Friday, February 3, 2023

How Long Can Stress Headaches Last

What Triggers A Tension Headache

What is a tension headache?

Tension headaches, despite the name, are not always caused by stress and mental tension. There can be other triggers, including excessive muscle contraction such as frowning and jaw clenching.

Other triggers for tension headaches include:

  • poor posture at work, home or when driving
  • bright, noisy environments
  • too much smoking or coffee
  • overuse of pain-relief medicines, including headache tablets

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 Helps Tension Headaches

Relaxation techniques can help to address the stress in your life that is leading you to stress headaches. Nowadays we are live very busy lives with work pressures, family demands and a whole host of other things.

We can feel like we are being pulled at from all angles, it can be difficult to take the time to look after yourself and have a break. In fact we can also feel guilty for taking the time to relax and unwind, however it is so important that we do, even snatching five minutes to sit outside can help to boost our moods.

Other relaxation tips include:

  • Having a day where you screen your calls and emails
  • Exercise
  • Listening to your favourite music
  • Having a bath
  • Getting the right amount of sleep for them
  • Following good posture practices

Even the smallest steps to becoming healthier will help to prevent tension headaches from happening, even if this is simply parking the car further away in the car park, making sure you eat breakfast or taking time out at the end of the day to relax.

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What Are The Types Of Tension

Healthcare providers break down tension headaches into two main types. They base the type on how many headaches you have and how often:

  • Episodic tension-type headaches happen less often . Your provider may call them infrequent if you have one or fewer headaches each month.
  • Chronic tension-type describe when your headache days outnumber headache-free days. Chronic tension headaches happen 15 or more days each month for more than three months in a row.

What Is A Tension Headache


Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Stress and muscle tension are often factors in these headaches. Tension headaches typically don’t cause nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. They do cause a steady ache, rather than a throbbing one, and tend to affect both sides of the head. Tension headaches may be chronic, occurring often, or every day.

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When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • You are experiencing “the worst headache of your life.”
  • You have speech, vision, or movement problems or loss of balance, especially if you have not had these symptoms with a headache before.
  • The headache starts very suddenly.
  • The headache occurs with repeated vomiting.
  • You have a high fever.

Also, call your provider if:

  • Your headache patterns or pain change.
  • Treatments that once worked are no longer helpful.
  • You have side effects from medicines, including irregular heartbeat, pale or blue skin, extreme sleepiness, persistent cough, depression, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, cramps, dry mouth, or extreme thirst.
  • You are pregnant or could become pregnant. Some medicines should not be taken when pregnant.

When Should I See My Doctor

See your doctor if your headaches:

  • are more frequent or more severe than usual
  • worsen or don’t improve with recommended use of over-the-counter pain-relief medicines
  • prevent you from working, sleeping or participating in normal activities

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What Is The Treatment For Rebound Headaches

Usually, headaches will get easier to control when you stop taking the medicine or gradually take lower doses. Your doctor will probably ask you to record your headache symptoms, how often you have them, and how long they last, as well as which medications you take, dose of medication and how often you take them.

Some people may need to be “detoxified” with closer medical supervision, so itâs important to work with a headache specialist. People who take large doses of sedative hypnotics, sedative-containing combination headache pills, or narcotics such as codeine or oxycodone may need to be in the hospital while they start to come off of the drugs.

After the first few weeks of the process, you may have more headaches. But eventually, theyâll disappear and go back to how they used to be.

Preventive Measures For Tension Headaches:

Diagnosing tension headaches

Knowing your headache triggers and working on them accordingly would help you greatly to avoid situations that cause tension headaches. Below are some of the preventive measures for tension headaches.

  • Practice good posture while working, reading or doing other activities
  • Use a different pillow or change your sleeping position
  • Go for more vigorous exercises. Also exercise and stretch your back, neck and shoulders, especially while typing or working over computers.
  • Have your eyes checked properly.
  • Learn and practice stress management well. Go for relaxation exercises and meditations which would really help.

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Diy Strength Training Exercises

Experimenting with strength training or changing lifestyle factors that cause stress and tight muscles can help patients limit the amount of medications they need to stop their pain. Strength training can:

  • Loosen tense muscles
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Improve blood flow

Results should take about a month to become apparent. Researchers said patients not experiencing any benefit after four weeks probably arent good candidates for the treatment. To improve core strength yourself, you can try these exercises to prevent future tension headache episodes.

Plank pose

A good overall core building exercise that improves posture is plank pose, which resembles the top of a push-up. Support the body firmly with wrists under the shoulders, fingers spread wide, and weight evenly distributed throughout the hand, careful to avoid dumping weight into the wrists. Toes are tucked under and the body slants down in one straight, long line, with the abdomen and upper back muscles engaged. Hold for 30 seconds before resting for a few seconds. Repeat three times.

Resistance band workouts

Danish researchers have found that strength training with resistance bands is also helpful for reducing tension headaches. Just two minutes a day was found to provide a benefit after about a month of training, reportsScienceNordic. Slightly better results were found for patients exercising with the bands 12 minutes each day.

When To Call The Doctor

  • You are experiencing “the worst headache of your life.”
  • You have speech, vision, or movement problems or loss of balance, especially if you have not had these symptoms with a headache before.
  • A headache starts suddenly.

Schedule an appointment or call your provider if:

  • Your headache pattern or pain changes.
  • Treatments that once worked no longer help.
  • You have side effects from your medicine.
  • You are pregnant or could become pregnant. Some medicines should not be taken during pregnancy.
  • You need to take pain medicines more than 3 days a week.
  • Your headaches are more severe when lying down.

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Managing Tension Headaches At Home

A tension headache is pain or discomfort in your head, scalp, or neck. Tension headache is a common type of headache. It can occur at any age, but it is most common in teens and adults.

A tension headache occurs when neck and scalp muscles become tense, or contract. The muscle contractions can be a response to stress, depression, a head injury, or anxiety.

Unexplained Or General Headaches

How Long Do Tension Headaches Last &  How to Get Rid of it?

For unexplained, ongoing headaches, you may be able to manage or ease your symptoms at home through comfort measures, rest, and responsible use of medication.

Massage therapy can ease muscle tension that contributes to headaches, or you can perform self-massage techniques at home.

Managing your stress can help reduce your pain. Also consider reducing the intensity of your exercise schedule or focusing on your form while exercising.

If your headache continues to persist, see your doctor. You may have an underlying condition that they can diagnose. With proper treatment, youll be able to address your persistent headache pain and return to your normal quality of life.

You may be able to prevent persistent headaches before they begin by taking a few steps every day. These include:

  • drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • exercising regularly
  • getting needed support for your mental health
  • seeking hormonal support, particularly if youre premenopausal or experiencing menopause
  • reducing stress

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Get Rid Of Your Old Pillow Or Mattress

Sleep should be a time for your body to rest and recharge. So be choosy about your sleeping equipment.

Finding the right mattress and pillow can be key to preventing a cervicogenic headache, Dr. Estemalik says. Do you wake up with neck pain or a headache? That could be a clue that you need to switch your pillow or mattress.

Find a pillow that keeps your neck in line with your back. The exact pillow type varies from person to person based on your sleeping position and body type. And follow Goldilocks advice about your bed: Not too hard or too soft. Replace old mattresses and pillows, since they lose their support after years of use.

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.

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Concussions And Other Head Injuries

If youve recently experienced a concussion or similar head injury, you could be dealing with an ongoing headache. This is called post-concussion syndrome, and its a mild injury to your brain caused by the initial trauma. It can last for months after a concussion possibly up to a year.

Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:

  • recurrent or ongoing headaches

A variety of treatment options, including home treatments and medical care, can help relieve symptoms of a prolonged headache.

How Do You Get Rid Of A Tension Headache

What Exactly Is A Migraine Headache?

Tension headaches do not usually require medical treatment, and you do not need to see your doctor if you only get occasional headaches. However you should visit your GP if you experience headaches several times a week and your pain is so severe that you cannot carry out daily tasks. Theyll be able to offer advice as well as investigate what is causing your headaches.

You can also use over the counter pain relief to ease the pain caused by tension headaches these treatments include paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Remember to always read the label and follow the enclosed patient leaflet, this will inform you about dosages and guidelines you should follow. It is not recommended that you take stronger pain medication such as co-codamol, unless a doctor has told you too, as it can cause drowsiness or in some cases headaches.

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What Exactly Is A Stress Headache

You have likely experienced many different types of headaches which can range from sinus to migraines. So, how can you tell if your headache may be caused by stress? Tension or stress headache symptoms tend to follow a certain pattern.iii

  • A stress headache will normally be a mild or moderately painful dull ache.
  • Stress headache pain will often feel like a tight band around your head front, sides and back.
  • Your scalp, neck and shoulders may also feel sore or tender.
  • Stress headaches can be either episodic or chronic .
  • Unlike migraines, stress headaches arent typically aggravated by light, sound or physical activity.

Is There Any Covid Brain Fog Treatment

Until we have more time and more studies, there are more questions than answers. We dont know how long brain fog lasts after COVID or how long fatigue lasts after COVID. Until we know more, there is no known treatment for long COVID neurological symptoms. The best thing to do is tell your doctor about your symptoms and work with your doctor to find what works best for you.

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How Long Do Tension Headaches Last & How To Get Rid Of It

A pain or discomfort felt in your head, scalp, or neck is known to be tension headache which is a common type of headache occurring at any age. However, tension headaches are more common in teens and adults. This type of headache generally occurs because of muscle contraction or tightening of the muscles in the head and the neck.

Home Treatments To Get Rid Of Tension Headaches

Heading Off a Headache

Below are some of the special home treatments you can follow at home so as to get rid of tension headaches.

Hot and Cold Therapy:

Hot and cold treatment can be an effective home remedy to get rid of tension headaches. You can go for hot or cold baths or shower, which may relieve the headache for some individuals. You may also apply heat to the area of the head or neck where there is the most severe pain. Apply using a heating pad on a low setting for a brief time period or apply heat in the form of a dry towel warmed in the oven. You may also go for resting in a quiet room with a cool cloth on your forehead.

Massage Gently:

A gentle fingertip massage over the area, just in front of and just above the ears or the temporal area, can be useful home remedy in getting rid of the pain in tension headaches. Also, massaging your head and neck muscle gently would help in providing enough relief.

Simply Lie Down and Relax:

It is also noted that simply lying down and relaxing may also help you in reducing the pain in tension headaches. Many individuals find concentrating on a soothing thought or image while taking slow, deep breaths would help them relax greatly.

Keep A Record Of Your Tension Headaches:

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How Are They Diagnosed

A doctor can usually diagnose tension headaches by doing a physical exam and asking questions about how often the headaches happen, what the symptoms are, and about your overall health and lifestyle. In some cases, imaging and other tests may be done to rule out other health problems. But this isn’t common.

When Should I Talk To A Doctor About Stress

You should seek medical attention if you feel overwhelmed, if you are using drugs or alcohol to cope, or if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Your primary care provider can help by offering advice, prescribing medicine or referring you to a therapist.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Its natural and normal to be stressed sometimes. But long-term stress can cause physical symptoms, emotional symptoms and unhealthy behaviors. Try relieving and managing stress using a few simple strategies. But if you feel overwhelmed, talk to your doctor.

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What Causes Headaches

Headaches are thought to be caused by changes in chemicals, nerves, or blood vessels in the area. These changes send pain messages to the brain and bring on a headache.

Most headaches are related to:

  • smelling strong odors such as perfume, smoke, fumes, or a new car or carpet
  • too much caffeine
  • some foods

How Does A Tension

Your dirty hair could be causing headaches | Connect the Dots

People experience tension headache symptoms differently. Some people describe tension headache pain as feeling like someone is squeezing both sides of their head together or a band around their head.

You may have pain thats:

  • Constant .
  • Mild or moderate .
  • On both sides of the head.
  • Better after you take over-the-counter pain relievers.

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Can Rebound Headaches Be Prevented

You can prevent rebound headaches when you use pain relievers on a limited basis, only when you need them. Do not use them more than once or twice a week unless your doctor tells you to. In some cases, your doctor can prescribe a medication preemptively that would prevent the headaches and is meant to be taken daily without causing rebound. This would lower the amount of abortive therapy needed.

Also, avoid caffeine while youâre taking pain relievers, especially medication that already has caffeine. For migraines, which use a wide variety of different medications and treatment approaches, itâs particularly important to talk to your doctor about the best way to use your combination of medication to avoid the rebound effect.

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