The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down. Constant news updates, physical distancing, home schooling and working from home have all increased our stress levels. Increased stress can cause headaches, or increase their frequency, which is why we wanted to share these tips to help manage your symptoms while our clinic is closed. Here are a few tips to treat tension headaches at home:
Watch your posture. Ensure your shoulders are back, chin is tucked and you’re sitting up straight. Your ears should align with your shoulders while you are sitting. While standing, you should be able to look down with your eyes (without moving your neck) and see your chest without seeing your feet.
Try to move; walk around, roll your shoulders etc. If you are working at a desk, get up every 20 minutes or so and go for a walk. Incorporate movement into your daily routine.
Drink more water, many headaches are a result of dehydration. As our routines have been altered, we may not be drinking enough water.
If you feel restriction and tension in your neck and upper back use heat. If you don’t have a heating pad put a towel in hot water and ring it out before placing it on your neck and/or upper back. Cover with a dry towel and leave it until it cools (about 10-15 minutes). This will trap in the moist heat so it can penetrate into muscles.
Rubbing your neck is easy and effective, especially if you focus on the occipitalis muscle (located at top of your neck). This area can hold a lot of tension. You can use your thumb to apply pressure to the trigger points and help relieve some of the tension in the muscles.
Stretching will help to relieve the tension, reset posture and increase your circulation. Here are some stretches that may help.
By Frank DeStefano, RMT