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Beat the Pain: Understanding and Managing Muscular Tension Headaches

Updated: Jun 24

Have you ever felt a dull, aching pain around your head, neck, or shoulders after a long day? If so, you might have experienced a muscular tension headache. These headaches are incredibly common and can really disrupt your daily life.

Understanding what causes tension headaches and how to manage them can significantly improve your well-being. At Physiotherapy with Lorraine Carroll and Simon Coghlan in Buderim, we're here to help you find relief and live pain-free.

tension headaches

Common Symptoms of Muscular Tension Headaches:

Dull, Aching Head Pain: Often described as a tight band around the head.

Tenderness on the Scalp, Neck, and Shoulder Muscles: Soreness in these areas.

Pressure Sensation: Feeling of pressure or tightness across the forehead or on the sides and back of the head.

Fatigue and Irritability: General tiredness and a short temper.

Difficulty Concentrating: Trouble focusing due to the persistent pain.

Sensitivity to Light and Sound: Increased sensitivity to lights and sounds can be experienced by some.

Tips for Self-Management and Self-Care:

Managing muscular tension headaches often starts with simple lifestyle changes and self-care techniques:

Maintain Good Posture: Pay attention to your posture, especially if you sit for long periods. Use ergonomic chairs and take regular breaks to stretch.

Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can trigger headaches, so drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Regular Exercise: Engage in regular light to moderate intensity physical activity to help reduce stress and tension.

Relaxation Techniques: Practice deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to help reduce muscle tension.

Healthy Sleep Habits: Ensure you get enough sleep and maintain a regular sleep schedule.

Heat and Cold Therapy: Applying a warm compress or ice pack to your neck and shoulders can help relieve muscle tension.

When to Seek Physiotherapy Treatment:

While self-care techniques can be very effective, sometimes professional intervention is necessary. Consider seeking physiotherapy treatment if you experience:

  • Frequent or Severe Headaches: That interferes with your daily activities.

  • Persistent Neck and Shoulder Pain: That doesn't improve with self-care.

  • Limited Range of Motion: In your neck and shoulders.

  • Recurring Headaches: Despite trying various self-management techniques.

Physiotherapy Techniques for Muscular Tension Headaches:

At Physiotherapy with Lorraine Carroll and Simon Coghlan, we offer a range of techniques to help manage and alleviate muscular tension headaches:

Advice and Education:

  • Pain Management Education: Understanding your pain and learning how to manage it effectively.

  • Posture Training: Techniques to maintain proper posture and reduce strain on your muscles.

  • Mobility Exercises: Exercises to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension.

  • Load Management: Guidance on managing physical loads to avoid overstraining your muscles.

  • Activity Pacing: Strategies to balance activity and rest to prevent overexertion.

  • Lifestyle Factors: Advice on making lifestyle changes that can reduce headache frequency and intensity.

Therapeutic Exercises:

  • Pain Management: Specific exercises designed to relieve pain and improve muscle function.

  • Movement Control: Exercises to improve coordination and movement patterns.

  • Strengthening Exercises: To enhance muscle strength and support proper posture.

  • Functional Exercises: Activities that mimic daily tasks to improve overall function.

Manual Therapy Techniques:

  • Massage Therapy: To reduce muscle tension and improve circulation.

  • Joint Mobilisations: Techniques to improve joint function and reduce pain.

  • Trigger Point Therapy: Focused pressure on specific points to relieve muscle knots and tension.

Medical Acupuncture and Dry Needling:

  • Pain Relief: Techniques to reduce pain and deactivate myofascial trigger points.

  • Muscle Tension Reduction: Using needles to relax tight muscles and improve blood flow.


  • Low-Level Laser Therapy: For pain relief and to promote healing.

  • Therapeutic Ultrasound: To reduce pain and inflammation and enhance tissue repair.

We understand that living with chronic headaches can be daunting. We aim to empower you with the knowledge and tools to manage your condition effectively. We are here to support you and offer a clear path to relief.

Contact Us:

If you’re tired of dealing with muscular tension headaches and want to explore effective, evidence-based treatment options, we're here to help.

Visit us at Physiotherapy with LorraineCarroll & SimonCoghlan, located at Suite 2, 24-26 Gloucester Road, Buderim, 4556. You can book an appointment online through our website or call us at 0735328605.

Let’s work together to achieve a pain-free future.

By Simon

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