The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more than half of the adult population will experience a headache during the year and that the majority of headaches are under-recognized and under-treated.
Severe neck pain and headaches make up approximately 35% of reported pain. This type of headache is generally described by the sufferer as a tight band around the head, which extends into the neck. This is typically referred to as a tension-type headache. This condition can have a profound impact on multiple areas of one’s life.
- Affects the persons’ ability to sleep well
- Pain negatively impacts energy levels
- 70% of sufferers report trouble concentrating
- May lead to anxiety and depression due to decreased enjoyment of life
- Approximately 4 hours of lost productivity per week
There are several causes that may lead a person to have tension-type headaches, some of which may be preventable.
- Extended periods of poor posture/failed or no ergonomic intervention
- Old injuries or traumas
- Chronic conditions such as arthritis
- Sedentary lifestyle- 23% higher risk if obese
According to the WHO more than half of headache sufferers are self- medicating and are not seeking care. Since headaches are not contagious, self- limiting and typically are not deadly people usually do not seek care. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage is helpful in a number of ways.
- Decreased perceived pain and tension
- Reduction of frequency, intensity and duration
- Reducing anxiety and depression
Some preventative measures to be taken to reduce the risk of onset of a tension- type headache include.
- Exercise to help reduce and relieve physical and mental stress
- Stretching to increase flexibility
- Checking your work environment and change any known aggravators