The most common type of headache are chronics tension headaches which present the following symptoms:

  • Pain or pressure in forehead, side and back of head
  • Feels like a band tightening around head
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Irritability

The pain can range from mild to severe and can last from minutes to days or weeks.


The most prevalent cause of this pain is the spinal misalignment (subluxation) of the joints of the base of the skull (occipital) and the top vertebra (C1) of the neck.

The resulting muscle spasm reduces normal blood flow to the muscles of the scalp and this tightness reproduces a tension headache.

Other causes are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Medication side effects
  • Brain and brain stem tumor / cyst

Common Mechanisms of injury:

  • Hyperflexion / hyperextension of head or neck
  • Slip and Fall
  • Sports injury
  • Trauma (concussion)


Spinal adjustments to the C1/occipital articulations not only are effective or immediate headache relief but also when performed over a brief period of time will realign this joints to correct the cause of symptoms.

Drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen are usually effective for a temporary relief of tension headache episode, but will not prevent future episodes.

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