When a headache is accompanied by neck pain, it is an extra jinx that makes the head movement difficult. While a headache can cause a neck strain, an issue in the neck can also lead to headaches. Some of the common causes of the stiff head include tension, headache, or migraine. Whatever the reason is, if your head is stiff, you must know how to treat it.
Tips to Relieve Headache and Neck Strain
Headaches and neck pains are common, and you must know the tips to treat them at home. You must stop the treatment if it is not effective.
Applying Compression on Head
When you apply firm pressure on the forehead, shrines, or neck back, you will feel relieved from headaches caused due to tension or migraines. You should apply the pressure using your hands, fingertips, or covering a cloth around your head.
Sometimes headaches are caused due to contraction of blood vessels. Heat therapy can treat the condition by using a heat pack on the backside of the neck. While applying heat pack, you should take breaks of at least 15 minutes to 2 hours to prevent skin injury. While this is one way of applying heat therapy, taking a warm shower may also ease the pain. Heat therapy is also known for relaxing muscles.
Cold therapy is also a recommended way to ease head and neck pain. This can be done using an ice pack. Cold therapy reduces blood flow, muscle contractions, and inflammation to diminish pain. You can place a cold pack on your forehead, temple, or neck to treat the condition.
People suffering from migraines will find cold therapy more effective than hot therapy. When applying ice packs, you should take breaks of at least 15 minutes to 2 hours to prevent skin injury.
Right Body Posture
Working for hours on an uncomfortable chair and desk with a computer screen in front can be highly stressful. A poor posture can cause a headache and put a strain on the neck muscles. It would help if you took care that your head is in an aligned position with ears directly above the shoulder joint and hips. This helps to balance the head on the cervical vertebral column naturally. Besides maintaining a good posture, you should take frequent breaks. It would help if you took a round of the office after every hour. Getting regular exercise can also strengthen your muscles and help relieve the condition.
Maintain a Good Sleep Routine
A good sleep routine is best to relieve tension and stress. This also contributes towards good health and wellbeing. Experts recommend that 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day is crucial for remaining healthy. A few studies suggest that oversleeping is one of the primary causes of tension headaches or can worsen an existing one.
Use the Right Pillow
Some people might wonder what is stiff neck and how to treat it. You must know that the right pillow is designed to support the natural arc of your neck. Hence, it can help diminish neck strains and headaches.
Every pillow features different materials, height, shape, and level of firmness. Similarly, the right choice of pillow for every person is also different. Their personal preferences and neck alignment determine the best pillow for a person. It would help if you tried different types of pillows to find which is the best fit.
Maintain a Daily Journal
Studies suggest that expressing your emotion on a paper can help lower down stress levels. Hence, maintaining a journal may help you figure out what is bothering you, causing stress and aggravating head and neck strains. You can also use the journal to list down headache and neck pain triggers. Do some research.
Migraines are aggravated by some foods like chocolates, caffeine, and alcohol. These can also be activated by a particular light, odor, or sound effects.
Physical Therapist Can Help
A physical therapist can help you professionally treat your head and neck pain condition. They provide a treatment plan that usually includes physical therapy, stretching, and or exercise. Manual therapy can notably help reduce headaches and neck strains. It also strengthens your neck and back muscles; helps maintain a better posture and function.
Treat Headache and Neck Pain with Massage
Massage can also help improve your condition. A massage therapist uses pioneering techniques to relieve pain from induction points. These points include tender nodules in the neck and head scalp muscles. Massage therapies are highly effective against chronic stiff head and neck pains.
A medical practitioner who is trained for dry needling techniques. Experts insert needles into painful induction points in the head or neck to provide relief. This technique is useful in releasing strain from stiff muscles and their linked tissues. These tissues contribute to aggravating headaches or neck pains. Dry needling is also known to provide relief from chronic stress-induced pains and headaches.
The traditional Chinese medicine theory and energy disproportion or inactivity within the body can cause neck strain and headaches. Hence, acupuncture is a leading technique that can renew this energy flow. A certified acupuncturist uses ultra-thin sterilized needles at particular acupoints in the human body. Acupoint selection varies depending on the condition and symptoms of an individual. Although the science is struggling to validate that acupoints exist in the body, most people report that this technique is useful in providing temporary pain relief.
You can also try a combination of these remedies to see what best suits you. If you are experiencing frequent headaches and neck strains, you should consult a specialist for the right diagnosis. A doctor will suggest medicines along with these remedies.