Headaches and Stress
There are many questions about whether or not there is a direct link between stress, and headaches, the answer, is yes. Most headaches can be directly linked to a stressor that sends uncomfortable signals to the brain; the result is an ache in the head. While headaches can be linked to many things, stress is the major cause.
Stress headaches are sometimes referred to as tension headaches, and are usually common among adults. A stress headache may be episodic, or chronic. Episodic stress headaches can last for 14 days per month, they are identifiable by a moderation of pounding pain, and by a pressuring sensation in the fore, or back of the head, as well as, in the neck. These headaches tend to start slowly around noon, and can last for a period of 30 minutes to several hours, or days. Chronic stress headaches on the other hand occur daily for more than 14 days per month, they can be identified by throbbing interruptions over a prolonged period, with painful sensations in the fore, sides, and top area of the head.
Who Gets Stress Headaches?
A stress headache is experienced by 30%-80% of the U.S. population of adults each year. Women are more susceptible to experience stress headaches than men, this is because women are more likely to worry about things than men. Individuals with episodic headaches will experience them for at least twice a month, but can occur more often. Chronic headaches on the other hand, may last for a period of two to three months.
What Causes Stress Headaches?
Stress headaches cannot be linked to any one thing in particular, as it can as be triggered off by many stimuli. These types of headaches are caused by stiffened muscles in one’s scalp, as well as, in the back of one’s neck. This tension is usually caused by insufficient amount of rest, bad posture, depression, anxiety, tiredness, hunger and overexertion. In other headaches, stiffened muscles are not an identifying symptom, and the causes are usually unknown. Stress headaches are normally activated by some type of environmental, internal or external stress. Stress is commonly caused by problems with family, relationships, friends, work, and school.
What Are the Symptoms of Tension Headaches?
Symptoms of stress headaches may include irritability, disturbed concentration, muscle pain, and sensitivity to light, as well as noise. These symptoms may affect the daily routine of individuals; as they can be unbearable at times. When symptoms become unbearable individuals are usually recommended to seek medical assistance.
Managing and Preventing Headaches
Since most headaches experienced by adults are caused stress, individuals are usually recommended to practice stress headache management, and prevention techniques. It is believed that most headaches can be avoided with these techniques. Additionally, stress can cause migraine headaches, which make migraine sufferers more at risk to headache stimulants. The practice of stress headache management, and prevention techniques is expected to reduce the possibility of developing health conditions that may be due to stress, as well as improve one’s immune system.