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Tension Headaches Knowledge Shared by San Diego Chiropractor

Tension Headache Knowledge Shared

A tension headache is the most common type of headache. It is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck, usually associated with muscle tightness in thetension headachese areas. The cause of tension headache is not known.

Tension headaches are divided into two main categories episodic and chronic.

If a diagnosis of chronic tension headache is made or suspected, prescription medications may be used in an effort to lessen the frequency and decrease the severity of the headaches.

If a patient has both tension headache and migraine, then the tension headache is part of the patient’s migraine disease and all of the patient’s headaches are really a form of their migraines.

Natural Solutions for Tension Headaches

Natural Health Solutions

Tension-type headaches typically involve dull or pressure-like pain in and around your temples, forehead, scalp, or the back of your neck. Often times, the pain associated with a tension-type headache will feel like it’s being created by a band of pressure that’s tightening around your head.

Although emotional stress, anxiety, and depression are among the most common causes of chronic, intermittent tension-type headaches, tension headaches can also be caused by pure physical stressors, such as poor posture, sleeping with your neck in an awkward position, or any type of physical injury that has caused muscles in and around your head and neck to become tight.

Unlike migraine and cluster headaches, tension headaches tend to respond quickly to simple physical measures. What follows are the key recommendations that I typically share with clients who are looking to overcome chronic tension-type headaches via simple lifestyle measures:

  1. Spend a minimum of 20 minutes each day in a session of meditation or deep relaxation. Doing so can help alleviate emotional stressors that may be contributing to your tension-type headaches. For meditation and relaxation sessions, I have found EarthRain to be an enormously effective tool.
  2. Be mindful of positions that your neck and head are forced to take on for extended periods throughout the day. Strive to position your neck and head in such a way that you do not feel tension in your eyes, neck, or shoulders. Reading and writing with your neck bent down and to one side are killer culprits – do what you can to minimize this posture.
  3. Upon receiving approval from your primary health care provider, consider applying manual pressure to the following acupuncture points:
    1. Gall Bladder 20 (GB-20): Located behind your head in the first major depression that you can feel below the base of your skull, about two finger widths away from the midline of your neck.For those with knowledge of human anatomy: This point is at the junction of the occipital and nuchal regions, in a depression that lies between the origins of the sternocleidomastoid and trapezius muscles. It is approximately at the level of the lower margin of the external occipital protuberance.Application of pressure to GB-20 is meant to affect:
      • Semispinalis capitis muscle
      • Splenius capitis muscle
      • Rectus capitis posterior muscle
      • Obliquus capitis superior muscle
      • Greater occipital nerve
      • Less occipital nerve
      • Suboccipital nerve (C1)
      • Motor fibers from dorsal rami of upper cervical nerves
      • Branches of the occipital artery and tributaries of the companion vein
    2. Belly of Your Temporalis Muscle*: Located in the center of your temple region. Palpate this region with your first and middle fingers pressed closely together until you find a tender, muscular zone. If you have trouble locating this point, place your fingers against your temples and then bite down on your molars a few times – you should feel the main muscle belly of your temporalis muscles bulge in and out.For those with knowledge of human anatomy, pressure on the belly of the temporalis muscle is meant to affect:
      • Deep temporal nerves that branch off from the third division (mandibular) of the trigeminal nerve
      • Cutaneous branches of the greater occipital nerve
      • Deep temporal artery and companion vein
    3. Large Intestine 4 (LI-4): Located in the soft, fleshy web that sits between your thumb and forefinger.For those with knowledge of human anatomy, this point is meant to affect:
      • A muscular branch of the median nerve
      • The deep branch of the ulnar nerve
      • Proper palmer digital nerves from the first common palmar digital nerve
      • The superficial branch of the radial nerve
      • Tributary branches of the cephalic vein, the radial artery, and the first dorsal metacarpal artery and companion veins

For optimal results, use your fingers and/or thumbs to massage these points on both sides of your body for a few minutes at a time, up to several times a day. When you correctly locate these points, you should feel some tenderness when you apply pressure to them. Apply enough pressure/massage to create a mild, dull, and possibly achy sensation.

If you are not sure about the location of GB-20 and LI-4, I highly recommend that you take a look at the following book, the best of its kind:

Acupressure’s Potent Points: a Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments

I recommend this as a must-have reference book for every person who is interested in natural health remedies, as it provides excellent illustrations of all of the major acupressure points that can be used to treat a wide variety of health challenges. I will continue to refer to various points that are illustrated in this book as I write more articles on how to use acupressure to address different health challenges.

Beyond using acupressure to address tension-type headaches, you can also go through a series of six simple stretches to keep the muscles that surround your head and neck at a healthy tone. To view these stretches, click here:

Simple Exercises to Promote Healthy Neck Muscles and Ligaments

It may also be helpful to stretch your mid and upper back in the following fashion:

How to Stretch the Thoracic Region of your Spine

Please note: If you find that consistent application of the suggestions provided in this article does not lead to significant improvement with your headaches, you should consult with your primary health care provider to rule out other less common causes of pain and discomfort in your head and neck regions.

Finding and avoiding the things-or triggers-that lead to tension headaches can reduce how often you get headaches and how bad they are when you do get them.

Nevertheless, although they are not medically dangerous, tension headaches can have a negative impact on quality of life, families, and work productivity.

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About Dr Jones & Staff Writer 

Allison has 5 years in practice as a Chiropractor's Assistant and is a licensed Massage Therapist who writes for numerous blogs online. Feel free to comment or ask questions regarding any of Alley's blog posts.

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Dr Steven Jones
San Diego

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Phone: (619) 831-8777

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I highly recommend Dr. Jones for his knowledge, professionalism, and helpfulness!

Robert   

I drove from Murrieta down to stay at a friends place in Mission Valley. There was a traffic accident on 15. I get stressed in traffic anyway but bumper to bumper is nerve wracking. Finally got to Brianna's apartment, had a couple of beers to chill and visited for a while. I slept on her couch (UGH!) and woke up with horrible neck pain. She called her Chiropractor, Dr. Jones and got me in on a Saturday (On a Saturday?). The care and treatment I received was amazing. Neck adjusted, Ultrasound and Cryotherapy - an hour later I was pain free and able to enjoy the rest of the weekend. Since Murrieta is only about a 30 minute drive, I now plan on seeing DR. Jones every time I visit Stephanie. What are friends for :)

Sadannah G-R    Murrieta   

In 2002 I put my Harley Sportster down at about 50 miles per hour the hard way on City Terrace Blvd in East L.A. (I understand, what was I even hanging around in that area - LONG Story!). I was in L.A. County General for 9 weeks, complete traction with the bolts drilled into my skull. No Enjoyable. Substance Fractures of my cervical vertebra and 17 pinched nerves. When I went out I was having headaches and discomforts shooting down my best arm and leg. The clinical physicians only had one treatment. Drugs. MEANS too many medicines. Went through that for 3 years not knowing any much better. Then a friend recommended Dr Steve Jones to me. Already I was ready to try anything. 3 treatments later I was PAIN FREE for the first time in 3 & 1/2 years. After my 4th treatment I had the ability to stop ALL the discomfort medication. (That was MAJOR!). Through regular treatments, stretches, workouts and other home treatments, 6 months later on I began just having to go in for treatment every 60 days. Now I only see him when I sometimes overdo something like playing a little B-Ball with the children. Though I do still do the exercises and stretches he showed me nearly everyday. Take it from someone that was ready to give up - literally quit life. If you are in pain for ANY reason, go see Dr Steve. I HIGHLY Recommend the very best Chiropractic specialist in San Diego, Dr Steven Jones in Objective Valley.

Logan J.    Santa Barbara   

You need to see Dr. Jones for all your Chiropractic needs.I've known Dr. Jones for over 25yrs now and can tell you he's awesome ! Being a Chiropractor myself , I won't just let anybody work on me.He is very skilled at his craft and is at the forefront of our great profession.When I tell you he will exceed your expectations,I truly mean it...this guy is superior and delivers one of the finest adjustments I've ever had !

Dr. Greg Smith    Columbus, OH   

Steve Jones is a MAGICIAN! I must have slept wrong, because when I woke up my neck was super painful and I could hardly turn my head to the side. Add to that the fact that it was a Saturday. AND I was leaving on a plane for Europe in 4 hours! Dr. Jones was able to see me right away and he fixed my neck within 30 minutes. He went above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable. He was so kind and caring, and his partner Linda was a wonderful addition to the office. I will definitely be back. Dr. Steve Jones, you are my new chiropractor!!

Layne P.   

My favorite chiropractor. I'm sorry this review is a couple years too late! I used to live in San Diego and would see Dr. Jones about an average of once a week after a work injury. The really helped me to get back on my feet. I have since moved away and only recently joined Yelp, but I thought now is better than never to show my appreciation for the help he gave. Keep up the good work!

Ronald A.    Carlsbad   

I have been to several chiropractors over the years, Dr Jones is by far the best, he does several different ways to greatly reduce and finally stopped constant my back, neck and shoulder pain. I have been visiting him for 2 years now, just as maintenance and because I feel so good, even though the issues I had, have long gone.

Karen BrownLee    San Diego, CA   

I visited Dr Jones for two years while living in San Diego, I was very impressed with his personalized approached to my lower back pain, and the way he always listened to me, and tailored his treatment to how I was feeling. I would recommend him to anyone, who who wanted a very kind caring doctor, who really listens and is happy to give his opinion on various medical issues.

Lynn B.    New Zealand   

I go in with a pain in my back and walk out feeling better. Thanks

Michael T.    Lakeside, CA   

I went to Dr Jones for several years when I lived in San Diego and there are not words for the amazing treatment he has always given.

I have since moved to the East Coast and have tried a few treatments here but now I just make sure I go see him whenever I am in town. They always find me a slot even if it is last minute.

I always feel like a new person when I leave the office.

Dawn P    Pennsylvania   

I have had migraine headaches for the past 10 years. I used to get 2 or 4 migraine per week.
I was dubious about visiting a chiropractor, but after the 5th visit to Dr. Jones my headaches were much less often and far less in severity. After only 15 visits, I haven't had one at all for the past 2 weeks.
I highly recommend Dr Jones, to anyone with issues with pain.

Tammy T.    San Diego   

He's the only chiropractor I've ever seen, so I cannot compare him to other practitioners but I am beyond pleased with the work he has done helping me alleviate my back pain. Dr Jones and his assistant Linda are both INCREDIBLY friendly and helpful. They're both knowledgeable and go out of their way to recommend other exercises and other events around San Diego that might get me to exercise my back more. I look forward to the chiropractor visits with him for both the stress relief and the pain relief.

Chris P    San Diego   

Steve is awesome. I had never been to a chiropractor before but needed some relief from a sore neck which was soon complemented with pain in my left arm. I had tried massages and acupuncture for a week before the pain got so bad that I couldn't sleep and had a hard time functioning at work. Basically, my life was disrupted and out of whack for two weeks previous to my visit to Dr. Jones. He has an awesome, low-key demeanor and most importantly he wants to get his patients back to feeling better. After two sessions with him, my pain went from an 8 to a 4. It is currently a 3 and I might go back to see him in a few weeks for a maintenance adjustment.

Jonathan C    San Diego   

I saw the doctor for neck pain that had been making me miserable for years. After a half dozen visits the pain was completely gone! Jones also gave me a few stretches and exercises for me to do to help keep it from getting bad in the future. I would have given 5 stars except that the office is located on the front side of the building opposite the parking lot which was a little far of a walk for me. Other than that, this was a great experience and I will go back if needed. Thanks doc.

Woody    Santee   

You will love Dr. Jones! He is absolutely the best Chiropractor I have ever visited. He is personal, friendly, and his treatments are wonderful. He has helped my family on several occasions. The first time I saw him I was in excruciating pain and after his adjustments, I was completely pain free and have been so ever since. I have had to drive quite a distance to see him, but I don't mind it at all. He is definitely worth the drive.

Amy I    San Diego   

Dr. Jones & his wonderful Secretary Linda are AMAZING! They have just relocated behind their old establishment. They are friendly, professional and dog lovers. When you enter their office, you are transported to a Bali Getaway! Sometimes their Dog Rex is there and he's also a pleasant creature to greet you. I've been treated by Dr. Jones for over 10 years! He helped get me back on track after a bad car accident. Not only should you go if your in pain, but once your feeling better, make sure you go back for routine maintenance. Your body is just like a car, gotta keep it running right! I have recommended many a friends to Dr. Jones over the years. Until he retires, moves or sails away to Hawaii, I'll continue to be his loyal patient.

NM    Chula Vista   

I had to go through 5 chiropractors until i found Dr. Jones. He is truly the best in San Diego, he was the only one that i felt truly cared about helping me with my neck pain. I highly recommend him to anyone! He is very smart, friendly and sympathetic. His prices are very reasonable, also he is a Palmer graduate!!!

Randee and Leah M.   

I saw Dr. Jones for the first time a few months ago. Dr. Jones and his assistant Linda were without a doubt the most personable people I have ever dealt with in a doctor's office. In addition to that, Dr. Jones definitely knows his stuff. He was able to adjust parts of my back that have always given my past chiropractors trouble. I give my experience at Dr. Jones' office ""two thumbs up"".

Cider1    San Diego, CA   

I've been seeing Doctor Jones now for years. He knows what he's doing, and I have complete confidence in him. I always walk away from his treatments feeling much better. His office is nice and clean, and he and his staff are very professional. I highly recommend him.

StephJ62    East Bay   

Well, I found Dr. Jones to help with a left-side stiff/stuck neck I got from sleeping on my stomach on a fat pillow. Also, from an auto accident 35 years ago, I had pain and stiffness on my neck's right side from a whip lash -- that I thought I would have to live with the rest of my life.

He not only helped the more-recent left side "stuckness", but also was able to get the 35-year-old "stuckness" resolved on the right side -- along with the softening of the stiff, tense muscles that I'd had all those years.

I love the special tissue massage he does before an adjustment and the fact that he never seems rushed, even if other patients are waiting.

He also gave me exercises and stretches to do at home along with recommending supplements to help the inflammation. He even designed a special traction unit for me to use at home. Thank you, Dr. Jones!

Gayle T    North Park   

I had to deal with migraine headaches for the last 17 years. They began after a car accident. My doctor told me to stay away from chiropractors. I am so glad that I finally ignored his advice! After my fourth visit to Dr. Jones both the frequency and consistency of my headaches were much improved.

I just finished my 12th visit and I have gone 3 weeks without a headache. I used to get 3 or 4 per week. Dr. Jones is understanding and knowledgable and his assistant is great. I would recommend this office to anyone. A+!

Greg M    Tierra Santa   

If I could give Steve Jones 10 stars I would! I found him when my dad had back pain and could not get any relief, despite all of the western medicine doctors giving him pain meds, MRI, etc.

Within 2 visits, my dad was able to walk, and most important, sleep! When I experienced some sciatic nerve pain, I went to Steve and he only took a couple of visits to fix. My mom needed relief from the same, off we went to Steve.

My sister-in-law has chronic back pain, and so I referred her to Steve too. I guess you could say it's a family affair ;-). Just came back to see him for excruciating back/sciatic nerve pain recently. Had spent six hours in ER with no relief.

Next day, saw Steve and could actually put my foot on the ground - walked out of his office. If you need a great, caring interested chiropractor, look no further. Linda, his front office person, is wonderful too!

Michele P.    Kensington   

I went to Dr. Jones after a Car Accident when I was around 23 years old. I am 38 now. I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am that I went to him. I felt instant relief and if I went in with a headache, they went away right away. He really cares about what he does and he gets results. And, in my case, those results lasted a long time, years.

Natacia    Mission Valley