What Are Tension Headaches?
Otherwise known as stress headaches, tension headaches (TTH) are described as an unpleasant feeling from the muscles throughout the head, neck, and shoulder areas tensing up.
Tension headaches are the most frequently occurring headaches. Tension headaches tend to be more common in women than they are in men.
Causes of Tension Headaches
Nobody knows the actual reason as to how tension headaches occur. However, it is widely believed that the headaches stimulate from stressful circumstances.
Tension headaches may develop as symptoms of the flu or a cold. They can also come from a person not getting as much rest as necessary.
Another potential cause for TTHs is poor posture. Poor posture can put more stress on the muscles.
In addition, dietary habits can play a role in the development of tension headaches. Many people with busy schedules end up skipping meals. Skipping meals can cause low blood glucose levels which could trigger headaches. Furthermore, people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol are likely to develop the condition.
Some foods are considered as risk factors for tension headaches including nuts, chocolate, aged cheeses, dried fruits, and much more. People who often get TTHs should also cut down on drinks with a high caffeine content like soda and coffee.
Types of Tension Headaches
There are several forms of the headache which include the episodic and chronic tension headaches. The doctor can tell whether you have chronic or episodic tension headaches based on the frequency over a course of three months.
A person with episodic tension headaches get them fewer than 15 days per month. These headaches can last from 30 minutes to 1 week.
Chronic tension headaches may occur more than 15 days a month and can go on for hours.
Getting Help for Tension Headaches
You should contact a doctor immediately if you are start to experience vision or speaking problems. Moreover, you should get help if the headache begins to interfere with your daily activities.
Treatment for Tension Headaches
Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin are often used for relieving headache pain. Tricylic antidepressants can also be helpful.
Several combination medications are shown to be effective. An example is the combination of caffeine, aspirin, and acetaminophen.
Certain anticonvulsants such as topiramate (Topamax) can treat tension headaches.
In addition, incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily life might be useful for reducing stress.
Millions of people, including children, suffer from the excruciating pain of migraine headaches. The impact of this painful ordeal can sometimes be so great that it causes life to be put on hold. Many people have to take to their beds for long periods of time. Migraine headaches often occur accompanied by nausea, weakness, and severe sweating. At the onset of a migraine headache, a person should consult a physician. It is hard to distinguish a migraine headache from any other type of headache, but is any pain persists, a doctor needs to be seen. There is medication especially for migraines. These are strong prescription drugs that could become addictive if taken for a prolonged period of time.
Many people who suffer from migraines are relieved by their medication. They may not be aware that they can, or have become addicted to them. They often take them as a preventative measure before the headache strikes. When this is done, the person, without knowledge or understanding, is seeking the effect of the drug itself. This causes a dependency on the drug. Children who have migraine headaches are started on the pain reliever at early ages. Over the ages, they too only know that the pill makes them feel better. Even they can become dependent on the drug.
No one will willingly admit to being dependent on a prescribed medication, they just realize that they have a difficult time functioning without their headache medicine. After months, or years, of taking the same drug for migraine headaches, people believe that the only result is that their headaches disappear. If they ever run out of the medicine, something very confusing happens to their bodies. They start to go through withdrawal symptoms. Not knowing what to do, some people will go searching for something that will make them feel better. At this critical point, they could easily become involved with an illegal substitute.
Communication with a doctor can help many people resist the temptation to try something other than their own medicine. Doctors know better than patients what the prolonged use of a strong pain medicine will do to a person. Medications should be changed by the doctor if it is suspected to be addictive. There is a thin line between suffering with migraines, and taking medication to relieve them. People who are fortunate enough to either outgrow the headache, or become cured after a while, may not suffer any long term effects of the prescribed drug.
Never the less, there are many people who do not have the stamina, nor the stability to withstand the need for the harsh drug. These are the ones that may become addictive, and in need of harder drugs. The probable link between migrain headaches and drug addiction is simply the long term use of the headache drug, which is usually a narcotic. People should talk with their doctor if they notice anything unusual happening, like taking more of the drug than prescribed. It is easy to become addictive, and hard to kick the habit.
Some people who are addicted to drugs are concerned with the withdrawal process. For example, heroin withdrawal is a common concern. If you are addicted to a substance, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
A migraine is a debilitating condition that is not widely discussed, researched, or adequately treated. According to migraine.com, 37 million people in the United States suffer with regular migraines. This article will present conventional, as well as non-conventional, methods for treating migraines.
One of the easiest and healthiest methods for relieving migraine headaches is to ensure that the body is properly hydrated. To prevent the onset of a migraine, drink several 8 ounce glasses of water throughout the day.
Common pain killers like ibuprofen and tylenol may not be enough to treat migraines in some patients. For these cases, there are several over-the-counter medications that include ingredients like caffeine, which works to narrow the muscles that surround your brain and to relieve tension.
Relaxation and Controlled Breathing
Some non-conventional methods for overcoming migraine headaches include relaxation and controlled breathing techniques. For many migraine sufferers, sleep is the only way to relieve the tension and pain associated with migraines – however, laying down and taking deep breaths can help by increasing the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the brain.
For migraine sufferers, it’s important to consider poor diet choices as contributors to the problem. A person’s diet that includes food or drinks that are high in sugar make them much more likely to experience tension headaches and migraines – especially if they are not adequately hydrated. Additional headache-contributing foods or drinks include – alcohol, aged cheese, large doses of caffeine, and food additives or preservatives.
Pay Attention to YOUR BODY
As with any medical condition, it is very important to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Every method of migraine treatment will work differently for each patient, so it is important to gauge pain level, severity of need, and the various treatment options for each case. If your preferred treatment option is not working properly and if pain persists, especially if it is severe, speak to your doctor as soon as possible – as this may be an indication of a more serious, underlining issue.
Do you suffer from chronic migraines? Have you ever had a migraine last longer than 10 days in a row? Has it ever prevented you from working or being with your family? If you have ever experienced these things, you know how debilitating a migraine can be.
One question that I get rather frequently is the question about whether or not it is safe to drive with a migraine. The short answer is no. You should not be driving with migraines. This may seem a little strict, but you’ll want to consider why.
The main reason you don’t want to drive when you have a migraine is that migraines slow your reaction time. Period. This is why it makes it unsafe to drive. When you are driving, you have to be alert and ready to react to something at a moment’s notice. Maybe there is a deer in the road. Maybe a driver in front of you slammed on his breaks and you need to slam on your breaks.
I know many stories of people who have driven with migraines and regret it. I had a patient come in who told me about a time she didn’t want to wait for her husband to get home to go to the grocery store. She was having a migraine, but she didn’t know what she could do about it. She didn’t think it was a big deal. So she got in the car and drove to the grocery store. She needed to swerve at one point, and she wasn’t able to stop her car in time or get out of the way, and she ended up hitting another car.
Fortunately, no one died in this accident, but they were injured fairly severely. And the point is that someone could have easily died. My patient says that she regrets that decision and often thinks about it when she is having migraines and wants to drive.
So next time you are thinking about driving with a migraine, the simple thing to do is just don’t drive. You can take an Uber, take a taxi, take public transportation, or wait for someone to give you a ride, but you should not be driving with migraines ever.
Anyone who has migraine headaches can tell you how debilitating they can be. If you suffer from migraines, I’m sure you are all too familiar with this. Luckily, for those of us who suffer from migraines, there are prevention methods that we should all employ.
1. Cardiovascular exercise and muscle strengthening. There are many reasons to hit the gym. Not only does exercising help you maintain a healthy weight and give you energy, but studies have shown that exercise can be just as effective as medication in the prevention of migraines. Increasing the amount of oxygen flowing in your body may help to prevent these severe headaches, and exercise helps you to do that. Exercise also releases endorphins or feel-good chemicals, which also helps to prevent headaches.
2. Get all of the proper nutrients and vitamins. Eating a healthy diet can really contribute to a lack of conditions such as migraine headaches. Make sure you consume all of the vitamins that you need, especially riboflavin. Also, make sure you get plenty of magnesium as many people who suffer from migraines also suffer from a magnesium deficiency.
3. Get enough high-quality sleep. Getting poor sleep can be a great trigger for migraine headaches in many people. If you are not getting good sleep, consider changing your sleep habits. For example, make sure you don’t do anything else in your bed (read, watch TV, listen to music) aside from sleeping. It also helps if you can go to bed and wake up the same time each day.
4. Try relaxation techniques and biofeedback. When you attend a biofeedback therapy session, biofeedback therapists will monitor your headaches and help you learn techniques that will help you to control your body’s reactions, including your migraines. These techniques are especially good for people who have stress migraines.
5. Try unconventional methods like massage and acupuncture. Massage, acupuncture, meditation, and relaxation are all practices that can contribute to your overall sense of health and wellbeing. If your body is generally more relaxed and peaceful, you will not develop as many symptoms such as headaches.
The most important thing to remember is that everyone’s body is different, and everyone is going to respond differently to various solutions. It’s important to try different methods to see what works the best for you and your migraines.
The biggest cause of headaches and migraines is stress. In today’s society, so many of us are working 40+ hours at highly stressful jobs and then we have family obligations, social commitments, and everything else that is required to have a productive adult American life. For those of us who are prone to headaches, being constantly stressed out is a sure way to make sure we will get them frequently. One of the best ways to stop the headaches is to stop the stress. Here are six things that you can try.
1. Meditation. One of the best ways to decrease your stress is to practice regular meditation. You can find free guided meditations all over the internet, you can go to a meditation class, or you can simply go outside in nature and do a walking meditation. There are a lot of resources available that will help you to determine the best kind of meditation for you. And that doesn’t mean you have to set aside an hour every day. You can fit several mini-meditation sessions in every day, even if it’s just sitting quietly at your desk and getting centered for five minutes.
2. Relaxation. Learning how to relax is one of the best ways to de-stress. Everyone has different ways to relax. For some people, taking a bubble bath with lit incense and candles is very relaxing whereas other people like to relax by sitting on the couch and watching a funny movie. Find whatever works best for you and makes you feel relaxed, and make sure to incorporate a little bit of relaxation time every day.
3. Yoga, pilates, swimming, or dancing. Exercising is a great way to de-stress. But you don’t just want to exercise. You want to find a type of exercise that will help you to get centered and feel better. For some people, it may be yoga or swimming. Others may feel like an upbeat dance class can really help them to blow off steam. The point is that you want to find the best technique for you. Try different sorts of exercise to find the best one that works for you.
4. Coloring or playing games. There are so many activities that give your mind a break and allow you to perform some task mindfully, such as adult coloring books, putting together puzzles, or playing little games on your phone. These activities can really help you to de-stress and relax your mind.
5. Listening to calming music. There are a number of relaxing and calming playlists that you can try out on websites like YouTube or on music streaming services like Spotify or Pandora. Listening to music that is calm can have a very positive effect on you and your entire body.
Getting a massage is a great way to stay relaxed and de-stressed. Often, we hold stress in our bodies in the form of muscular tension. A good massage therapist will be able to help you release all of the tension and stay relaxed.
Learning how to deal with stress is one of the best things you can learn for your health. In addition to helping you to stay healthy, it will also help you to stop getting headaches.