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Head Feels Heavy

There are a lot of causes that can generate the sensation of your head feeling heavy. Before you jump to any conclusions, it is important to remember that, the sooner the correct cause is identified, the sooner you can pursue an adequate treatment. In many situations, the head feels heavy because you have spent too much time in front of the computer. The bad posture can keep the neck muscles in constant tension, which in turn will lead to the above-mentioned sensation. As you will see, the accompanying symptoms can guide the doctor and even yourself in the right direction.


Symptoms of Heavy Head Feeling

These are the symptoms that can appear at the same time with the head feeling heavy sensation:

  • Pain or pressure at the back of the head
  • Throbbing pain at the temples
  • Impaired vision – difficulty in focusing, eyes get easily tired
  • Feeling irritated, anxious or depressed
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Straining + tension – head, neck and shoulder area
  • Tensed shoulders
  • Clenching teeth
  • Confusion
  • Blocked ears or ringing sensation (tinnitus)
  • Increased heartbeat

Causes of Heaviness in Head

These are the main causes that can lead to such sensations:

  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Brain tumor
  • Inadequate nutrition (mineral and vitamin deficiency)
  • Migraine

Diagnosis

These are the main methods that can be used for the diagnosis of the condition:

  • Blood testing
    • Identification of hemoglobin levels (suspicion of anemia)
  • Imaging studies
    • CT scan
    • MRI (with or without contrast)
  • Ophthalmologic examination (suspicion of vision problems)
  • EKG
  • EEG
  • Seizure monitoring
  • Stress tests

Treatment for Head Feeling Heavy

These are the recommended treatments that you can take:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
    • Recommended choices – acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen
    • The medication can reduce the associated inflammation and bring the necessary relief
    • Not recommended or should be used with caution in those who suffer from chronic liver disease
  • Analgesics
    • Indicated for those who suffer from recurrent or chronic migraines
    • Should be taken only under the direct supervision of a medical professional, due to the high risk of addiction
  • Mineral and vitamin supplements
    • Recommended in case of nutritional deficiencies
    • Should be taken only at the recommendation of the doctor
    • They do not represent a substitute for the diet
  • Psychological counselling
    • Indicated in patients who suffer from anxiety and/or depression
    • Address not only the symptoms but also the root of the problem
  • Anti-anxiety medication
    • Can improve the symptoms related to anxiety (however, they do not solve the root of the problem)
  • Antidepressants
    • Recommended for those who have been diagnosed with a form of depression
    • Can improve the head feeling sensations and also the mood swings
  • For brain tumors, the following treatment options are available:
    • Chemotherapy
    • Radiation therapy
    • Surgical removal (if possible).

Self-care

In the majority of the situations, the head feels heavy because of two problems, anxiety and bad posture (sometimes, a combination of both). In the first situation, you need to learn how to reduce the level of anxiety and keep things under control. As for the bad posture, this can be improved and the tension in the head, neck and shoulder area is going to disappear.

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When trying to improve your symptoms, it is highly important to take the lights in your home into consideration. Sometimes, the head feels heavy because the lights are too strong. You need to tone them down, so as to avoid the exacerbation of the symptoms. At the same time, you need to pay attention to how much time you are spending in front of the computer or the TV. Reducing the daily exposure can really improve your symptomatology.

Whenever your head feels heavy, abandon what you are doing and start walking around. Move your hands, bend your head and eliminate the tension that has accumulated in the head-neck-shoulders area. As you will have the opportunity to read below, physical therapy can be of invaluable help, when it comes to improving your posture and eliminating such symptoms.

You can also eliminate this sensation by increasing your water intake. You might not be aware of it but anxiety can lead to the dehydration of the body, which in turn leads to such sensations. If you drink water, not only you will hydrate the body and satisfy its needs for liquids but you will also feel calmer. The massage of the neck and temples has a similar effect.

The symptoms related to anxiety can be improved by changing your lifestyle. If you manage to reduce the daily stress in your life, you will also eliminate the associated anxiety. You need to spend more time in the open outdoors and away from technology, as this can contribute to your anxiety as well. Physical exercise can help you get rid of anxiety and, on the plus side, it can help you eliminate the muscular tension accumulated in the neck and shoulder area. Breathing exercises, such as the ones that can be taught by a psychotherapist, can help you handle panic attacks in a more efficient manner. Anxiety can also be improved through yoga and meditation, so do not hesitate to give all of these suggestions a try.

Physical Therapy

Many people today live sedentary lives. They spend their work hours sitting at a desk, then go home and sit on the couch, in front of the computer or the laptop. They end up in a bad posture, which has a bad influence not only on their spine but on their entire body. As it was already mentioned, the head can also feel heavy because of the tension accumulated in the neck and shoulders area. As the trapezius muscle is constantly under tension, the whole pressure sensation is transmitted at the level of the head. In such situations, the physical therapist can be more than useful, helping you regain your normal posture and eliminate the tension accumulated in the above-mentioned-area. Throughout the first sessions, the physical therapist will perform an assessment of your posture, identifying potential problem areas. For the next sessions, he/she will develop a therapy plan, containing exercises and solutions to improve your posture. After a while, you can try out to follow this plan at home, maintaining at the same time a correct posture while you are working.

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