Some headaches are caused by tension held in the jaw, neck, back or shoulder muscles. If you suffer from this type of headache, the first thing to try is relaxation of those muscles. E.g.:

  • Slacken the jaw and slightly open your mouth

  • Open the mouth wide and yawn a few times

  • Do stretching exercises for the neck or upper back

  • Try shoulder rolls and shrugs or windmill your arms

  • Consciously move your shoulders down and back, creating as much space as possible between your ears and your shoulders

ActivBody TENS therapy

If the pain from a tension headache persists after these manual attempts to ease muscle tightness, then you may consider TENS therapy. The purpose of the therapy is to release the muscle tension, which will then relieve the pain.

ActivBody is the TENS machine we suggest for tension related headache.

ActivBody electrotherapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief, relaxation and easing of tight, tense muscles.

For most people, the sensation of TENS therapy on tense muscles is immediately comforting. Longer lasting results are achieved if the unit is left on for 60 minutes or more.

  • RELIEVE mode:

    • Fast and lasting pain relief (modulated low and high frequency TENS; continuous, comfortable intensity)

    • Circulation and reduced stiffness (modulated low to medium frequency ECS; continuous, low intensity)

  • BLOCK mode:

    • Fast acting pain relief (modulated high frequency TENS for pain gating effect)

    • Release of serotonin, if applied for long enough

  • RELAX mode

    • Lasting pain relief (modulated low frequency TENS for release of beta-endorphins)

    • Relaxation (modulated low frequency TENS for release of beta-endorphins)

    • Circulation (modulated low to medium frequency ECS; continuous, low intensity)

Pad placement - tension related headache

tension headache electrode placement
tension headache electrode placement
tension headache electrode placement

Settings for Mode, Intensity, Time and Repeat frequency

Everyone has a different level of skin resistance; therefore we cannot specify an exact intensity setting for you. Simply choose a level of intensity where you can feel the stimulation but ensure it is below a level of discomfort. See the table below for examples.

Muscles should not twitch or spasm. So long as you avoid muscle twitching, you cannot overdose.

Purpose ModeIntensity TimeHow often
Acute pain BLOCKMedium 30 minutesas required
Chronic pain RELIEVELow to medium Minimum 60 minutesas required
Nagging pain RELIEVELow Overnightas required
Relaxation RELAXLow Minimum 2 hoursas required
Circulation RELAX or RELIEVELow 60 minuteswhen practical
TENS machine for tension headache

Pain page links

ActivBody Complete TENS Kit
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