Do you suffer from Tension Head Ache at work?
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache that the average person will experience. An estimated 4.5 million Canadians suffer migraines and tension type headaches. Tension type headaches are often described as feeling like a tight band around the head or sensations with pain around the temples or above the eyes. It is very common in corporate environment and closely connected to postural imbalance and muscular tightness and trigger points.
- Dull, aching head pain
- Neck and shoulder tenderness with muscular tightness
- Pressure across the forehead, behind the eye or above the eyes
These headaches are placed in two categories episodic and chronic
Episodic tension headaches
Episodic tension headaches can last from 30 minutes to a week. Frequent episodic tension headaches occur less than 15 days a month for at least three months. If the episodic tension headaches are frequent enough they can lead to chronic type tension headaches.
Chronic tension headaches
This type of tension headache lasts hours and may be continuous. If your headaches occur 15 or more days a month for at least three months, they are cons As with many injuries that I see in my office, poor ergonomics is a major contributing factor with headaches. While there are many different work related factors that contribute to the development of headaches, I will address the three most common instigators in this post.
Tension Headaches at workplace
The most obvious type of stress that contributes to headaches is postural stress. A poorly designed office work station can cause a person to keep their neck in prolonged periods of flexion, extension or even rotation. These prolonged fixed positions are due to the computer monitor/desks being either too high or too low. In this posture it causes muscle tension in shoulders and neck and can easily cause tension headaches.
The positioning of the mouse and key board can also cause muscular strain. If your keyboard is in a position which forces you to have to over extend your elbow you will begin to stress your shoulder and neck. And yes you guessed it over time this will result in tension headaches and tigger points in the shoulders.
In order to relieve this stress on your upper body, make sure that your monitor sits directly in front of you. The top 1/3 of your monitor viewing area should be level with your eyes while you gaze straight forward. The key board should be off the desk and be resting on a tray under your desk. Elbows should be at 90 degrees and forearms parallel with the floor while using the key board.
How MassageTherapy Can help
The goals of massage therapy are to reduce your pain levels and pressure above the eye and across the forehead that is typically experienced during tension headaches. Decrease tight muscles in the head neck and shoulders while reducing trigger points (knots) in the above mentioned areas is the primary goal of treatment. In your massage therapy treatment we will look for joint dysfunction and increase range of motion in neck and shoulder muscles. Treatment frequency is recommended once a week for four to six weeks depending on the individual’s specific case.
- Managing stress levels-organizing and planning your day
- Practice deep diaphragmatic breathing
- Hydrotherapy- hot or cold which ever you prefer
- Good posture- taking frequent breaks when on the computer for prolonged periods of time
- Self massage on tight muscles around upper back neck shoulder area
- More than anything understand the fact “Health comes first”