Tension Headaches are a recurring problem

Tension Headaches are a recurring problem

Do you have a dull ache and a tightness in your forehead, sides, or back of your head as if a band is pressing on your skull?

Do you find that your muscles get stiff in these areas?

Do you often experience pain or discomfort in your head, scalp, or neck? 

If so, you may have a headache.

It is possible that you may have stress headaches if you respond yes.

Tension headaches are one of the most prevalent types of headaches that people experience.

Adults and teenagers are the most common age groups to develop them, however they may occur at any age.

Tension headaches are caused by the muscles in your neck and scalp becoming tight or contracting.

Stress, despair, a head injury, or worry may all cause muscular spasms, which are common in the body’s reaction to these situations.

It is common to have tension headaches after holding your head in one position for an extended period of time without moving.

Typing on a computer, performing delicate work with your hands, and seeing through a microscope are all instances of this.

Anxiety headaches may also be caused by sleeping in a chilly environment, having a cold, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or coffee, or having dental difficulties.

If you suffer from tension headaches, you’d most likely characterize your pain as dull, pressure-like, and non-throbbing in character.

You can describe it as feeling like a vice or a tight band around your head.

Your headache might be all over, not just in one spot or on one side of your head; it could be particularly bad in your scalp, temples, or the back of your head; it could even be so bad that it extends to your shoulders.

In order to determine the source of your headaches, you will be questioned by your doctor.

Keeping a headache journal and bringing it with you to your doctor’s appointment is a smart idea when you have a headache.

When you develop a headache, make a note of the date and time when the discomfort started. Include notes on what you ate and drank in the preceding 24 hours, how much sleep you had and when you got it, and what was going on in your life just before the pain began.

Make a note of how long the headache persisted and what caused it to subside.

Showering or bathing in hot or cold water may provide relief for some persons suffering from a headache.

If you suffer from a lot of tension headaches, you may need to make some modifications in your lifestyle.

To provide an example, you may need to alter your sleeping patterns; typically, you will need more sleep, greater physical activity, and stretching of your neck and back muscles.

If relaxation methods do not relieve your symptoms, your doctor may advise you to use over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. If you intend to perform anything that you KNOW will cause a headache, using one of these pain relievers before you begin may be beneficial.

After a time, your doctor may prescribe narcotic pain killers, muscle relaxants, or other medications; nevertheless, you may get rebound headaches as a result of the medications you are taking.

If you suffer from a lot of tension headaches, the greatest thing you can do is reduce your stress level as well as the tension in your head, neck, and shoulder muscles.

Pause often when working on the computer, learn to relax, avoid stressful circumstances, and schedule quiet time for yourself.

 Perhaps your scalp feels tender and sensitive, or your neck and shoulders are aching.

The most frequent sort of headache experienced by 80 percent of American people is a tension headache, which may be treated with over-the-counter medications.

Even though they’re excruciating, knowing that these headaches aren’t harmful or the result of any sickness or condition might lessen some of the stress.

It’s even better news that there are excellent home remedies for treating and preventing these illnesses.

At least 15 days out of every month, for at least three months, you experience a chronic tension headache.

Chronic tension headaches often have an unknown aetiology.

Amitriptyline, a medication that has been shown to reduce headaches, may be the answer.

Symptoms

An injury-like sharp or intense pain is unusual when it comes to tension headaches, which are more often described as a diffuse or hazy discomfort in different places of the head.

The discomfort is usually mild to moderate rather than excruciating, and it develops over time rather than all at once.

Other symptoms may include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Light and sound sensitivities are moderate.
  • Muscle pain in the neck, shoulders, and head
  • Migraines, which are sometimes confused for tension headaches, may cause visual blurring and can also be debilitating, but tension headaches will not produce these symptoms.

Tense neck and scalp muscles may lead to tension headaches.

Stress, sadness, a head injury, or worry may cause muscular spasms.

Adults and older teenagers are the most likely demographics to experience them. It affects women more often than males, and it often runs in families.

A headache may result from any action that keeps the head immobile for an extended period of time.

Typing, computer work, fine-motor work, and using a microscope are examples of possible activities.

Tension headaches may also be brought on by sleeping in a chilly environment or sleeping with the neck in an unusual posture.

Types

There are three primary types of tension headaches based on frequency: 

episodic, which occurs fewer than twelve times per year
frequent, which occurs between one and fourteen times per month
and chronic, which occurs at least fifteen times per month and lasts for more than an hour.

Is there a variety of distinct sorts of headache?

Tension Headaches are a recurring problem
Tension Headaches are a recurring problem
  • Migraine 
  • Tension-type 
  • Cluster 
  • Exertional 
  • Hypnic 
  • Medication-overuse
  • Sinus 
  • Caffeine-related
  • a head injury
  • Menstrual 
  • Hangover

There are a wide variety of headaches, each with a distinct origin and a different set of symptoms.

For the most part, they don’t last long and don’t raise any red flags. 

Knowing what kind of headache one is dealing with, on the other hand, might help one decide whether or not to seek medical attention.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over half of all individuals have suffered at least one headache in the last year.

There are various easy pain medicines that may be used to treat them, and they usually subside within a few hours after taking them.

If the headaches continue to occur on a regular basis, it may be time to seek medical attention.

Over 150 distinct headaches are classified by the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD) into two primary categories:

  •  acute and chronic.
  • the major and secondary factors.

The cause of a primary headache is not a complication of another ailment.
Migraine and tension headaches are among the most common causes of pain.
However, secondary headaches are caused by something else, such a head injury or a rapid caffeine deprivation.

Causes

The actual source of tension headaches is unknown, and what triggers them varies from one individual to the next.

 However, some of the most prevalent causes are:

  • Stress 
  • Fatigue
  • Negative body language
  • Eye strain and neck and head tightness
  • Colds, flu, and sinus infections are examples of viral illnesses.
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking \Caffeine
  • Treatment for menstrual cycle variations in hormones

Medications, lifestyle modifications, and natural therapies are all effective ways to relieve tension headaches.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) are excellent OTC pain medications for occasional tension headaches (Advil, Motrin).

Warning: If you use these drugs more than twice or three times per week, be aware that you may have side effects such as medication-overuse headaches and rebound headaches if you stop taking the prescriptions.

As a result, only use over-the-counter drugs two or three times a week at most.

Tension headaches, whether episodic or chronic, may need the use of a stronger medication.

This form of headache may be treated with acetaminophen, indomethacin, ketorolac, or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) by your physician (Tylenol).

Tension Headache Home Treatments

There are a variety of at-home and alternative therapies to attempt if medication doesn’t work for you or you’d want to try other interventions first.

When the pain starts, some individuals find that using a heating pad or an ice pack to their head, neck, and shoulders works wonders.

To soothe tight muscles, try soaking in a hot tub or taking a hot shower.

Acupuncture, massage, and stretching may help alleviate the discomfort of a tension headache.

Taking regular pauses from staring at a screen might help.

Finally, stress-relieving practices like deep breathing and meditation may help reduce the frequency and severity of tension headaches and potentially avoid them completely with consistent practice.

Keep things simple

drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest

Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant, most often a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, if your headaches are linked to anxiety or depression (SSRI).

Neurotransmitter serotonin is stabilized in the brain by this medication.

There are a number of ways to reduce and manage stress, including stress management programs, biofeedback, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Preventing tension headaches is a better option than treating them.

Stress headaches may be avoided by a variety of behavioral and environmental changes. These are just a few suggestions.

Therapy, stress-reduction workshops, yoga, or meditation may help you learn how to cope with stress more successfully.

Become more upright.

You should keep your shoulders back while you’re standing and keep your head up when you’re sitting, particularly when you’re using a computer or your phone.

Consistently consume a varied diet.

Tension headaches may be triggered by a variety of factors, including poor nutrition and low blood sugar.

Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Go to bed early and get some shut-eye.

Try a scalp or full-body massage, if you have the time and money.

Reduce your intake of coffee, sweets, and alcohol. 

Keep a headache journal to find out if there are any specific causes for your headaches.

Meals, drinks, exercise, time of day or night, and stressful events and circumstances may all have a role in a person’s mood.

Aromatherapy.

Lavender and peppermint have been shown in several tests to reduce headache discomfort.

Both aerobic and posture-enhancing workouts have been shown to reduce the incidence of headaches.

Treatment for Tension Headaches: When to Seek It

The majority of the time, tension headaches aren’t harmful and aren’t a sign of anything else wrong with you.

A typical stress headache must be distinguished from severe headaches that need medical treatment.

Contact your doctor if you suffer any of the following.

A sudden, excruciating headache
Following-injury headaches
Inappropriate therapy for a headache

If your headache is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible:

  • Fever
  •  Vomiting
  • Seeing double or blurry
  • Inability to talk
  • Arm or leg numbness or inability
  • Over time, the frequency or severity of a loss of awareness
  • a stiff neck
  • Seizure
  • Weakness in all areas

Your everyday routine shouldn’t be disrupted by stress headaches.

Take pain medicines more than twice a week, and get medical attention if headaches prevent you from going about your day-to-day activities.

You may use the free K Health app to check your headache symptoms and talk with a doctor to get guidance on what to do next.

Doctors are searching for evidence of a more severe problem when they inquire about your headache symptoms.

It is possible that your doctor may request an MRI or CT scan to rule out more severe diseases, such as a brain tumor or a heart attack.

Tags: mental disorders, Psychiatric illness

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