How to Get Rid of – And Prevent – a Tension Headache Without Taking Pills

How to Get Rid of – And Prevent – a Tension Headache Without Taking Pills

This article explains how to do some simple stretches that stop a developing tension headache dead in its tracks, and how to get rid of a tension headache (without drugs) in the work place. It’s an excerpt from the author’s “How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches” program.

Most people can head off an oncoming tension headache if they react quickly enough to the first warning signal.

And what is that? It’s tightness in the neck – a sure sign that blood flow to the back of the head is being restricted due to tension, stress, or poor posture.

Many people in today’s workplace are predisposed to having muscle tightness in the neck because of the positioning their jobs place them in.

This is especially true of people who hunch over a computer terminal all day. It’s also true of those who work at factory jobs, or of executives and secretaries who slouch at their desks with a phone crooked between their neck and ear.

People who practice such poor posture invariably find their neck, shoulders and upper back tightening up.

Remaining in poor posture for extended periods puts a strain on already tense muscles. Fatigue sets in as blood flow decreases, resulting in knots and muscle spasms. This causes even tighter muscles and more severe symptoms, which cause tension headaches.

Unless changes in posture are taken, the headaches will occur more often and become progressively worse.


Fortunately, there are several simple steps that can be taken to help prevent this vicious circle:

  1. Sit up straight and stand up straight. In other words, assume the military position: shoulders back, head up, chest out, stomach tight.
  2. People who sit all day should get a chair with good back support.
  3. Bring your work surface closer to you. For example, if your job involves stooping down to your work station, elevate it on a platform so you don’t have to bend down so low.
  4. Take several breaks during the day to perform a series of stretching and isometric exercises. These can be done sitting or standing.
  5. With your hands behind your back, gently pull your shoulders back and maintain this position for one to three minutes.
  6. Turn your head halfway to the right (or left). Then drop your head forward until you feel slight tension. Let the weight of your head gently stretch the neck muscles. Go slowly – no pain! Hold this position for up to two minutes, then turn to the opposite side and repeat.

So what should be done if you already have a tension headache?

  1. Perform the previously mentioned stretching exercise in 4a.
  2. Apply moist heat on the neck and shoulders, a towel soaked in very warm water, for example. If moist heat is impractical or isn’t available, use dry heat.
  3. Get someone to give your neck and shoulders a deep tissue massage.

These simple steps will help prevent tension headaches. If you suffer from chronic tension headaches, go to for more information.


About the Author:

Paul Bacho is the author of “How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches.”

For more information, go to


Photo by Jorge Franganillo on Unsplash

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