Find Fast Headache Relief With Airrosti
Chronic and painful headaches can impede daily life and leave you feeling miserable. If your headaches are getting the better of you and the above tips arent keeping the pain at bay, schedule an appointment with Airrosti today. Our expert providers can diagnose and treat your pain at the source while giving you the resources you need to keep your head clear and pain free.
We offer in-office and telehealth appointments to best suit your needs.
Read our Medical Disclaimer here.
What Otc And Prescription Medications Treat Pain And Manage Tension Headaches
Many people treat tension headache on their own, using OTC medications like acetaminophen , ibuprofen , or combination medications containing acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine . While these medications can be effective and when taken as directed are safe for most people, overuse can lead to headaches which are more frequent and severe. This can occur if these agents are used more than 2 days each week routinely. If tension headache occurs during pregnancy, the patient should contact her physician about medications that are safe to use.
- Products which contain aspirin should not be given to children due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
- Chronic use of acetaminophen, or use of acetaminophen in large amounts may lead to liver toxicity , and a number of medications are combined with acetaminophen so patients should discuss all OTC drugs they are taking with their doctors.
If a diagnosis of chronic tension headache is made or suspected, prescription medications may be used in an effort to lessen the frequency and decrease the severity of the headaches. Medications used include antidepressants and antiseizure drugs. A doctor can help determine which medicine is best for you.
Getting Immediate Relief For Your Tension Headaches
You can often feel a tension headache starting to build up in your head. You can feel the first signs of tension building up in the muscles of your head. When you sense that first sign of tension, slow down and stop whatever it is you are doing for a moment. Pay attention to the tension and accept it. This in and of itself may short circuit and stop the tension.
Other things that might help stop the buildup of tension are:
- Take a walk
- Take a moment and slow down whatever it is you are doing.
- Take some deep breaths to release your tension.
- Massage the muscles in your head and neck to release the tension. This can be very effective.
If none of these measures work, you might want to take an over the counter pain killer that you know and that works well for you. Experiment with your medication, and figure out the smallest does that will stop your headache effectively.
But the most important thing to do is to take measure that will help you prevent the occurrence of tension headaches in the future.
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Why Do I Get Tension Headaches Every Day
Lifestyle factors can play a part in how often we experience headaches as certain aspects of our lives can trigger tension headaches. For example your headaches may occur when youre dehydrated, hungry or tired. Finding out what exactly is triggering is your tension headaches, and taking action to avoid these will help you to manage your headaches and hopefully reduce them.
Soothe Pain With A Cold Compress
Using a cold compress may help reduce your headache symptoms.
Applying cold or frozen compresses to the neck or head area decreases inflammation, slows nerve conduction and constricts blood vessels, all of which help reduce headache pain .
In one study in 28 women, applying a cold gel pack to the head significantly reduced migraine pain .
To make a cold compress, fill a waterproof bag with ice and wrap it in a soft towel. Apply the compress to the back of the neck, head or temples for headache relief.
Coenzyme Q10 is a substance produced naturally by the body that helps turn food into energy and functions as a powerful antioxidant .
Studies have shown that taking CoQ10 supplements may be an effective and natural way to treat headaches.
For example, one study in 80 people demonstrated that taking 100 mg of CoQ10 supplements per day reduced migraine frequency, severity and length .
Another study including 42 people who experienced frequent migraines found that three 100-mg doses of CoQ10 throughout the day helped decrease migraine frequency and migraine-related symptoms like nausea (
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Are There Any Risks To Taking Medication To Treat Tension Headaches
Over-the-counter pain relievers are generally safe. But overusing pain relievers can cause other problems. Make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. Always check in with your provider if you feel the need to use pain relievers more than twice a week.
Take these medications only when you need them. Use the smallest dose that relieves your pain.
In general, overusing pain medications may cause:
- Headaches: Taking pain relievers too often can actually cause a headache when you stop taking the medicine. This effect is similar to withdrawal.
- Other side effects: All drugs have side effects. Avoid taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen, too often. Overuse may cause stomach pain, bleeding or ulcers. If you take any medication regularly, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
- Reduced benefits over time: Your body can build up a tolerance any medication. You may notice that a medication youve used regularly doesnt work as well as it once did.
- Dependence: Some medications can become addictive. They may pose more risks than benefits. For that reason, healthcare providers usually recommend against prescribing benzodiazepines and narcotics to treat tension headaches.
Make Dental Health A Priority
Dental issues like teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction are common culprits of tension headaches. These dental conditions affect your jaw and facial muscles, often causing headaches and jaw pain. Go to the dentist at least once a year to make sure your jaw and teeth are healthy and arent contributing to your headaches.
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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
- 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.
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.
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Start By Focusing On A Better Nights Sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the top causes of tension headaches. When your body hasnt had the proper amount of rest, it will start to put pressure on various elements. You will release the bad hormones into the body, including cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. At the same time, your muscles wont have had the chance to relax and repair overnight, so you start to carry the tension in them.
If youre struggling to sleep, you will want to look at your sleeping pattern. One bad night isnt going to make a major difference, just like one good night isnt going to make a world of difference in the middle of a bunch of bad ones. What you want to avoid is a constant cycling of struggling to sleep and then stressing over the lack of sleep that youre getting.
Setting up a good bedtime routine is crucial for a good nights sleep. We are all creatures of habit this is in our human nature. Just like children, we need to help our brains wind down and get ready for sleep.
Some people find reading relaxing, while others prefer to have a warm bath. There are others who like to listen to nature music, while some people like to burn incense. Work in the way that you prefer to wind down.
This will involve getting rid of the phone. The light in LED tricks the brain into thinking that it is still daylight so you wont start to feel tired in the same way that you would without that phone light glaring in your face.
Get Your Priorities Straight
Think about your priorities, and write them down as two lists, marked Life and Now. What are the most important things on your list? What can you eliminate? Remember whats really important as you schedule your time and prioritize actions. Being always on the go, focused on tasks that dont make you happy is not the best option for leading a low-stress life.
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Prescription Medicines To Prevent Headaches
Your doctor may recommend that you take a prescription medicine every day to prevent headaches. You may want to try a prescription medicine to prevent a headache if:
- You are using over-the-counter medicines to stop headaches more than 3 times a week.
- Over-the-counter medicines to stop headaches aren’t working well for you.
Your doctor may have you try one or more medicines, such as an antidepressant or a medicine that prevents seizures. These medicines can help prevent headaches even if you don’t have depression or seizures.
Is Butterbur Safe For Treating Headaches
The American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society suggests using butterbur for improving migraine attacks. However, it may have side effects such as itchy eyes, allergies, and digestive issues. Therefore, it is advised to only use processed butterbur products that are free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids upon consulting your doctor.
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When To Seek Medical Care
You should call your doctor for any headache if:
- You develop new symptoms not typical of prior headaches.
- An unusually severe headache occurs.
- You pass out or lose time.
- Your headache lasts an unusually long time.
- Headache awakens you from sleep
- Fever and neck pain or stiffness are present.
- The headache worsens or the quality of it changes significantly as you try to use the treatments that your doctor recommends.
- You develop side effects from any of the new medications that your doctor suggests to break the chronic headache cycle.
How Do You Sleep With A Headache
6 Sleep Tips for People With Migraine
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How To Tell If Your Headache Is Caused By Anxiety
Tension headaches are often diagnosed in relation to a person’s overall health and lifestyle. Only a medical professional can officially diagnose a tension headache, but there are some questions many ask themselves to begin to identify the cause of a headache.
- Do I have migraines?
- Am I feeling stressed or anxious?
- Do I have any other symptoms of physical illness, like a fever?
Because self-diagnosis is not recommended, a visit to the doctor isn’t a bad idea. This is especially true, as many symptoms of anxiety mimic those of physical health problems .
What Causes Chronic Tension Headache
This condition tends to develop in people who start off with having tension headaches with increasing frequency, until they occur on most days. However, the cause of the tension headaches is not always clear, and may be more than one thing. They may be due to tension in the muscles at the back of the head and neck, but it is now clear that this is not always the cause. Other causes reported by patients include stress, tiredness, hunger and eye strain. Many chronic tension headaches develop for no apparent reason. Working long hours bent over a computer may trigger them.
Some people get tension headaches if they drink too much caffeine or alcohol, if they don’t drink enough water or if they go for a long time between meals and become tired and hungry. Occasionally, tension headaches can be caused by poor vision, particularly if reading in low light for long periods. Some may be triggered by environmental discomforts such as heat, cold, brightness or wind.
Some research suggests that your genetic make-up may be a factor. This means that some people may inherit a tendency to be more prone to develop tension headaches than others when stressed or anxious.
Note: medication-overuse headache can be similar to chronic tension headache.
Medication-overuse headache is caused by taking painkillers too often for tension headaches or migraine attacks. See the separate leaflet called Medication-overuse Headache .
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Are There Different Kinds Of Migraine
Yes, there are many forms of migraine. The two forms seen most often are migraine with aura and migraine without aura.
Migraine with aura . With a migraine with aura, a person might have these sensory symptoms 10 to 30 minutes before an attack:
- Seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots
- Numbness or tingling in the face or hands
- Disturbed sense of smell, taste, or touch
- Feeling mentally “fuzzy”
Only one in five people who get migraine experience an aura. Women have this form of migraine less often than men.
Migraine without aura . With this form of migraine, a person does not have an aura but has all the other features of an attack.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or Just A Bad Tension
Compared with migraine, tension-type headache is generally less severe and rarely disabling. Compare your symptoms with those in this chart to see what type of headache you might be having.
|Aura before onset of headache||x|
Note: Rebound headache may have features of tension and/or migraine headache. Adapted from a table produced by the American Council for Headache Education.
Although fatigue and stress can bring on both tension and migraine headaches, migraines can be triggered by certain foods, changes in the body’s hormone levels, and even changes in the weather.
There also are differences in how types of headaches respond to treatment with medicines. Although some over-the-counter drugs used to treat tension-type headaches sometimes help migraine headaches, the drugs used to treat migraine attacks do not work for tension-type headaches for most people.
You can’t tell the difference between a migraine and a tension-type headache by how often they occur. Both can occur at irregular intervals. Also, in rare cases, both can occur daily or almost daily.
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What Is A ‘stress’ Headache And How Can You Treat It
It’s the most common type of headache you can getbut the term “stress” headache isn’t entirely accurate.
Right now, stress feels like the new normaland more stress in your life can lead to changes in your health.
Headaches in particular are often brought about by increased stress levels, but while “stress headaches” may be a good description of what’s going on in your body, it’s not an entirely accurate diagnosis. Here’s what you need to know about headaches triggered by stress, and how to help relieve the pain.
How To: Prevent Tension Headaches
Cawthorne Cooksey exercises can help reduce the pain of tension headaches
Tension-type headaches, as they are medically known, are often triggered by stress, which causes the muscles in the neck and temples to stiffen.
But Cawthorne Cooksey exercises can help reduce the pain, says Dr Andrew Dowson, clinical lead of East Kent Headache Services.
- Sit with your head in a neutral position, looking straight ahead with your shoulders relaxed.
- Turn your head to one side, then touch your shoulder with your chin. Repeat on the other side.
- The repeat the action, but this time let your ear touch your shoulder
- Put your chin on your chest and then lean your head back as if you were having it washed at the hair salon.
- Repeat these six movements 20 times, two to three times a day if necessary.
- To relax the muscles even more, take a hot shower before or during the exercises, or use a cold compress. Warm and cold temperatures can relax the muscles, helping them to perform a wider range of movement.
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