Tension Headaches And How To Live With Them

Do you suffer from tension headaches? I am prone to migraines so when my brain exploded last night, I assumed it was a migraine. I wobbled out to the living room and asked the world's best roommate Doctor Molly if I was dying. She poked my face, asked me where it hurt and to describe what I was experiencing, and diagnosed a tension headache. So I wobbled back to bed and knocked myself out.

This morning I woke up to the very depressing realization that the headache was still throbbing. It felt like someone was squeezing my head so hard that my teeth and eye balls were going to rocket launch out of my face from to the pressure. I made the game day decision to get out of bed and go to my scheduled pre-work Physical Therapy Appointment which turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

From this moment forward, my Physical Therapist isn't just Mike but magic Magic Mike. I had no idea that my tension headache could be helped by relieving muscle tension. He worked on my neck and took my pain from an 8 to a 5.  He pushed on points and had me move my arms all sorts of ways. Then when I sat up, I didn't feel like I was going to pass out!

Here are three things you need if you suffer from tension headaches. These are serious game changers:

1. The Trigger Point Massage Ball

I use my trigger points ball for my hip flexors and never thought to explore it's billion other uses. BUT Magic Mike had me lay on a mat and place a Trigger Point Massage Ball under my shoulders. Then he had me move my arm from laying at my side, slowly 180 degrees to laying straight above my head as if I were asking a question. As I moved the ball across my shoulders, from left to right, my pain subsided from a 5 to a 4.

2. The TheraCane

Everyone needs this thing. For one small payment of $30, this incredible device will change your life. (Just look how happy that girl's face is? Doesn't she look ecstatic about her TheraCane?)  I can't even begin to describe the relief this weird contraption gave me. Similar to the massage ball, the TheraCane worked my neck and helped relieve tension and pain. I'm in love with it and I already ordered it on amazon.

3. Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Patches

Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Patch

I discovered these while standing in the checkout line at Whole Foods a few months ago and they are not only the cheapest thing in the store but probably the best product out there. They unfortunately smell but they smell less pungent than any other pain relieving cream I've tried. They come in a sticky patch so you can throw them on to your calves, quads, neck, shoulders, or arms and forget about them. They are a huge relief to sore and strained muscles. I'm wearing them all across my shoulders as we speak.

My only other instructions were to focus on my posture today and work my neck tension when I get home. Magic Mike ladies and gentleman, helping my knees and relieving my headaches. What a man. Until next time #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.