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Any one know how to get rid of a tension headache

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I get these really horrendous tension headaches. For some reason the second a little bit of stress enters my life my neck completely stiffens up and the pain seems to wrap up one side of my head and into my eyes and jaw line turning it into a migraine tension headache. I got one of these yesterday. I tried everything, ice to the back of my neck to take down the swelling, drinking an energy drink for some caffeine, using the heating pad and taking a ton of Excedrin tension pills. I've gone to my doctor and this was her solutions 1-"Just try and not let all that stress enter your body." 2-" Maybe you should think about joining massage envy it's only about $50 a month to join." Are you kidding me lady?!?!?! I want my last resort to be to have to go to Urgent Care for something. But I wanted to see if any of you on here had any at home tricks I could use. I need some relief from this.
post #2 of 21
Hmmm, I usually make a cocktail out of OTC medications to treat mine. It usually includes the Excedrin Tension Headache medication and Ibuprofen. I've also been known to try Aleve. Any anti-inflammatory medication should help you.

Also, if you get a migraine, force yourself to lie down in a quiet place and cover your eyes, and try to get to sleep. It sometimes takes me 20+ minutes to work myself to sleep.

And...have you been diagnosed with TMJ? If not, look into remedies for that. You might be grinding/clenching your teeth, which can cause all of those muscles to tense and bunch, leading to headaches. I have been migrain free since last November, since I worked out a solution to my TMJ with my dentist.
post #3 of 21
I usually take some ibuprophen and lie down with a heating pad on my neck.
post #4 of 21
I have headaches all the time because of my neck and I also get some doozies from weather change. Ibuprophen is my first line of defense and I tend to take to many of them. My Dr. prescribes me vicoden and flexeral for the real bad days and they don't help 100%. I have heard that drinking alot of gatorade works, I honestly have never tried it but Maybe there is truth to it. We are having a real bad storm coming through my state and I have had a horrible headache for 3 days.

Mineral Ice it's a blue gel in a jar that relieves muscle tension. I have put that at the base of my neck and skull and it helps alot. Also peppermint essensial oil will work too. Put it on your temples too.
post #5 of 21
Burning Lavender oil is good for that,also there is a thingy you can get for rubbing on your temples,i have used it before
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'll have to give some of these a try. I've heard of the mineral ice before. Where can I get some?
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyeCat0117 View Post
I'll have to give some of these a try. I've heard of the mineral ice before. Where can I get some?
Any drug store should have it. I would also try a long hot bath, and then lay down in cool dark room and try to get some sleep. Good luck coming your way.
post #8 of 21
I suffer from migraines - 2 years ago, I had one that lasted from January until July (still not sure what caused it)... we discovered the migraine caused neck and back pain and it turned into a cycle... I was treated by a neurologist - but honestly the biggest help is therapeutic massage... do you have any massage schools in your area or "Wellness centers" through a local hospital? I get mine from a woman that works through the wellness center at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and she is amazing! I don't get them often because they are about $70 for an hour, but let me tell you, it's way worth it! If you can find a wellness center or massage school, they're much cheaper than going through an actual spa.... I would get massages more often in the middle of that crazy migraine, but now they're more like a treat, unless I randomly get hit hard with a good headache and I'll call to see if she can fit me in... I swear she's a miracle worker!

What helps though when I can't get to her is something called BioFreeze - I get it from her, but I've also seen it in places that sell like medical supplies (walkers, wheelchairs, blood pressure stuff, etc)... I get the roll on kind and it's a little like ben gay or icy hot, but I think it's way better! I try to rub the base of my neck (or get someone to do it for me) to try and rub out some of then tension, then apply the BioFreeze and it helps... a good hot shower will also help - let the shower beat on your neck and shoulders and do gentle stretches of your neck while that's going, then right after you dry off, grab an ice pack and throw it on your neck/shoulders - that's a tip from my neurologist and it helps...

Um that's all I can think of right now - I know your pain though and I hope you get better soon!
post #9 of 21
I'm sorry I won't be much help, but my tension headaches also respond to my migraine medicine, Imitrex. I used to use Fioricet for them, but when they turned into migraines, the Fioricet wouldn't work. Now my first line of defense is the migraine medicine. I've been having headaches for the last couple of days, as the weather has been changing dramatically, as far as atmospheric pressure goes...that's one of my "always" triggers.
post #10 of 21
I hope you are feeling better. My DH gets bad headaches and often takes Advil. But usually he just has to wait it out, by laying down or ice on his forehead. (Plus he will not go to the doctor, so he suffers... men!)

feel better!
post #11 of 21
Well, since conventional meds don't seem to help, I would suggest going to a health food store that sells homeopathic medication. I would also try to learn some self relaxation techniques, sometimes controlled breathing, visualization, you can find something at the bookstore, or online I bet. I had a weird headache last week, for the first time. it felt like someone was putting an icepick into my ear once a minute. the only thing that worked was three excedrin extra strength at one time, but they wore off after around 5 hours, so I took three more. I took 12 in one day, and then wondered why I couldn't sleep. Thank g-d they stopped slowly. It was horrible.
I feel for you.
post #12 of 21
I lived with exactly that kind of headache for about 25 years, trying drugs in every possible combination. I even mixed wine with them a few times, in desperation (NOT recommended).

The one thing that usually brought the pain down to a manageable level was an over-the-counter drug called Percogesic -- and it only helped if I took it immediately, the moment I realized one of "Those Headaches" was coming on.

What finally did eliminate that type of headache for me was getting on an antidepressant called Celexa (generic name Citalopram). You may want to consider approaching it that way -- treating the stress, rather than the symptoms.

And of course, if you can simplify your life and reduce your stress that way... even better! Good luck.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyeCat0117 View Post
I get these really horrendous tension headaches. For some reason the second a little bit of stress enters my life my neck completely stiffens up and the pain seems to wrap up one side of my head and into my eyes and jaw line turning it into a migraine tension headache.
Have you had your neck x-rayed? If you have some underlying neck problem that could very easily set off headaches. Half of mine come out of my neck, my mother has the same problem.
Another thing that could be very stressed linked is blood pressure. Any sort of hormone or even blood sugar levels being off will cause headaches and migraines too. Stress takes a toll on the body, often affecting these.

abbycats - Some people get headaches and migraines when they're dehydrated, that's how gatorade would help some people. Making sure to drink enough of any fluids should help. Caffeine dehydrates your body and will raise blood pressure, not always a beneficial thing for some.
(Edit : Just remembered, for some too much salt can cause bad headaches and migraines!)

As was mentioned in a past migraine thread, magnesium can help some people. Just be careful what forms you take, oxide and citrate can be a bit rough on the stomach and/or cause stool problems.


For me, the other half of my headaches and migraines (as I now know) are linked to low blood pressure and NCS. Sometimes the lower amounts of blood and oxygen getting to my brain while upright can cause tension type headaches. Laying down and keeping up on my doses of midodrine helps some.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyeCat0117 View Post
I get these really horrendous tension headaches. For some reason the second a little bit of stress enters my life my neck completely stiffens up and the pain seems to wrap up one side of my head and into my eyes and jaw line turning it into a migraine tension headache. I got one of these yesterday. I tried everything, ice to the back of my neck to take down the swelling, drinking an energy drink for some caffeine, using the heating pad and taking a ton of Excedrin tension pills. I've gone to my doctor and this was her solutions 1-"Just try and not let all that stress enter your body." 2-" Maybe you should think about joining massage envy it's only about $50 a month to join." Are you kidding me lady?!?!?! I want my last resort to be to have to go to Urgent Care for something. But I wanted to see if any of you on here had any at home tricks I could use. I need some relief from this.
I thought I had a tension migraine ( that is what my primary dr said) but then I went to a neruologist, because the pain was getting worse and was becoming so bad it was affecting my life. He said I have ocipital neuralgia, the pain starts in my neck onthe right side and then it travels up into my head and over my head and goes into the back of my eye, the pain is horrible. They have me on meds now and it is helping so far.... I actually have one now but it is much better then before... WHat I am saying is make sure you get a follow up from someone else and if you can't stand the pain then go go the ER, they can run tests and get a neurologist to see you.....I hope you get relief and soon...
post #15 of 21
To manage my constant migraines, I am on Topomax; I still get them frequently, but I can get rid of them with abortive medications now. I am also on an anti-inflammatory, Diclofenac, too, as I have back and neck issues, that are often the reason why I get the migraines...

I had gone to the doctor so many times, in order to find something that would work; NO abortive migraine med does...atleast until I was put onto the Topomax. Course, for really bad ones, nothing will work still. When I go in for those ones, they have to practically knock me out with narcotics just to touch the pain...

Oh, and I totally ditto the seeing a neurologist, OR at the least have your current doc run CT's on you...
post #16 of 21
Yeah, to add to my previous post... I had every test in the book run on me (including a spinal tap) by various doctors before they came up with a treatment for me, which included the massage (ALL my tests were normal)... I ended up on 5 different meds, 4 times a day to break the cycle I had going... each med treated a different part of the cycle - they included pain killers and muscle relaxers... so just make sure you get good opinions from well respected doctors, if you think something's fishy, go see another doc!
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well I broke down and went to Urgent Care. The doctor reccomend I see a specialist. Ima look into it because my primary doctor seems to have her head up her.....well ya you know. Right now I got a few Tylenol with codeine. Doesn't seem to be doing much. So for sure I'm going to look into the headache clinic. I can't live with these anymore and if they can work with me better and find relief from these I know I'll be a much happier person.
post #18 of 21
I get those too, I see a nuerolagist, and found out I have TMJ along with migraines!! sucky!! So now I take flexeril to help to relax my muscles, and a pain killer the dr gives me for when I need it. If the pain gets too bad, last resort is always Urgent care, which always seems to include a dose of demeral in the butt and some visterol to help the nausea... I drink an extreme amount of Life water, gaterade (has to be G2!) andd vitamin water, and that helps some! Try to keep hydrated, which is hard when you have a bad one! I lay down in a completly dark room, with no sound, take my meds, and just chill for a while. Ive tried the Imitrix and a few of the other ones, but turns out I can't take those. I have also been on Celexa for some 10 years now... Stress is still there, but its a little bit more managable! Good luck to ya hon!!
Oh yeah, dont stare at the computer when you have one... it will make it hurt worse!! (learned that the hard way!)
post #19 of 21
One more thing, try a tanning bed!! I know, I know, makes you age faster! Dont care, helps with depression and helps you relax!!
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch View Post
One more thing, try a tanning bed!! I know, I know, makes you age faster! Dont care, helps with depression and helps you relax!!
Are you saying that the exposure to light is what helps your headaches? If so, please try using the special lights they make for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder. They're much safer than a tanning bed.

Those beds don't just make you age faster -- they drastically increase your chance of developing the most deadly form of skin cancer. By definition, tanning is your skin's reaction to radiation damage. There's nothing healthy about it!

(One of the misleading things the tanning companies tell you is that the tanning bed generates 95% UVA rays, which are "less likely to cause skin cancer." Well, that's actually true -- but what they aren't telling you is that those UVA rays are actually more likely to cause the type of skin cancer that's most likely to kill you.)

Having witnessed two of my father's skin cancer surgeries, I decided years ago that I like the pasty-white-girl look!
post #21 of 21
I have found Advil Liquid Gels the best for headaches..Also if I know for sure it is tention or stress I found a nice hot bath with lavender scent goes a long way. Just laying there with a warm washcloth over your face works wonders...Also try some cheese and crackers or a glass of warm milk...
Silly as it sounds it really does help...
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