Thursday, May 19, 2022

How To Cure Stress Headache

Can You Stop A Tension Headache Without Medicine

How to Cure a Headache with Acupressure

These drug-free methods aren’t quick fixes because you’ll need to learn how to use them. But you may want to consider them for the future.

Biofeedback. This process uses an electronic machine to measure how well your body relaxes. It’s a way to train yourself to ease a tension headache.

Cognitive behavioral therapy. A therapist helps you to spot thoughts and beliefs that cause you stress, which can trigger a headache.

Some people use massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture, too.

“The treatments with the most science behind them are cognitive behavioral therapy and biofeedback,” Green says. “Those are the ones with the highest levels of evidence to support them.”

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.

Stress Migraine Symptoms Can Be Really Debilitating

Okay, so we know stress can set off a migraine, but what does that actually feel like? Heres where it gets a bit murky since the symptoms of a migraine triggered by stress are typically the same as any other migraine trigger.

That said, its still important to know the symptoms of migraine, so you can act quickly when it comes to treatment. According to the American Migraine Foundation, there are four phases of a migraine attack , which all have slightly different symptoms. Here are some common ones to know:

  • Throbbing head pain, typically on one side
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Blind spots or vision loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Overwhelming fatigue

Migraine, typically, is going to be a throbbing pain, Dr. Csere says. It can be unilateral, typically associated with either nausea and or light and sound sensitivity and is worsened with activity or movement.

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Risk Factors Associated With Tension Headache

It has been noted that tension headaches have a higher incidence in women than in men. The average age of occurrence in women lies between 30 and 39 years. However, with progression in age, the risk of getting a tension headache decreases in women.

Several other factors can increase your risk of getting a tension headache. These include:

  • Sleep apnea or sleep disorders
  • An injury or arthritis in the neck region
  • Temporomandibular joint disease
  • Hormonal changes in women during the premenstrual syndrome phase and menopause

The Connection Between Lack Of Rem Sleep And Pain

Stress Headache or Migraine: All About

One of the possible reasons for headaches from lack of sleep is REM or rapid eye movement.

REM is a sleep phase characterized by the fast movement of the eyes and other changes in the body. During this period, your heartbeat and breathing are faster.

You are also likely to be dreaming, and these dreams can be vivid or detailed. REM usually occurs within 90 minutes of falling asleep.

Its duration can also increase as you move along the different stages of sleep. REM sleep isnt just about dreaming, though.

While the body is less aware of outside stimuli, the brain is active. It is a time where the brain purges anything that shouldnt belong there.

At the same time, it enhances your learning and memory. It also helps in regulating mood, and this is important since its the one that links to different types of pain, such as headache from lack of sleep.

REM sleep helps produce two feel-good chemicals or neurotransmitters called serotonin and dopamine.

Serotonin contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being, while dopamine reduces your bodys perception of pain. Serotonin, in particular, is responsible for the narrowing of the blood vessels as well.

When a person is sleep-deprived, the levels of these neurotransmitters change. So do the width of the blood vessels, and this can contribute to a migraine attack.

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How Can Stress Cause Headaches

Everyday stress can bring on headaches in a variety of ways. Thats because stress causes us to change our behavior without even realizing it.iv

You may still experience the occasional tension headache, but practicing the above techniques should help reduce their frequency and severity. Looking for a quick and effective way to get rid of a stress headache? Try an over-the-counter headache relief medication like Excedrin.You may still experience the occasional tension headache, but practicing the above techniques should help reduce their frequency and severity. Looking for a quick and effective way to get rid of a stress headache? Try an over-the-counter headache relief medication like Excedrin.

And while relaxation therapies and simply cutting down on the stress in your life can help to reduce the occurrence of tension headaches, chronic tension headaches may be indicative of a more serious issue. Consult a doctor to discuss and learn more about your headaches.

References:

Articles On Migraine & Headache Prevention

Everyone experiences stress. Our bodies are designed to feel stress and react to it. It keeps us alert and ready to avoid danger. But, when stress persists, the body begins to break down and illnesses, like headaches and migraines, can occur. The key to coping with stress is identifying stressors in your life, learning ways to reduce stress, and managing stress.

Recommended Reading: How To Not Feel So Stressed

How Can I Tell If I Have Tension Headaches

In order to diagnose tension type headache, other diagnoses or another condition causing the headache must be ruled out, and a clinical exam must be performed. During a physical exam the clinician will identify tender points in the muscles under and around the skull. When pressure is put through these knots it can cause pain in another location which can be associated with tension headaches. There are no formal laboratory tests to diagnose tension type headaches.

What Causes A Tension Headache

How to treat and prevent stress-induced migraines

The exact mechanism that causes a tension headache is not known. Several factors, such as genetics and environment, are thought to be involved. Muscle contractions in the head and neck are considered a major factor in the development of a tension headache. Some people get tension headaches in response to stressful events or hectic days.

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Exercise And Movement For Tension Headaches

Regularly getting exercise is great for lowering stress, plus it has positive effects on blood pressure levels, sleep and your overall health.

People who exercise more are less likely to deal with stressful diseases , obesity and depression. Physical activity also improves circulation and can help build strength in muscles that support good posture.

Studies find that moderate exercise can reduce the frequency and severity of strong headaches, even migraine attacks, in some people especially when coupled with other healthy habits like a nutrient-dense diet and getting good sleep.

Exercise benefits your mood by changing levels of the bodys natural feel good chemicals called endorphins, which are natural pain killers and antidepressants.

Apply A Cold Compress

Applying an ice pack to your head can help relieve your headache by soothing the sore muscles responsible for it.

Cold therapy may work by constricting the swollen blood vessels associated with muscle tension and bringing down the pressure in your head, thereby relieving the pulsating ache.

You can also take a cool shower to get some relief from the headache.

Caution: Never apply ice directly to your skin as it can lead to frostbite.

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When You Have A Tension Headache

Hot or cold showers or baths may relieve a headache for some people. You may also want to rest in a quiet room with a cool cloth on your forehead.

Gently massaging your head and neck muscles may provide relief.

If your headaches are due to stress or anxiety, you may want to learn ways to relax.

Over-the-counter pain medicine, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, may relieve pain. If you are planning to take part in an activity that you know will trigger a headache, taking pain medicine beforehand may help.

Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.

Follow your health care provider’s instructions about how to take your medicines. Rebound headaches are headaches that keep coming back. They can occur from overuse of pain medicine. If you take pain medicine more than 3 days a week on a regular basis, you can develop rebound headaches.

Be aware that aspirin and ibuprofen can irritate your stomach. If you take acetaminophen , DO NOT take more than a total of 4,000 mg of regular strength or 3,000 mg of extra strength a day to avoid liver damage.

Why Do You Get Tension Headaches

5 Easy Remedies to Try for a Headache

Tension headaches are classed as primary, which means that there isnt always a reason for them, and they are not caused by a medical issue or illness. Many people experience tension headaches, without knowing what exactly caused the headache to start.

There are certain circumstances that can trigger a headache however these may differ from person to person. You may already know what triggers your headaches, especially if they follow a pattern or you have them regularly.

Tension headache triggers include:

  • Straining your eyes by squinting
  • Looking at computer screens for too long
  • Incorrect posture, can cause tension to build in your muscles
  • Not being physically active

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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.

A Tension Headache Vs A Migraine

It can be challenging to differentiate between tension headaches and migraine. Also, chronic tension headaches may also get associated with a migraine. In some types of migraine, there are other associated symptoms like visual disturbances, nausea or vomiting which are absent in tension headaches. Also, tension headaches dont get aggravated by physical activity whereas a migraine headache does. The location of a migraine is also different from tension headache location to some extent.

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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.

Treatment Options For Tension

Instant Tension Headache Natural Remedy and Cure in 30 seconds or Less for Head and Neck Pain

Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and paracetamol are commonly used to treat tension-type headache. It shouldnt be necessary to take stronger medications.

Its important to discuss use of any drugs with your doctor if you are pregnant. Using painkillers more than twice a week can increase the risk of tension-type developing into chronic daily headache, and you should also speak to your doctor if you are regularly getting headaches.

As stress is a cause of tension-type headache, you may find it helpful to learn relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, avoid stressful situations as much as possible, and consider speaking to a counsellor or therapist.

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Are Any Other Headaches Similar To Tension Headache

Some common conditions can cause a headache similar to a tension headache. These include a high temperature , which may cause a similar headache. A similar headache is also common if you don’t have caffeine for a while when you were used to drinking lots of caffeine-rich drinks, such as a lot of coffee. This is a caffeine withdrawal headache.

How To Relieve Stress When The World Is Well Really Stressful Right Now

When stress migraines become a part of your life, its important to learn how to manage and reduce those feelings whenever possible. We counsel our patients that stress is unavoidable, so it is very important to find effective coping strategies, says Dr. Zhang.

And while there are many ways that you can manage stress in your everyday life, here are a few expert-backed tips to help get you started:

We know youve heard this one before, but thats because it really is effective for so many people. We let people know how important exercise can be because exercise can reduce stress, and actually it can be helpful with preventing migraines from happening, explains Dr. Csere.

Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise like jogging or cycling,5 is one of the most beneficial stress-reducing activities you can doespecially in those who experience stress-induced migraines.2

When it comes to stress relief, relaxation techniques are an effective way to diffuse stress and calm the body and mind. Even something as simple as taking a mindful nature walk can be a relaxation technique, but there are plenty of activities to choose from, including meditation and progressive muscle relaxation, says Dr. Zhang.

When it comes to boundaries, just the simple act of standing up for yourself and setting a boundary can be stress-inducing. If there are things in your life that are causing you excess stress, sometimes setting that boundary can help.

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Correct Spine Misalignments And Poor Posture

Staring into a screen all day can contribute to headaches because of increased stress and the effects of blue light omitted from electronic devices but dont forget that your spine and posture is also very important.

Poor posture can cause shoulder and neck muscles to become tense, pinching nerves that lead to headache pain. This is especially true if youve dealt with injuries in the past that have affected muscles along your spine, shoulders or neck.

How can you improve your posture?

  • Work on improving your posture both when sitting or standing.
  • Hold your shoulders back and your head level, parallel to the ground, instead of hunching forward.
  • If youre sitting for long hours at a desk, use a supportive chair that helps your muscles relax naturally, keep a computer screen at eye level
  • Pull in your core/abdomen to keep you sitting upright.

The most supportive types of desk chairs help keep your spine long, back upright so your head isnt slumping forward and your thighs parallel to the ground.

Chiropractic adjustments can correct spine misalignments. The first step is to undergo an examination by a qualified healthcare professional. A solid examination would include a posture analysis, movement examination and XRays of the neck.

Using Turmeric As A Herbal Remedy For Tension Headaches

12 Natural Home Remedies for Tension Headaches

Turmeric has been long since used to treat tension headaches. It has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, and its also anti-spasmodic.

How to use?

  • Boil a cup of milk with ΒΌ tsp of turmeric
  • Sip on this remedy twice or thrice a day for better results
  • A little honey can be added to lukewarm milk if desired. However, you should not add honey to hot foods.

Using peppermint to get relief from tension headaches

Peppermint has been used to treat different types of headache. It is readily available and is very useful in treating tension headaches.

How to use?

  • Add peppermint to the diet in various forms like in a salad or as a dip or a dressing
  • You can make a peppermint tea by boiling a few fresh mint leaves in a cup of water
  • Add honey if desired, but make sure to bring the tea to a lukewarm temperature first
  • Use this method twice a day to get relief from tension headache nausea and pain

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How Are Tension Headaches Diagnosed

Tension headaches are mainly diagnosed based on the symptoms you report. A thorough medical exam, which may include other tests or procedures, may be used to rule out underlying diseases or conditions.

Tracking and sharing information about your headache with your healthcare provider helps make an accurate diagnosis.

Questions commonly asked during the exam may include:

  • When do headaches occur?
  • What is the location of the headache?
  • What do the headaches feel like?
  • How long do the headaches last?
  • Have there been changes in behavior or personality?
  • Do changes in position or sitting up cause the headache?
  • Do you have trouble sleeping?
  • Do you have a history of stress?
  • Have you had a head injury?

If the history suggests tension headaches and the neurological exam is normal, no further testing may be needed. But, if the headache is not found to be the main problem, then other tests may be needed to determine the cause such as:

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