In this post we discuss the causes of tension headaches, how to prevent them, and how physiotherapy can help.

What are tension headaches like?

Tension headaches are one of the most commonly experienced types of headaches in adults. They can cause pain in the head, neck and behind the eyes and are caused by contractions and tightness of the muscles in the head and neck.

All headaches can be debilitating and affect your day to day activities. They can cause you to be tired and irritable, sensitive to light and noise, and they disrupt your sleep, work and exercise.

If you experience regular tension headaches, your first reaction may be to reach for the paracetamol or ibuprofen. But painkillers are a temporary fix, and you are probably curious to know what’s causing your pain and what you can do to prevent and treat it more permanently.

So what causes tension headaches?

There are a number of factors, but the most common causes are:

  • Poor Posture
  • Stress
  • Caffeine/Alcohol
  • Fatigue
  • Eye Strain

What can you do?

There are a number of changes you can make in your day to day life to help prevent tension headaches from recurring:

  1.       Improve posture, particularly in your workspace
  2.       Get your eyes checked
  3.       Reduce caffeine intake
  4.       Reduce sitting time and screen time


If you experience regular tension headaches, there may be underlying musculoskeletal issues or other factors that can be treated with physiotherapy and/or acupuncture.

Physiotherapy treatment may involve joint mobilisation (stretching), soft tissue massage or postural taping.

Acupuncture treatment is also regularly used to effectively treat headaches, and can assist in prevention of tension headaches by treating contributing factors like stress.  

For support and treatment of headaches and related issues, book an appointment with us today.