What Are The Different Types Of Headaches
A headache can cause dull, sharp, or throbbing pain. You may experience the headache briefly, for an hour or less, or for a prolonged period up to a few days.
Types of headaches sometimes associated with morning headaches include:
Insomnia affects your sleep patterns and causes sleep deprivation. This condition is a prevalent cause of morning headaches. Insomnia can prevent you from getting enough sleep by:
- keeping you up when you are trying to fall asleep
- awakening you during your sleep
- causing restless sleep
The lack of sleep caused by insomnia can cause migraine headaches as well.
Insomnia can be treated in a variety of ways and should be discussed with your doctor. Your doctor may ask you to track your sleep patterns to help diagnose the condition. Treating insomnia can include taking medications, getting therapy, or trying a combination of medications and therapy. Reducing insomnia should result in more sleep and relieve morning headaches.
Ways To Tame Tension Headaches
If you ever had a tension headache, you know it can put a damper on your day. This kind of headache usually develops in the afternoon, causing mild or moderate pain that may feel like dull tightness or a band of pressure. Tension headaches occur when neck, shoulder, and scalp muscles become tense. Some people experience tension headaches from time to time others get them more often. While a tension headache is rarely debilitating, it can certainly make life miserable.
If you have frequent tension headaches , here are some strategies that can show you how to get rid of a headache.
Prescription Drugs To Prevent Headaches
Your doctor may recommend that you take a prescription medicine every day to prevent headaches. You may want to take this medicine if:
- Over-the-counter medicines don’t work to stop your headaches.
- You’re taking over-the-counter medicines to stop headaches more than 3 times a week.
- You get a headache more than 15 days a month.
Medicines used to prevent tension headaches include:
- Antidepressants, such as amitriptyline.
Botulinum toxin type A is sometimes injected into the muscles in the face and head to treat headaches. In the past, doctors thought that spasms caused tension headaches. But BTX-A injections do not seem to help with symptoms of tension headaches.footnote 1 And BTX-A may cause weakness of the facial muscles and may make it hard for you to swallow.
Don’t Miss: How To Beat Stress And Anxiety
Causes And Risk Factors
You may be wondering what causes headaches. In general, headaches occur due to a combination of nerve signals sent from the blood vessels and muscles in the head. What causes these signals to turn on is still unknown. Headache triggers can include:
- Illnesses such as sinus infections, colds, fever or throat infection.
Related: Green Light Therapy Benefits for Migraines & Pain Management
Can You Stop A Tension Headache Without Medicine
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.”
You May Like: How To Un Stress Yourself
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.
Other Things To Think About
- Even with treatment, you will most likely still get some tension headaches. But you probably will get them less often. And they may hurt less when you do get them.
- If you also have depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor. Treatment for these health problems also may help you have fewer headaches.
You May Like: Why Is My Dog Stressed
Reducing Stress And Tension
Anything that reduces stress and tension can help relieve and prevent tension headaches.
- Massage can relieve tension in the muscles of the back of the head, neck and shoulders and relieve headache pain for some people.
- Heat can also help treat tension headache â try taking a hot shower or using a heat pack.
- Correcting poor posture can help by relieving muscle tension.
- Biofeedback â the use of electronic devices to teach people how to regulate body functions and responses, such as muscle tension â may help reduce pain.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy , a type of therapy that involves identifying and challenging negative thinking patterns and developing alternative ways of thinking and acting, can help reduce stress. CBT can be used to treat tension headaches that are constant or frequently recurring.
- Relaxation exercises and stress management training can help prevent tension headaches. Practising mindfulness or yoga may also reduce stress and tension.
Physiotherapists can provide massage and heat treatments as well as advice on posture correction. Your physio may also stretch your neck muscles and suggest specific exercises that may help.
Psychologists, therapists and some GPs can offer treatment with cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation therapy.
People with depression and anxiety seem to get more tension headaches than people without these conditions. If you think your headaches may be related to something more than stress, see your doctor.
Dull Aching Pain Or Discomfort In The Head Scalp Neck Or Shoulders
Anytime you experience pain, tension, or discomfort in these areas, it could indicate a tension headache. You will likely notice a dull, throbbing pain on the top, sides, or front of your head. Your muscles will become tense and hard, especially in the shoulder and neck area.
When youre experiencing a stress headache, the muscle pain and tenseness will begin before the headache starts. Plus, the tense muscles can continue even after the headache has gone away. e
Also Check: Can Stress Cause Crohn’s Flare Up
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 Common Are Tension Headaches
People dont always see their doctor for a tension headache, which makes exact numbers hard to predict. Researchers estimate that as many as 2 in 3 adults in the U.S. get tension headaches.
Chronic tension headaches are much less common. They affect an estimated 3% of adults. Women get tension headaches more often than men.
Read Also: How To Combat Stress Hormones
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.
Final Thoughts On The Early Warning Signs Of A Stress Headache And Some Tips To Relieve The Pain
Having a stress headache once in a while is normal, but you shouldnt let it become a daily event. Find ways to prevent tension headaches from setting in. When you cant avoid one, make sure to find a way to relieve the pain.
Find ways to relax, and learn to walk away and take a break when you need one. Take care of your mind and body, and spend time exercising, meditating, or reflecting. If you experience frequent tension headaches, you can overcome the cycle.
Learning to work with the stress in your life makes all the difference. Avoiding stress is the best option, but that isnt always possible. Use these tips to relieve the pain of a stress headache and then work to prevent them altogether.
You May Like: How To Manage Stress During Pregnancy
How To Cope When One Of Your Migraine Triggers Is Stress
To say that dealing with the chronic pain of migraine is a challenge is an understatement. Those challenges are magnified when stress is one of your migraine triggers. Stress can cause migraine, chronic pain creates more stressand so the cycle continues. And, to add insult to injury, if your body is accustomed to constant stress, a weekend off can result in a let down migraine when your stress abruptly lowers. Not exactly a win-win for those living with migraine.
The migraine brain is vulnerable to change such as sleep and stress, and is, therefore, best kept stable, says Peter Goadsby, M.D., Ph.D., who specializes in the treatment of headache disorders at UC San Francisco Medical Center.
In addition to finding a doctor, keeping a headache diary, and finding the proper medication, one of the most effective things you can do to control migraine is to reduce your stress, which sounds easy, right? Wrong. So, in our busy lives, how can we better manage the stress associated with migraine? Here are a few tips on how to do this.
Complementary Therapies For Headaches
Many people who get regular tension headaches turn to complementary therapies for relief. And there are some complementary therapies that have been shown to be helpful in the treatment of tension headaches. But itâs important to remember that not all complementary therapies have proven benefits, and like other medicines, these treatments have side effects. Some are not suitable during pregnancy or for people with medical conditions.
Itâs always best to tell your doctor if you are using or planning on using a complementary therapy. They can advise you on whether the treatment is safe for you and can be used together with other treatments. They may also be able to recommend a practitioner .
Also Check: How To Fight Stress Acne
When To Call A Professional
Most headaches are harmless. It’s reassuring if you are able to relieve your headache without medications or with only occasional use of a pain reliever.
Headaches are rarely caused by a serious medical problem. However, you should call or visit your doctor if you have:
- A headache that occurs after a head injury
- A headache accompanied by fever or vomiting
- A headache associated with:
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Stress Yourself Out
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.
What Causes A Tension Headache
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.
Read Also: How To Treat Acne Caused By Stress
Sandalwood Is A Natural Pain Reliever And It Provides Quick Relief From Stress Fatigue And Headaches
- FOLLOW US ON:
In todays lifestyle, stress, headache, and fatigue are commonly observed in people which affects our mental health. To overcome these health problems, people either resort to medicines or take the help of home remedies. Sandalwood is an ayurvedic medicine that helps a person to relax and lead a stress-free life. You can use sandalwood in the form of powder or paste.
Sandalwood is a natural pain reliever and it provides quick relief from stress, fatigue, and headaches. According to Ayurveda experts, different types of sandalwood trees are found in different regions of India. Sandalwood trees found in Odisha are considered among the best.
Benefits of sandalwood paste:
Relief from headache: There is a cluster of nerves in the area between the eyebrows and head. Nerves soothe when sandalwood paste is applied to this area and provides relief from headache. Take sandalwood powder and add a little camphor to it. Now mix them by adding rose water. To get relief from headaches, apply this paste on your forehead.
Remove fatigue and stress: The natural aroma of sandalwood increases the production of serotonin hormone that makes you feel happy. Serotonin hormone reduces stress levels.
Removes acne: Sandalwood paste helps get rid of acne. The paste can also be used as a face pack for keeping skin healthy. It also helps in removing dark circles.
The Headache Is Accompanied By Other Signs Of Stress Or Anxiety
When the headache comes along with other signs of stress, its a good indicator that it is tension-related. You might experience irritability, muscle aches, jaw, neck, or back pain, and insomnia. Additionally, you might notice that you have a short temper.
Another sign of stress that might accompany this type of headache is poor concentration. You might struggle to focus on your daily activities because you are too focused on the dull pain.
Plus, you might have trouble sleeping due to an overwhelming amount of stress. It can make it hard for you to wind down at night, making falling asleep and getting rest will be hard. A lack of sleep can lead to even more tension headaches, too.
Even as you have trouble sleeping, you will feel a constant state of fatigue. You will feel constantly tired, making the situation worse and exacerbating the other signs of stress.
Don’t Miss: What Are Signs Of Post Traumatic Stress