Tension type headaches account for nearly 90% of headaches. The pain can radiate from the neck, back or temples in the case of people who grind their teeth at night. These kind of headaches can present on either one or both sides of the head. A typical description would be a feeling of constant pressure as if the head was being squeezed in a vice. Tension headaches can last for minutes, hours or even weeks.
The main causes of tension headaches include muscular imbalance in the neck and upper back, poor posture, dehydration, stress, eye strain and poor sleeping position.
Poor posture at work on computers also creates muscle tension which can pull on the base of the skull and prevent cranial mobility and subsequent poor venous drainage. In these cases it can increase pressure within the cranium leading to persistent discomfort.
Osteopathic intervention includes addressing muscular imbalance and spinal misalignment in the neck and upper back. Soft tissue work and manipulation can help greatly. Workstation assessment, sleeping position and hydration levels should also be considered.
In addition, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication can help if the symptoms are severe enough.