Animal Models Of Concussion
In the laboratory, researchers have well-established experiments meant to copy the conditions of TBI in animals. However, because these tests produce a well-defined brain injury, they are for the most part not good tests for concussion.
The so-called cortical impact model involves a controlled blow of weight onto an exposed brain surface. Because the researcher removes a portion of the skull this model is a very good way to produce a local region of brain injury. However, this test is a model of open head injury in which the force of the injury exposes the brain. By contrast, a concussion is by definition a closed head injury. The skull is still intact. The mechanism of how the energy of the injury is sent throughout the brain is very likely to be different. Another method, called fluid percussion, involves the spread of a fixed blow through a column of fluid. Researchers usually use an exposed brain thus this is a form of open head injury.
There are a few animal models of closed head injury. One such model involves the controlled blow of a weight on an anesthetized animal held in a secured position. We all should regard these studies as preliminary. In any case, they remain only a gross likeness of the real-life conditions of a concussion.Towards new test models of concussion
Anne Calhoun, MD
What Causes Tension Headaches
Doctors don’t know for sure what causes tension headaches. Experts once thought that tension or spasms in the muscles of the neck, face, and head played a role. Now they think that a change in brain chemicals also may be a cause.
Tension headaches are one of the most common types of headaches. They can be brought onor triggeredby things such as stress, depression, hunger, and muscle strain. Tension headaches may come on suddenly or slowly.
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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Types Of Anxiety Headaches
Doctors don’t have a separate name for a stress or anxiety headache. But the most common types of headaches all have a link to anxiety.
Tension headaches. Almost everyone gets one at some point. When you hear people say they have a headache, it’s usually this kind. Typically they’re not too painful.
Tension doesn’t mean stress in this case, but refers to how the headache feels, which may be like a tight band around your head. It can be triggered by anxiety, but it’s not clear why this happens.
Migraines. These are more severe headaches that can cause painful pounding or throbbing. They can last for hours or even days. Besides pain, migraines can also make you vomit and feel sensitive to light and noise. They’re very common in people who have anxiety disorders.
They’re called cluster headaches because of how they happen. You might get them a few times a day for a few weeks or months, and then they just go away. They may not come back for months or years.
People with cluster headaches are more likely to have anxiety — typically in the months of downtime between bouts of headaches. Doctors aren’t sure how cluster headaches and anxiety are connected or which one causes the other.
Diet And Lifestyle Changes
Making healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet is another means of managing the headaches associated with anxiety disorders. Key lifestyle changes to incorporate include:
- Keep a headache diary: Keep a log of when your headaches and other symptoms are happening, what medications youre taking, what youre eating and drinking, levels of tension and stress, and any other factors that may influence your condition. The more you know about your headaches and anxiety, the better youll be able to treat them.
- Exercise:Regular activity and ensuring your fitness can go a long way in managing anxiety disorders and headache attacks. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of light to moderate activity. Start small and scale up as you make progress.
- Manage weight:Higherweight is linked with increased incidence and rates of migraine and other headache disorders. Working to manage weight through diet, exercise, and other means can reduce the frequency of attacks.
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How To Relieve Anxiety Headaches
Although there is no proven way to instantly relieve tension headaches associated with anxiety, there are some standard headache treatments. Over the counter medications, like Tylenol, are effective for some people.
Yet, as with any medication, it is important to determine whether or not it is safe for you to take. Drinking water may be a more natural approach, as it is a commonly cited remedy for tension headaches, as dehydration is known to exacerbate headache symptoms.
Another approach to managing anxiety headaches is decreasing the amount of screen-time you consume . The light from screen time can contribute to tension headaches, especially if you are already prone to tension headaches.
Also, because light can worsen the intensity of a headache, turning off, or dimming the lights could be helpful. Although less common, some other options for tension headache relief include:
- Close your eyes and rub the temples of your head for a few minutes. This may relieve some of the pressure.
- Take a warm shower. It’s possible for warm showers to relax the muscles, which could reduce some of the pressure in your head.
- See if someone else can give you a massage. Relieving all muscle tension, especially in the neck and back, and greatly improve the feeling in your head.
None of these tricks are guaranteed, but they all can potentially relieve some of the discomfort associated with a tension headache.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Tension Headache
The main symptom of a tension headache is a feeling of tightness around the head. Some patients describe it as a vise sensation or that of an overly tight headband. During these headaches, the neck and shoulder muscles are often tense and sore to the touch. Sleep can be difficult, as can concentration.
Like migraine headaches, tension headaches can be exacerbated by bright lights or loud noises. When comparing the two, migraine headaches tend to be a throbbing pain, while the pain is more constant with a tension headache. Areas of pain with tension headaches are usually the neck, back of the head, and often the temple and forehead.
Unlike migraines, tension headaches arent associated with visual disturbances, nausea or vomiting. Physical activity aggravates a migraine headache, but not usually a tension headache.
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How Can I Prevent Tension Headaches
Researchers have yet to uncover how to prevent all headaches. If you experience chronic tension-type headaches or frequent tension-type headaches certain medications may stop some headaches before they start. These are antidepressants such as amitriptyline or venlafaxine or duloxetine. These work on the pain centers in the brain.
Overall, lifestyle changes and reducing your response to stress is the best way to prevent tension headaches. The most effective stress management tool is the one that fits into your life and you feel good using. You may want to try:
- Massage therapy.
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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Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
As one of the chronic daily headache syndromes, the treatment of chronic tension headache is similar to that of chronic migraine.Chronic tension headache is often present for years by the time a comprehensive treatment plan is created for a particular person that is effective. Many possible influences are interwoven in the regimens/lifestyles that maintain chronic tension headaches. In chronic tension headache, a variety of contributing factors must be addressed:
- Anxiety and depression
Why Choose Dr Lowenstein For Your Tension Headache Treatment In Santa Barbara
When less invasive treatments fail to provide relief, it is crucial for tension headache sufferers to be their own advocates and explore other options. Dr. Lowenstein is a board-certified plastic surgeon who sees many people with chronic tension headaches and is passionate about providing his patients with the information they need to make informed choices for themselves.
Dr. Lowenstein operates at the Migraine Surgery Specialty Center in Santa Barbara, CA, and also consults out of the Migraine Surgery Speciality Center in Denver, CO. Dr. Lowentsein additionally has a Migraine Surgery Specialty center for consultations in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Lowenstein is dedicated to helping his patients improve their quality of life by reducing the physical and emotional toll of prolonged periods of headaches.
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Medicine To Relieve Pain
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as naproxen, ibuprofen or aspirin often provide relief for tension-type headaches. Paracetamol is less effective but may be preferred if you cannot take NSAIDs, such as if you have stomach bleeding or kidney problems. Read more about NSAIDs.
Caution medication overuse headache
If you are taking medicines regularly, be aware of medication overuse headache. Medication overuse headache can happen as a result of using too many pain relief medicines to treat headaches. It may feel like a tension-type headache.These headaches often improve within 24 weeks of withdrawal of the overused medicine but you may feel worse before you feel better. To avoid this, take pain relief medicines like paracetamol and NSAIDs for no more than 15 days per month.
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.
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.
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Why Do Tension Headaches Last So Long
Tension headaches are not caused due to any underlying causes such as diseases. These headaches are considered normal headaches inflicting low to moderate pain on both sides of the head. Tension headaches do not worsen with physical activity and remain a tightening sensation on the head.
Although tension headaches are not a serious health issue, they tend to be repetitive when ones under stress. Episodic tension-type headaches usually last for 30 minutes to 7 days. Some of the symptoms related to the episodic type are photophobia or phonophobia.
Chronic tension-type headaches are persistent and can even last for years, months or weeks. Such headaches are associated with high levels of personal disability. Chronic type headaches are associated with symptoms of nausea or vomiting.
The fundamental cause of tension types headaches remains unknown. Some experts have suggested that a certain change in chemicals in the brain may lead to such headaches. Some have also suggested that spasms in the muscles of the neck, head, or face may also be the reason behind tension-type headaches.
Some of the symptoms associated with tension-type headaches include:
- Constant headache with pain or pressure on both sides of the head.
- Pain in the back or neck
- Nausea or vomiting
National Defense Authorization Act Fy2010
Section 711 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2010 tasked the Secretary of Defense to develop and implement a comprehensive policy on pain management by the military health care system, no later than March 31, 2011. Hopefully, the military headache will be addressed along with other pain conditions as a part of this comprehensive and interdisciplinary pain management approach in compliance with Section 711 of the NDAA.
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When Should I Consider Surgery For Tension Headaches
Tension headaches can be hard to manage as some patients have chronically tight muscles surrounding the nerves above the eyes and in the back of the head and neck. Headache surgery can decompress these nerves and prevent the pain of tension headaches. For patients who cannot control their headache pain with medications or other means, headache surgery can be an excellent choice for long-term relief.
What Is Chronic Tension Headache And Who Is Affected By It
Chronic tension headache is a condition where you have a tension headache on at least 15 days every month for at least three months.This can be tiring and depressing. Tension headache is the common type of headache that most people have at some time.
It’s not known exactly how common chronic tension headache is, as few studies have looked at this clearly. Some studies have estimated that around 1 in 30 of all adults have chronic tension headaches – which means they have a headache on more than half of all days for three months or more. However, it is possible that a proportion of these patients actually have developed medication-overuse headaches as a result of their tension headaches. Therefore, it can be difficult to be certain which is their main problem.
Chronic means persistent it does not mean severe. The severity of the headaches can vary from mild to severe. Because of the persistent nature of the headaches, however, this condition is often quite disabling and distressing, and most patients take preventative medication.
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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.
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.
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New Daily Persistent Headache
A very rare headache disorder, new daily persistent headache is also closely associated with anxiety disorders. In one study, 65% of those with this condition also experienced anxiety disorders. As its name implies, those with the condition suffer daily headaches and other symptoms. The features of NDPH include:
- Sharp, stabbing pain, often on one side of the head
- Flu symptoms when it first sets on
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Worsening of symptoms with physical activity
How To Recognize Migraine Symptoms
Not everyone with migraine has the same symptoms. A common feature, however, is moderate to severe throbbing or pulsing pain that is severe enough to interfere with everyday life.
Head pain in migraines can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and neurological symptoms such as blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells.
Some people experience migraine with aura. Aura symptoms consist of visual disturbances , pins and needles in the limbs, difficulty speaking, or weakness and numbness in the face or on one side of the body. Migraine aura usually occurs before the migraine pain starts and acts as a warning.
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