout the month or chronically for many days.

People that experience TTH report feeling pressure and tension around the eyes, head, and neck. For some, it can feel like a tight band around the forehead.

Tension headaches differ from migraines. Migraines tend to be throbbing, affecting one or both sides of the head. Migraines tend to have nausea and vomiting associated with them. You can experience migraines and headaches simultaneously.


What Triggers Tension-Type Headaches?
TTH is associated with a trigger that leads to stress and excitability to specific neurons that relay information between the body and brain.

Several external and internal factors trigger headaches:
  • Stress
  • Poor posture
  • Muscle tightness or weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor diet
  • Poor water intake
  • Eye strains and dry eyes
  • Jaw clenching and grinding of the teeth
  • Alcohol
  • Poor sleep

    tension headache

    How Do You Manage Tension-Type Headaches?
    Managing your mental health and addressing stressors can dramatically improve tension-type headaches.

    Self-care methods to reduce stress:
  • Physical activity
  • Breathwork
  • Dietary changes
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Sufficient rest and sleep

    Physical methods to reduce tension-type headaches:
  • Focusing on postural awareness
  • Reducing muscle tension
  • Improving range of motion
  • Strengthening the supporting muscles of the neck and shoulder

    Manual therapy techniques to reduce muscle tension includes:
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Myofascial therapy
  • Muscle energy techniques

    These will help release the sternocleidomastoid, upper fiber trapezius, and neck muscles that lead to TTH. We also see mobilizations, acupuncture, dry needling, and cold therapies to help manage TTH. Remember to discuss these methods with your physician and therapist.

    Want to start managing your headaches?
    Book a session with one of our expert therapists! They will assess your movements and set you up on a FutureProof plan to increase your mobility, reduce pain and prevent injury.

    Book your session today

  • 3 min read

    Prevent Text Neck Pain With These Three Exercises

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    Prevent Text Neck Pain With These Three Exercises

    Text neck, or what is otherwise also known as “tech neck,” is a catchy term coined to describe forward head posture after hours glued to your phone, laptop, or TV.

    Text neck may lead to stiffness, and dull pain either felt at the top of the neck or the lower neck close to the shoulders. For some people, the sustained tension in their neck can lead to cervicogenic headaches, or what is commonly known as tension headaches.

    People’s resting postures where their head is forward, rounded upper, or rounded shoulders are just a few of the symptoms that lead to text neck. The longer you have forward head posture, the more force gets placed on the neck. Without proper prevention, this feeling of discomfort or tightness may eventually lead to other issues like nerve irritations, headaches, thoracic outlet syndrome, or disc bulges.

    To help defend your body from neck pain, try these three exercises.

    Seated Chin Tucks
    Girl doing chin tuck
    Start position Bring your hand behind your head and tuck in your chin. Press the back of your head into your hands, while looking straight ahead.

    End position After 5 seconds, release the tucked chin position.You should feel a stretch at the top of your neck and a slight contraction on the front of your neck.

    Complete 8 x, every 30 minutes.

    Chin Tuck and Wall Angels
    Girl doing chin tuck and wall angels

    Start position Lean against a wall, either standing or seated and begin to tuck your chin. Bring your arms up into shoulder height with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.

    End position Slide the arms up and down the wall in a snow angel position, and maintain the chin tuck throughout. It’s essential to try to keep the backside of the forearm against the wall during this movement (if you can’t, that’s okay go as for back as you can).

    You should feel a slight stretch on the back of the neck, a stretch in your chest and a slight contraction at the back of your shoulders. If your shoulders are tight this will feel like a bit of work on the front of the shoulders

    Complete 8-10 reps, every 1-2 hours.

    Thoracic Spine Extension
    Girl stretching her back Girl stretching her back
    Start position You can use the side of your couch, bed, or desk/table. With either your elbows bent or arms straight (whichever is most comfortable), slowly bring your chest down and your head through your arms.

    End position Now begin to round your spine as high up as you can. Repeat and continue this movement through your upper back.

    You should feel a stretch in your upper back between your shoulder blades and in your armpits.

    Complete 10 reps, every 1-2 hours.