The anatomy of tension headache
Have you ever experienced a tension headache, the ache that starts from the base of your skull and radiates upward, and ends up on your forehead? It is actually the result of prolonged muscular contraction at the base of the skull (suboccipital region), usually caused by faulty posture, stress or anxiety. Chronic muscular contraction creates sustained pressure that can eventually tear small blood vessels or muscle fibers, leading to injured tissues. If the situation continues, the muscles will become ischemic (lack of blood flow) and lead to the buildup of harmful metabolites such as lactic acid. Then your greater occipital nerve, which is responsible for the sensation to the scalp and over the ears, will become irritated. At this point, you will start experiencing a plethora of symptoms like headache, ringing of the ear, dizziness, etc. This makes you even more stressed and anxious, and the vicious cycle continues.
Taking pain medications will not solve the problems. You can only sweep under the rug for so long until your medications stop working. Some people choose to get botox injection, which can be expensive and only works for short-term. The proper, free, long-term solution is to address the core of the issues: self posture correction. If this doesn’t solve the problem, the joints responsible for this faulty posture (C0-C1-C2) is likely stuck, and you need to seek help to address this problem. So much for a bad posture, right?
If this sounds like your problem, and you’re in need of my help, click the “send message” button to contact me. Or text/call me at (937) 419-3431. You will get the help you need.
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Dr. Jack Pan, PT, DPT, MTC
Information to help you manage your symptoms, feel better, and get back to the activities that you love to do