Relief from Neck Strain

It's All In Your Head: How Negative Emotions Translate Into Headaches And How Chiropractic Care Helps

by Sophie Hill

Every adult has had some experience with a tension headache. It is the direct result of ignoring negative emotions and then your body responds by making you feel terrible. You only have so many choices in how to deal with tension headaches. You can pop some pills (either prescription or over the counter), remove yourself from the situation that is causing you stress, tension and frustration (definitely not feasible), or you can visit a chiropractor for non-invasive, unmedicated approaches to dealing with your headaches.

Muscular Reactions and Headaches

When you are angry, frustrated, tense, fearful or stressed out, your muscles prepare themselves to fight their way out of the situation or run away from it. The muscles in your neck and face begin to tighten up and reveal what you are feeling so that the people around you are warned by the faces you make. When the fight or flight response is completely avoided, your body cannot simply relax these muscles on its own unless you find a quiet place to relax and unwind.

As such, the trapezius muscles in your neck and shoulders, the temporalis muscles on your temples, the frontalis muscle behind your forehead and the masseter muscles on both sides of your face on your jawline become very tight. This tightness causes pain, and the pain travels along the head, neck and facial nerves to the brain where the pain is transferred and interpreted. Because your brain already knows what is going on with the nerves and muscles, it responds by creating more pain to get you to remove yourself to a more relaxed state and place.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Tightened muscles from intense negative emotion can cause shifts in your cervical vertebrae, which can make your headaches and pain even worse. In the care of a chiropractor (like those at Smith Chiropractic), you can get those cervical vertebrae realigned properly to help reduce some of your pain. The massage therapy that often goes hand in hand with chiropractic care can help reduce stress, anger and a host of other negative emotions, placing you in a much more relaxed state so you can get through your day.

If at all possible, try to schedule your chiropractic appointments during your lunch break because then you can return to work feeling a lot better than when you left it. It is possible to schedule just the massage therapy during lunch, but the therapy is much more effective after a cervical and upper back adjustment. Your chiropractor may also suggest tools and instruments to help you remain more calm at work and reduce the frequency of your headaches.