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The most common headache doesn’t start in your head

Most of us know what a headache feels like. In fact, the most common types of headaches are called Tension Type Headaches, which affect up to 80% of people from time to time[1].A tension headache generally feels like a band of pain wrapped around your forehead. You might blame your headache on long days in front of a computer, skipping meals or not getting enough sleep.

But that doesn’t really explain the source of the pain - does it come from your head or is there something else going on?

 

PINPOINTING THE CAUSE OF COMMON HEADACHE PAIN

When you have a headache, you might be tempted to think that the pain comes from your forehead or has something to do with your brain. However, it might surprise you to know that this is not necessarily the case. We know that the source of headaches could actually be the muscles in your neck and head when they get strained.

But how can a head or neck muscle be the source of your head hurting?


It may be because the muscles in your head/neck are becoming tight and strained. When this happens, tender knots develop in the muscles. These tender muscle knots send pain signals to the brain. It’s the pain signals from these muscle knots that you generally feel as a tight band of pressure around your head. 

WAYS YOU CAN MANAGE HEADACHE PAIN

There are many things you can do to help ease strained muscles in the neck and head – a source of tension type headaches.

Stress relief: If you feel busy and stressed, relaxation techniques such as meditation or simple breathing exercises may help to reduce your stress and ease muscle tension. It also helps to maintain a good work-life balance. Just making time to catch up with friends or grabbing a quick nap can bring stress levels back to normal.

Massage: Next time you get a nagging headache, the solution may be at your fingertips. Try a gentle massage to help soothe and relax the muscles in your head and neck.

Pain-relief medication: If you don’t want headache pain slowing you down, over the counter pain killers can help to provide effective relief. For pain relief, try Nurofen Express to help relieve your headache. It acts by helping to stop the production of the substances that cause pain in the tender areas of the neck and head. Nurofen Express Liquid Capsules starts to get to work twice as fast as standard ibuprofen* and it provides faster and more effective relief from headaches than paracetamol**.

 

*refers to absorption. **400mg dose of ibuprofen compared to 1000mg dose of standard paracetamol. Nurofen Express 200mg Liquid Capsules contains ibuprofen. For pain relief. Always read the label. 
Data Sources:
1. https://cks.nice.org.uk/headache-tension-type#!backgroundsub:2