Headaches alone are the cause of an estimated 400,000 lost days from work or school every year per million of the population in developed countries, and in the EU, the total annual cost of all headaches was recently estimated at 155 billion euros (approximately £140billion). (World Health Organisation 2011)

The effect of headaches on people around the world is tremendous. If headaches were a new phenomena that suddenly appeared in world today, it would be classified as an epidemic. Headaches significantly affect the individual, the work force, the healthcare industry, and healthcare costs.

The greatest costs of headache are often related to “direct costs” – hospital admissions, diagnostic tests, and therapies – while the most important individual “indirect costs” are related to the loss of workdays or reduced time spent working during a workday, due to headache. Approximately three-quarters of headache sufferers have to temporarily stop normal work activity and many must leave work altogether when they have a migraine. So this indirect cost affects the productivity of workers leading to a definite measurable impact on the Organisations profitability.

Tension-type headache (TTH)

  • TTH is the most common primary headache disorder.
  • Episodic TTH is reported by more than 70% of some populations; chronic TTH affects 1-3% of adults.
  • TTH often begins during the teenage years, affecting three women to every two men.
  • Its mechanism may be stress-related or associated with musculoskeletal problems in the neck.
  • Episodic TTH attacks usually last a few hours, but can persist for several days.
  • Chronic TTH can be unremitting and is much more disabling than episodic TTH.
  • This headache is described as pressure or tightness, like a band around the head, sometimes spreading into or from the neck.

Improving the situation

“Advice on relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscular relaxation, muscular stretching, or controlled breathing techniques.” National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines 2016.
We see hundreds of people every year and find the main cause of the tension pain is related to the muscles around the upper back and stress. These things are relatively easy for us to rectify. With a small amount of soft tissue treatment and the correct exercises the symptoms reduce very quickly.
One of the ways we find very useful on our workplace workshops is to retrain the correct breathing muscles, this is very simple, in this video we show you a great way to do this at work.
Ensuring individuals are checked and educated on how to prevent these soft tissue problems is very important, now more organisations are taking steps to be proactive with these matters and save time and costs in the future.