Heat Therapy for Tension or Muscle Contraction Headaches

Heat Therapy for Tension or Muscle Contraction Headaches

Heat therapy is an often-chosen mode of treatment for inflammation, swelling, stiffness, arthritis, and tissue injuries. Thermotherapy, the application of heat to an area of the body, may be used with or without moisture, which can speed heat transfer. Nonetheless, dry heat can ease headaches, so a heated face mask may provide relief.

According to the National Headache Foundation, heat can lessen the pain associated with headaches, especially tension-type or muscle contraction headaches. Migraine sufferers, on the other hand, tend to find relief with cold packs. So long as the heating element used isn’t too hot (which can cause burns), a headache sufferer can benefit.

man with sinus pressureTreating a Tension Headache

A tension/muscle contraction headache is typically on both sides of the head, with a sensation of pressure or tightness. It is often associated with noise sensitivity. By contrast, a migraine is, in part, characterized by light sensitivity and a host of other symptoms. A tension headache is generated by musculoskeletal pain; the bone, joint, and tissue involvement makes it particularly treatable with heat.

Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with this kind of headache. However, many people try applying heat. The reasons this is effective include an ability to:

  • Relieve muscle tension in the affected area.
  • Improve blood flow, increasing oxygen and proteins in pain affected areas.
  • Reduce muscle spasms.
  • Change the body’s response to pain.
  • Reduce stress, alleviating the emotional tension triggering the headache.

Heat can loosen the muscles that are causing the tension. It also gives you a timeout. Sit on a couch or chair, or lie in bed, and put a heated compress on your head. At the same time, close your eyes and take a timeout. A heated face mask works as well as any heated compress. In perhaps as little as a few minutes, you may start to feel better.

You can also combine heat treatment with other techniques such as massages, exercises, and meditation. It also has no side effects, unlike some medications. The only issues to look out for are burns, but you can set the temperature lower to avoid injury. If there is numbness in the area of application, stop immediately and call a doctor.

women with writing pad using Sniff Relief mask

Sniff Relief: A Sinus and Headache Treatment Option

An effective and safe option is the best self-heating face mask you’ll find from Sniff Relief. It includes eight temperature settings—you can set it from 100 to 140°F. The device will even shut off automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it staying on too long or falling asleep with the heat going nonstop. It is effective in relieving pressure and even unblocking the sinuses. For congestion, people often see relief within 10-15 minutes, but the actual length of time depends on individuals and the reasons for their pain.

Read on to learn more about Sniff Relief, the best self-heating face mask for sinus congestion, and how it works and can alleviate your symptoms; or purchase one via our secure shopping cart today.


  1. https://headaches.org/2007/10/25/hot-and-cold-packs-showers/
  2. https://sniffrelief.com/products/sniff-relief
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