Dealing With a Stress Headache
If you're suffering from a stress headache, you might wonder about the best way to treat it. One way to reduce stress is to take a break and try relaxation techniques. The more you're stressed, the worse your headache will get. Physical activity, light, or sound can also aggravate these headaches.
Increased stress levels trigger tension headaches.
Increased stress causes several physical and psychological changes in a person. Research has found that stress can trigger various headaches, from migraines to chronic tension headaches. While the exact mechanism of how stress triggers these symptoms is unknown, increased cortisol levels and the fight-or-flight response are thought to be the main factors. Other triggers of tension headaches include alcohol, caffeine, dental problems, excessive smoking, and fatigue.
Symptoms of tension headaches may look like other medical problems or conditions, so a professional should determine if it's tension headaches. Your healthcare provider will examine and ask about your lifestyle and health history. You may also notice that your symptoms worsen at certain times of the day or after eating certain foods. Your healthcare provider may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers, but a specialist will likely need to examine you to make a proper diagnosis.
They can be relieved by taking a break.
A break from stressful situations can help relieve a headache. Relaxation techniques like mindful meditation can help reduce tension and relieve headaches. They involve practicing mindfulness by focusing on the present moment rather than worrying about the past or the future. Taking breaks from stressful situations can also help you deal with your emotions better. You can also see a therapist if you struggle to cope with stress.
If you find yourself suffering from headaches due to stress, you may want to consult with a healthcare provider to determine whether the headache is due to a medical condition. In most cases, a headache caused by stress is not a severe health issue. Still, if the pain interferes with your daily activities, it may indicate a severe underlying medical condition. Getting treatment is essential if the headache is interfering with your life.
They can be treated with relaxation techniques.
Relaxation techniques are a powerful way to prevent and treat headaches caused by stress. These exercises teach the body to relax by repeating a prescribed set of procedures. The techniques have been shown to reduce the frequency of stress headaches, lower blood pressure, and increase self-control.
Initially, a person must identify what triggers their headache. A variety of relaxation techniques may help relieve stress, including deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, mental imagery, and relaxing to music.
They can be aggravated by light, sound or physical activity.
The nervous system's overreaction causes stress headaches to certain stimuli, such as light, sound, or physical activity. People who suffer from these headaches can often find relief with various treatments. A medication called anticonvulsants can help reduce pain and inflammation, as can a glycerol injection. In severe cases, surgery may be an option. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is another treatment option. This procedure sends pulses of electrical energy into brain tissue to block nerve signaling.
Stress headaches are common in women and can be triggered by depression or anxiety. They may appear early in the day or late at night and may be worse in certain situations. Light, sound, and physical activity can aggravate these headaches and lead to temporomandibular joint dysfunction and degenerative arthritis.
They can be treated with CBT.
Behavioral therapy for stress headaches can help you cope with various situations triggering the headache. Stress coping techniques include learning to manage your anxiety, using relaxation techniques, and dealing with difficult situations. These skills can prevent headaches and help you cope with them effectively.
The CBT program follows evidence-based guidelines for treating stress headaches. Participants undergo a series of 12 sessions. During the sessions, they will self-monitor their headaches, triggers, and medication use. They will also complete an electronic survey with six questionnaires embedded in it.