Headaches are a common ailment that many individuals experience at some point in their lives. Among the various types of headaches, tension headaches are frequently encountered. These headaches are characterized by a sensation of a band tightening around the head, causing mild to moderate pain that can last from a few hours to several days. Tension headaches can significantly impact an individual’s daily routine and overall well-being.

In this article, we will explore the causes and symptoms of tension headaches and discuss the potential benefits of upper cervical chiropractic, specifically the NUCCA procedure, in providing long-lasting relief. By understanding the underlying factors contributing to tension headaches and exploring alternative treatment options, individuals can effectively manage and alleviate the symptoms associated with this condition.

Causes of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches can arise due to various factors, including emotional changes, physical injuries, and environmental changes. Stress, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, eyestrain, neck pain, and jaw pain are some of the common causes of tension headaches. Additionally, lifestyle choices such as alcohol consumption and poor posture can also contribute to the development of tension headaches.

Characteristics of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches differ from other types of headaches in several ways. A diagnosis of tension headaches typically requires a physical examination and evaluation of symptoms. Individuals who seek chiropractic care for tension headaches often have experienced these symptoms for months or even years. The primary characteristics of tension headaches include a sensation of a band tightening around the head and pain that originates near the eyes and spreads throughout the entire head.

Tension headaches can be classified as episodic or chronic. Episodic tension headaches occur less than 15 days in a month, while chronic tension headaches occur for 15 or more days within the same time frame. Both types of tension headaches are characterized by persistent pain that may worsen as the day progresses. Unlike migraines, individuals with tension headaches do not usually experience nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. Additionally, physical activity does not typically worsen the symptoms of tension headaches.

Home Remedies for Tension Headaches

While over-the-counter painkillers are commonly used to alleviate the symptoms of tension headaches, they only provide temporary relief and do not address the root cause of the problem. However, several natural remedies may help alleviate tension headaches and provide more sustainable relief.


Feverfew, a natural herb containing an ingredient called “parthenolide,” has been found to relax blood vessels in the face, reducing inflammation and pain associated with tension headaches. Consuming feverfew as a tea twice daily can help ease the pressure and discomfort caused by tension headaches.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper contains “capsaicin,” a compound known for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Diluting ¼ teaspoon of cayenne powder in 4 ounces of water and applying a small amount of the mixture inside the nostrils can provide relief from tension headaches. Be careful as cayenne can burn the mucous membranes inside the nose if you used too much. It is important to handle cayenne powder with care and ensure it does not come into contact with the eyes.


Almonds contain “salicin,” an ingredient commonly used in over-the-counter painkillers. Although the effects may not be as immediate as medication, eating a handful of almonds can help reduce the symptoms associated with tension headaches.

In addition to these natural remedies, managing stress and practicing relaxation techniques can also help alleviate tension headaches. Stress often leads to muscle tension, which can contribute to the development of tension headaches. Engaging in breathing exercises and keeping the shoulders relaxed are effective strategies to reduce stress and relieve tension headache symptoms.

The Benefits of Upper Cervical Chiropractic for Tension Headaches

One effective and natural approach to reducing and possibly eliminating tension headaches is through upper cervical chiropractic care. Misalignment in the upper neck, particularly in the atlas bone, can be a common cause of various types of headaches, including tension headaches. The atlas bone, located at the base of the head and the top of the neck, is vulnerable to misalignments, which can disrupt the functioning of the nervous system and impact communication between the brain and body.

The NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) procedure is a specialized technique used by NUCCA chiropractors to realign the bones in the neck to their natural position. This gentle, safe, and accurate procedure provides the body with the opportunity to heal and effectively reduces the intensity and frequency of tension headache symptoms.

If you are seeking relief from tension headaches, it may be beneficial to consult with a NUCCA chiropractor. Dr. Noah Volz, located in Ashland, OR, is a highly skilled and experienced practitioner in the field of upper cervical chiropractic. By addressing the underlying misalignments in the upper neck, Dr. Noah Volz can help alleviate tension headaches and improve overall well-being.


Tension headaches can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, but there are effective ways to manage and alleviate the symptoms associated with this condition. By understanding the causes and characteristics of tension headaches, individuals can explore various treatment options, including natural remedies and upper cervical chiropractic care. Natural remedies such as feverfew, cayenne pepper, and almonds can provide relief from tension headaches, while upper cervical chiropractic, specifically the NUCCA procedure, can address the underlying misalignments in the upper neck and provide long-lasting relief. Consult with a qualified NUCCA chiropractor, such as Dr. Noah Volz in Ashland, OR, to experience the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic and regain control over your life free from tension headaches.