Things certainly aren’t easy right now. There is a lot of stress. The COVID-19 situation has been a major cause of tension both outside and inside the home. You may be experiencing headaches because of it.
Tension headaches, also called stress headaches, can hit regularly. They may be mildly or moderately painful and are extremely frustrating. Thankfully, there could be ways you can prevent them even in periods of high stress.
First, you’ll want to make sure you’re checking a few things off your list. Inadequate food intake and poor sleep can both lead to tension headaches. So, make sure you’re eating and getting enough quality sleep.
You can also find stress-relieving activities to help combat the headaches. Getting out for a walk, mindfulness, yoga, meditation, and more may help limit stress.
If you’re still having trouble with tension headaches, it might be worthwhile to explore stretches that loosen up the regions that cause these frustrating pains.
Tension headache pain occurs in the neck, shoulders, and scalp muscles. Focusing on these areas with the following stretches may help prevent flare-ups so you can get through your day pain-free.
- Upper Trapezius Stretch: Stand up straight and look forward. Slowly tilt your head so your right ear moves towards your right shoulder. Apply some slight pressure to pull it with your right hand, and hold for about 30 seconds. Repeat on the left.
- Levator Scapulae Stretch: Gently tilt your head forward and downward at a 45-degree angle to the right (like you’re trying to sniff your armpit). Use your right arm to reach around to the back of your head (up and over) to apply some downward pressure. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the left.
- Pec Stretch: Lay on a foam roller (if you have one) with your head and upper back supported (foam roller should run up the spine to the back of your head). Extend arms out to your side so you’re making a “T.” Hold for 30 seconds then bend your arms at the elbow so you’re making a “W.”
Performing these stretches in addition to your other efforts may help relieve pain caused by tension headaches.