Tension Stress Headaches
Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches. Virtually everybody has had at least one episode in the past - some many more than one. Read to find out what causes tension / stress headaches and what can be done to alleviate them.
What Are Tension Stress Headaches?
The term tension or stress headaches
designates a type of headache involving the back and/or both sides of the head. It is often described as a band-like discomfort. The head feels as if in a vise, and the posterior muscles of the neck feel very tense. If some people tension / stress headaches are a rare phenomenon. In others, they are quite frequent and if they occur more than 15 days per month, we are talking about chronic tension / stress headaches.
Tension / stress headaches tend to be more common in women.
It is important to remember that tension / stress headaches, no matter how uncomfortable they may be, are not associated with nausea, vomiting, vision changes or other worrisome symptoms.
What Causes Tension Stress Headaches?
Given them to recent announcements in our understanding of disease, you may think we should know by now what causes tension / stress headaches. In reality, their real cause is still a mystery. our best guess is that tension / stress headaches are the result of abnormal contractions or spasms of neck and scalp muscles.
What we do know he is that tension / stress headaches tend to be more frequent in certain circumstances:
- Holding your head or neck in the same position for long periods of time. This can happen more often in people who have jobs that involve typing, speaking on the phone, driving, etc.
- Exposing your head or neck to cold temperatures is a common trigger of tension / stress headaches. We usually make the connection between sleeping in a cold room, or being outside in the cold with our head uncovered very early in life - both by observation and also by parental instruction...
- Uncomfortable sleeping conditions. If your neck is held in an un-natural position during sleep, you often wake up with tension / stress headaches.
- Stress, anxiety and depression. Remember that terrible headache you had after a difficult exam, or when you were about to have a car accident, or when you learned some really bad news? Tension / stress headaches are often associated with these conditions. In fact, they are often an indication of underlying depression, and the fact they respond to antidepressant medication is a clear confirmation of the association.
Natural Remedies For Tension Stress Headaches
There are a few coming from 6 you can do to prevent tension /stress headaches.
- Get adequate rest. For me, this is one of the best methods to treat tension / stress headaches. Whenever I get them, a nap of half an hour or so is enough to take care of them. Remember that lack of sleep can lower your threshold of developing tension /stress headaches. You are more susceptible to stress and depression if you don't sleep enough.
- Take a shower or a lukewarm bath. Water is very relaxing, and it works for many who tries it.
- Massage. This is another excellent natural remedy for tension / stress headaches. Massaging the muscles on the back of your neck and upper back can do miracles!
- Learn how to cope with stress. All too often we subject ourselves to excessive, prolonged stresses. If you find tension / stress headaches are taking control of your life, before resorting to medication, invest some time and effort in learning stress management strategies. Try to take a break every hour or so especially if you work on the computer or in an office environment. get off from the chair stretch your muscles look out of the window and relax your eyes and mind. take a walk every day. If you have a partner walking together will cement your relationship and at the same time will help you relax. Break your daily routine by taking a day off every week. try listening to classical music. For me this is one of the most effective stress management strategies. Tonal classical music is like a medicine.
- Meditate and pray. Life is more than food and work. In order to discover the true meaning of life, you have to be willing to take time to meditate on it. Make a habit of reading spiritual books. I highly recommend reading the Bible. You can start with the New Testament. The life of Jesus is very inspiring. If your religious person, may prayer a regular part of your life. Before long you will discover inner peace.
Medical Treatment of Tension Stress Headaches
There are circumstances when it may be appropriate to take medication for tension /stress headaches. You may find yourself in a situation where you have to finish a project and you cannot afford the much-needed rest right away. Or you may find that your tension / stress headache does not respond to non-pharmacological measures. Whatever the reason, you should try to limit the use of drugs to treat tension / stress headaches to exceptional situations, and only for limited periods of time.
Common Medications Used to Treat Tension Stress Headaches:
Note: Prolonged, treatment-resistant, daily tension/stress headaches are often a secondary manifestation of depression.
- Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatories (NSAIDs) - like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen. These are usually available over-the-counter and, in most cases, quite effective. You should not take NSAIDs without your doctor's instruction, as they do have significant side effects.
- Other Analgesics - like Acetaminophen (Tylenol) are also helpful for the short term. Narcotics should be avoided as they tend to create dependency in a short period of time.
- Anti-depressive drugs such as Amytriptyline has been found useful in some people with tension / stress headaches. As stated above, this proves the link between tension /stress headaches and depression. You should only take this medication if it was prescribed for you by a doctor, as it has significant side effects.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, you should talk to your primary care physician to see whether you suffer from depression. You are also welcome to use our free online depression self test
to evaluate your risk of depression.
When Should I Call My Doctor?
Although the vast majority of headaches are harmless and self-limited, there are circumstances when the headache signals a much more serious and potentially life-threatening condition. Here are some basic instructions to help you decide whether it's worth calling your doctor for a headache:
- When the headaches are accompanied by other symptoms such as vision changes, drowsiness, seizures, new onset of movement or sensation deficits, nausea, vomiting, high temperature, decreased alertness, etc.
- When the headache is extremely intense. If you feel like you are experiencing the worst headache ever, call your doctor immediately or have somebody drive you to the nearest emergency room. This type of headache may indicate intracranial bleeding..
- If the tension / stress headaches do not to respond to treatment.
- If you experience headaches during sleep.
- If you experience headaches on the regular basis or if you have headaches almost all the time you.
Other Resources About Tension Stress Headaches
Here are a few excellent sites about tension / stress headaches:
As is true with many symptoms, tension headaches are often a signal from our body that we stretched ourselves too thin. We have only to gain if we stop and listen.