Tension type headaches are the most common everyday headaches and affect more than 75% of all headache sufferers, up to 90% of adults

have had one at some time or another.  They can be intermittent, come and go with no set pattern, or be regular.  They feel like a dull ache with constant pressure around the front, top and sides of the head as if a rubber band has been stretched around it. People are usually able to get on with normal life in spite of mild light and sound sensitivity, but at times they can be severe.

Tension headaches are very closely related to tightness in the neck and upper back cervicogenic or ‘neck-related’ headaches where I discuss how the tension in the at the base of the skull can pressure the nerves and cause headaches.


Symptoms of tension headaches:

  1. Dull ache with pressure or tightness, as if there is a tight band around the head.
  2. It can affect both sides of the head
  3. It doesn’t worsen with routine physical activity.
  4. There may be some light or noise sensitivity (photophobia or phonophobia)
  5. It can be related to stressful events, over-working and tiredness.
  6. Lack of sleep, depression, skipping meals, dehydration
  7. Psychological factors are also linked
  8. Irritability, restlessness.
  9. Difficulty concentrating, memory problems.

Stress, from work, daily-life and relationships is a very common headache trigger.

When we get stressed our adrenal glands release adrenalin which sensitises the pain receptor nerve endings in the body. In addition the central nervous system can become sensitised to on-going pain messages so that the pain persists even after the injury has gone. This is a plausible potential cause of tension headaches.

Treatment for Tension Headaches

Chiropractic adjustments to the neck and upper back

Deep releasing muscle treatment to the upper spine and base of the skull, called the suboccipital muscles.

Learning how to avoid stress and tension on the neck. – See Text neck and Chiropractic

Ergonomic advice, correct workstation set-up are key with anyone who is working on a computer.

Well-Being: Relaxation, Mindfulness, Rest, Exercise are all key components to help tension headaches .

Chiropractors are well trained in the treatment of headaches.

Please also see:

Cervicogenic or ‘Neck-Related’ Headaches

Occipital Neuralgia – Headaches from suboccipital muscle spasm


Neck and Eye Pain using screens

Text neck and Chiropractic

Pressure on the Spine and Discs – Dangers of Sitting too long