Frequent headaches at the end of your work shift may be tension headaches. They are the result of a type of repetitive motion strain in your neck and upper back muscles. Your chiropractor offers various non-invasive treatments to get rid of those headaches. They can also help you prevent future occurrences. Here is how your local chiropractic clinic can help.
Repetitive Motion Strain
If your job requires you to hold your head and neck in one position for a long time, the muscles in your upper back and neck become exhausted. The stress causes them to contract under the tension. This muscle tension irritates the nerves in that area that go up into the head. These irritated nerves are the cause of your headaches. Once the muscles in your neck are relaxed, your headaches go away.
Non-Invasive Treatment of Headaches at the Chiropractic Clinic
Your chiropractor will use a number of techniques to relax those tense upper back and neck muscles. These will help with the immediate headache pain caused by muscle tension. Further treatments and instructions will help you to prevent the headaches from happening at work. These treatments include:
Active Release Technique (ART) - The tense muscle groups can be felt in your neck by the chiropractor. Once they've identified the muscles, they will massage them in the direction of their normal movement. This slowly causes those muscles to relax and stretch back into their original length. This relieves pressure on the nerves and increases the circulation in the area, which reduces inflammation.
Myofascial Release Technique (MRT) When the neck muscles have been under constant strain for long periods, they may contract into a tight knot under the skin. These muscles may begin to spasm due to the tension. The chiropractor will feel for those muscle knots and apply steady pressure to them until they relax. This causes the muscles to expand and the spasms to stop.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) - This treatment uses a mild electrical current to block pain and relax muscle groups. Small electrodes are placed over the tense muscle groups, and a pulsing electrical charge is sent into the area. After several minutes, the pain will be relieved. This is not a permanent treatment for the pain but may be used to give you some temporary relief so that other treatment options can be more effective.
Physical Therapy - This treatment also gives you pain relief and can condition muscles to be more resistant to repetitive motion injuries. The chiropractor may start out with warm, moist packs on your upper back and neck to increase circulation. Exercises are then done to move your shoulders and neck through their normal range of motion followed by massage of the muscles in that area to get them to stretch out to their normal length.
Your chiropractor can show you some exercises to strengthen the muscles in your neck and upper back to make that area more resistant to stress. They will also give you some instructions to use at work to prevent this injury, such as:
After I started working at my dad's lumber yard, I realized that some of my lifting habits were hurting my back. I realized that I couldn't stand up straight without wincing a little bit, so I decided to talk with a chiropractor about the issue. The professional carefully evaluated my condition and told me that I needed to focus on healthier back habits. I was able to learn how to stay safe at work by wearing a back brace and focusing on my posture. I want you to avoid debilitating back pain, which is one of the reasons I made this blog.