Headache is a condition so common it’s the punch line for a number of jokes, but when you’re experiencing a headache, it’s no laughing matter. Why do people develop headache? What can be done to make the headache better? And, can anything be done to prevent the headache in the first place?
When most people discuss headache, they’re typically referring to the most frequently experienced type of headache, a stress headache (also known as stress-type headache). Almost 50% of adults experienced a headache in the past year; fortunately, for the majority of those individuals, the headache was mild, short-lived, and likely fell into the category of stress headache.
A stress headache is the most common type of headache. This type of headache can cause mild or moderate pain in the head, neck, and behind the eyes. Some patients say that a stress headache feels like a tight band around their foreheads.
Stress headache isn’t limited to adults. Children and teens can experience stress headache as well, with as many as 15% of children having experienced stress headache by age 15. Females are diagnosed with about twice the number of stress headaches as males.
There is no single cause for stress headaches. This type of headache is not an inherited trait that runs in families. In some people, tightened muscles in the back of the neck and scalp cause stress headaches. This muscle stress may be caused by:
Stress headaches are usually triggered by some type of environmental or internal stress. The most common sources of stress include family, social relationships, friends, work, and school. Examples of stressors include:
Episodic stress headaches are usually triggered by an isolated stressful situation or a build-up of stress. Daily stress can lead to chronic stress headaches.
Medical doctors generally treat stress headache symptoms with medications, such as beta-blockers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Regularly taking some of the most popular painkillers on the market [paracetamol, aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen six or seven days per week over a two-year period] is linked to a much greater risk of stroke and heart attack from higher blood pressure, according to research from a large American study.
Powerful drugs can numb your nervous system so the pain doesn’t register. While these approaches may be convenient, they can cause adverse effects and kidney or liver damage. Worse, they don’t correct the underlying cause of the headache.
Tension is a fact of life in our high-speed modern world. Here are several simple techniques to relieve a tension headache.
A Stress headache can be downright debilitating. Take note of the following home remedies to help avoid that next attack.