Got a Tension Headache? Try This Physical Therapist-Recommended, 10-Second Remedy

Photo Credot: Unsplash, Vinicius Amano

Imagine you’ve woken up with a headache…again. There goes your day, ammiright? As a long-term sufferer of these “day-destroyers”, I’ve tried it all. Aspirin, diet, exercise, ice packs, and squeezing that weird pressure point between your thumb and forefinger – but all of it only provides temporary relief.

On a recent visit with my chiropractor, he’d noticed a tightness in my shoulder, neck, and jaw. Since I’m a full-time writer, I wasn’t shocked – I’m constantly hunched over my laptop for 10-12 hour days, and that’s what’ll happen.

The doc demonstrated a few stretches to practice at home, but he also had me flex my jaw. When I stretched that area, some interesting relief occurred. Huh.

Later that day I hopped onto the Google machine and stumbled upon a fascinating article.

Prevention.com says the main muscle in our jaw, which helps us chew, is called the masseter muscle.

The site director, Christine Mattheis had this to say:

“The masseter is the thick muscle that connects your jawbone and your cheekbone and plays a major role in chewing. If you clench your jaw (like I do when I’m stressed), then you run the risk of it tightening up. This is very common.

So how does that give you a headache? Turns out that a tight jaw triggers a chain reaction that restricts other muscles in your head and neck, including your suboccipitals (a group of muscles at the base of your skull) and your anterior and middle scalenes (neck muscles).”

For those of us with tension headaches, Mattheis (and her doctor) recommends a quick massage every few days to that area. It sounded great, so I tried it. And – hallelujah! My headaches have lessened greatly, if not gone completely away.

Mattheis even left these handy-dandy how-to pictures to help you out!

Photo Credit: Prevention

Photo Credit: Prevention

Photo Credit: Prevention

Disclaimer: I’m no doctor. Just a gal looking for relief.