Other Health Effects Of Stress
When we ask, can stress cause headaches, we typically look at only the direct correlation between the two. However, since stress impacts other parts of the body, this damage or inflammation can in turn create unhealthier patterns or behaviors, which can again, cause headaches. As all pain doctors know, the body and mind are connected in complex ways. Well look at just a few other ways stress can affect the body and then, most importantly, ways to reduce stress to reduce pain.
How Long Does A Tension
That depends. A tension-type headache may last for 30 minutes or months. In general, episodic tension headache symptoms tend to come on slowly and end sooner. They often happen in the middle of the day. Episodic headaches usually dont last longer than a week.
People with chronic tension-type headaches can have symptoms that last for months at a time. Pain may stay at the same level of discomfort for days. While uncommon, these headaches can take a toll on your quality of life.
The Prevention Of Tension Headaches
Tension headaches can take a heavy toll on your life. In addition to causing pain, they can also cause you to miss days of work, or impair your ability to function at work. Or they may cause you to be irritable with friends and family. If any of these things are happening to you, then you want to be sure to take one or more of the many available steps you can take to prevent tension headaches.
- Exercise – this will relieve stress.
- Learn to Detect When You Are Pushing Yourself – much of the stress and tension that we experience in life comes from pushing ourselves too hard. Learn do detect when you are pushing yourself, and then learn to gently stop yourself pushing yourself. And dont judge yourself when you find yourself pushing yourself. Just let it go.
- Biofeedback Training – biofeedback training will teach you how to stop making the muscular responses to stress that cause your headaches.
- Psychotherapy – go into therapy to find out why you are feeling stressed and/or anxious. Once you find out why you are feeling stressed, you can take measures to reduce your stress.
- Meditation – meditation will help you see why you are feeling stressed and learn to let it all go.
- Mindfulness Training – mindfulness training will do the same.
- Create a Life That is an Expression of Your True Self and Your Deepest Values – this is the best way to stop stress and anxiety. Be yourself. Believe in and love what you do.
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If You Have Migraines Only
If you have migraines occasionally, a NSAID such as ibuprofen or a prescription triptan may be recommended to stop them.
However, these shouldn’t be used more than nine days per month taking them too often can cause rebound headaches, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
In that instance, your doctor may consider preventive medications.
Some Causes Of Headaches
As revealed to us from a study carried out at the University of Warwik, in the United Kingdom, 1 in 30 people has a headache on a regular basis. Today, in view of this great incidence, more and more programs are being developed to better manage these situations.
Thus, one of those channels to better cope with the fact of living with a headache is to know what causes it. Lets look at some triggers.
- Keeping your head in the same position for a long time.
- Working a lot of time in front of the computer, according to this study carried out by the Ramón Pando Ferrer Cuban Institute of Ophthalmology .
- Abnormal position of the head when sleeping.
- Pulling or fatigue of the eye muscles.
- Smoke. This is stated in this study carried out by the University of Salamanca .
- Caffeine abuse. This research carried out by the Universidade de la Sabana suggests so.
- Sinusitis or nasal congestion.
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Consider Big Life Changes
Dr. Khoury has had patients who, after getting divorced or changing jobs, have seen their migraines drastically improve.
Some life changesbeing able to change jobs, for examplearen’t doable for everyone. And rather than leave your current relationship if it’s a source of stress, you might consider couples counseling.
However, if you do feel like you have the ability to explore something else, be it a new company or career, take your migraine as the signal that youfor the sake of your healthneed something new.
The bottom line: in order to address your stress migraines, you need to target the source of your stress.
Once you’ve identified the source, try some of these stress management tips to help you get started.
What Kind Of Stress Triggers Migraines
Many kinds of stress or stressful events can kick off a migraine. Stress can also result from happy events, like buying a new home, planning a wedding, or having a baby.
Some research shows that regular, day-to-day stressors like a high-pressure job, long commute, or raising kids are more likely to cause headaches than unusual stress. Daily stress that never really lets up can lead to chronic headaches.
Some people have a migraine when their regular stress lets up. After a tough week at work, you may think youâre ready to relax and enjoy your weekend, but then you get a migraine. That could be because your brain is used to the constant stress. The sudden change in your routine triggers a headache.
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Ways To Manage Tension Headaches
To prevent or to ease tension headaches, Dr. Bang recommends the following:
Dr. Bang points out that the good thing about drug-free treatments is that any side effects go away on their own.
What about rubbing your temples when a tension headaches starts to build does it help? Muscle tension varies, so rubbing on your temples may not bring relief, says Dr. Bang. But rubbing on the tender spots, or trigger points, in your neck and shoulder muscles can help.
If tension headaches dont go away after trying these suggestions, it may be time to look at the psychological stress in your life, he notes.
Stress And Chronic Headache
Reprinted with permission from ACHE
People with chronic headache sometimes react angrily to friends or doctors who suggest they are just under too much stress – and with reason, since theres often an implication that the headaches are a psychological rather than a medical issue. In fact, chronic headache is unlikely to be caused by stress alone, yet stress can contribute significantly to making headaches worse. In addition to all the other hassles of modern life, people with severe or chronic headache have to deal with the stress of being in pain. Approaches that help to reduce the stress associated with chronic headache can also help control the headaches themselves.
Chronic Headache, Chronic StressWith episodic migraine, individuals can often identify how different stressors affect their headache pattern. A given person might recognize that headaches tend to follow a hectic week at work, a quarrel with a family member, or an important social occasion. There are also physical stresses that can trigger an attack, such as changes in weather, missed meals or too much alcohol. Because both the headaches and the stresses are infrequent, its relatively easy to see the connection.
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Pain Receptors And Headache
You feel pain when various structures of your head are inflamed or irritated. These structures include:
- the muscles and skin of the head
- the nerves of the head and neck
- the arteries leading to the brain
- the membranes of the ear, nose and throat
- the sinuses, which are air-filled cavities inside the head that form part of the respiratory system.
The sensation of pain can also be referred, which means that pain occurring in one area can transmit the feeling of pain to an area nearby. An example is the referred pain of a headache arising from a sore neck.
Chronic Stress Impacts Other Emotions
Have you ever arrived home after spending an hour in traffic only to have a minor annoyance at home set you off? Thats because stress makes people grouchy, and a study published in Nature Communications has learned why.
Chronic stress eats away at a brain mechanism important for social skills and healthy cognition. It does this by affecting pathways in the hippocampus, a portion of the brain involved in memory, learning, and emotion, literally interfering with healthy responses. Interestingly, these affected pathways are the same ones involved in neurodegenerative diseases like epilepsy. Researchers plan to explore stress potential impact on those diseases as well.
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Preventing Tension Headaches From Anxiety
To prevent tension headaches, finding ways to reduce anxiety is essential.
Although each persons cause of anxiety is different, there are some general anxiety reduction strategies that could result in preventing headaches altogether. :
- Make sure that you are exercising, eating healthy, and drinking plenty of water. Poor eating habits and inactivity generally lead to more anxiety and thus could contribute to tension headaches.
- Learn anxiety reduction strategies to manage the level of anxiety experienced, as the more anxiety one feels, the more intense a tension headache may be. So, it makes sense that. tension headaches are more easily treated when mild. As soon as you start feeling stressed, start deep breathing or practice a progressive muscle relaxation exercise. These are ways to intervene when the pain is still manageable.
- Always try to get enough sleep. Sleep is essential to mental and physical health and one of life’s main coping strategies. Lack of sleep contributes to increased stress, and further eye strain .
While there are ways to manage anxiety and the associated headaches, meeting with a mental health professional still may be recommended vital to explore and identify the underlying cause of anxiety.
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How To Tell If Anxiety Is Causing Your Headaches
Many things can cause headaches and migraines, so you need to identify whether your headaches are due to anxiety or something else. Knowing the cause helps you treat it correctly. Anxiety can cause a weird feeling in your head. You might have anxiety if you experience strange sensations accompanied by:
- Hot flashes
- Heavy and quick breathing rate
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Chronic Migraine Stress And Your Brain
Frequent or severe stress can change your brainâs functions and structures. These changes will only get worse as the stress continues.
If you have chronic migraines, your brain acts differently than the brains of healthy, migraine-free people. Even between headaches, your brain can be in an overexcited state. Changes in brain structure may result from frequent migraines.
Treating The Cause: Diary
It may help to keep a diary if you have frequent headaches. Note when, where, and how bad each headache is, and how long each headache lasts. Also note anything that may have caused it. A pattern may emerge and you may find a trigger to avoid. For example, hunger, eye strain, bad posture, stress, anger, etc.
Some doctors suggest reviewing your diet. The list of foods which can be triggers in some people includes caffeinated drinks, chocolate, cheese and alcohol. Other doctors suggest focusing on a healthy balanced diet, with a good mixture of slow-release energy foods and a low intake of refined sugars.
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How To Prevent An Anxiety Heavy Head And Headache
While you may not entirely prevent headaches from occurring, you can take some steps to help decrease their frequency and severity. These include:
- Recognize Your Triggers: When you get migraines, try and identify what triggers them, including stress, caffeine, alcohol, hormonal changes, insufficient or low-quality sleep, and dehydration.
- Practice Relaxation: Take time off your daily schedule to relax to reduce anxiety symptoms. Some physical exercises can help you relax, especially when you rest and sleep enough. Additionally, you can practice mindfulness exercises such as meditation, guided imagery, and progressive relaxation therapy.
- Practice Self-Care: Anxiety affects your sleep, appetite, and overall health. Therefore, practicing self-care helps reduce many anxiety symptoms, including headaches. For example, get seven to nine hours of restful sleep daily, do regular physical activity, drink enough water, and avoid skipping meals.
What Are Stress Headaches
Stress headaches, also known as tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Stress headaches have a pain that diffuses across the whole head. The pain is not local or sharp in one area.
Stress headaches are mostly categorized as primary headaches, which are triggered by things like certain food, stress, or particular actions that alter the chemicals that control sensations like the pain in the brain.
They are known to be episodic and recurring, at times they also become chronic. They get so severe such that they affect a persons capability to perform daily tasks. Tension headaches are more like a dull pain that feels like a band is putting pressure on the head.
Unlike migraines and cluster headaches, they are not isolated to one side of the head. The pain begins at the back of your head and makes its way to the forehead. You can feel a soreness and tightness of the muscles in the neck, jaw and shoulder area.
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Tension Headache Risk Factors
Up to 80% of adults in the U.S. get them from time to time. About 3% have chronic daily tension headaches. Women are twice as likely to get them as men.
Most people with episodic tension headaches have them no more than once or twice a month, but they can happen more often.
Many people with the chronic type have usually had them for more than 60 to 90 days.
Can Stress Cause Headaches
None of us are oblivious to the fact that stress is widespread in our society. As our lives become increasingly more hectic and filled with obligations, more stress-related health problems are being reported. Whether it’s an overflowing plate of tasks at work, a packed schedule of activities for your kids, or a never-ending to-do list, we’re all facing more triggers for stress every day.
The acute stress response is only designed to last for a short period. However, stress can turn into a chronic problem if the reaction is activated for too long. Chronic stress can cause many physical ailments as the body has to cope with a weakened immune system and a constant wave of stress hormones. Over time, this can lead to complaints such as digestive issues, anxiety disorders, dietary changes, sleep disturbances, and headaches.
Is All Stress Bad For Us?
Some stress can be beneficial if it only occurs for a short period and is proportionate to the situation. Since stress is merely the result of a demand on the body to act or react, it can be very useful to help motivate us. The body’s natural stress response keeps us going in a crisis and helps us overcome challenging situations.
None of us can-or should-eliminate all stress from our lives. A mild to moderate amount of stress at certain times is what motivates us to act and persevere despite obstacles and challenges.
What Is The Stress Response?
Physical Effects Of Stress
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Memory problems
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What Are The Symptoms Of Each Tension Headache
- Tension headaches are usually felt as a band or across the forehead. They can be uncomfortable and tiring, but they do not usually disturb sleep. Some people feel a squeezing or pressure on their head.
- It usually occurs on both sides, and often spreads down your neck, or seems to come from your neck. Sometimes it is just on one side.
- The pain is usually moderate or mild. Tension headaches can interrupt concentration but are usually not bad enough to send you to bed. Most people can work through a tension headache if they really need to.
- A tension headache can last from 30 minutes to seven days. Most last a few hours.
- Tension headaches tend to become worse as the day goes on and are often mildest in the morning. They are not usually made worse by physical activity.
- An exception to this would be a headache caused by sleeping in an awkward position, causing a sore neck, or an ache in the face and jaw due to tooth grinding.
- There are usually no other symptoms.
Sometimes migraines are mistaken for chronic tension headaches. Some people don’t like bright lights or loud noises, and don’t feel like eating much when they have a tension headache. However, marked dislike of light or loud noise, and visual disturbances, like zigzag lines, are more suggestive of migraine. A mild feeling of sickness can occur, especially if you are using a lot of painkillers. However, marked nausea is, again, more a feature of migraine.
What Does A Stress Headache Feel Like What Are The Symptoms
What does a stress headache feel like? Is it different than other headaches, caused by other reasons? What do you need to know about them?
Stress is a natural process. It is a response to the need to adapt to our environment. However, when it is permanent and intense it can be harmful to our health
Stress is something we feel almost every day. Among its most annoying symptoms are back pain and muscle tension. Everything is the product of excessive worry, mental exhaustion and the accumulation of emotional tension. However, a stress headache becomes an even more common and annoying symptom.
According to a study carried out at Bucheon University and Hospital, located in South Korea, stress is the most common trigger for migraines.
While it is true that there are those who experience a headache of mild intensity, which disappears the moment they relax, but in other cases it is not so easy to combat this discomfort.
The symptoms also vary in each person. In addition to headaches, there are those who experience insomnia and fatigue. Now, depending on the frequency with which the pain occurs, certain measures or others will have to be resorted to. In this sense, it will not be the same to treat a sporadic headache than one that occurs for several days in a row due to chronic stress
Stress headache can occur along with other symptoms: chest tightness, blurred vision or vision of moving black spots, sweating, insomnia, irritability, etc.