Tension Headache: Can my stress cause it?

What is a Tension Headache?

Tension headache is also called a stress headache. As the name suggests, it is triggered by tension or stress and it is the most common type of headache. Tension headache is very closely related to headache due to migraine and often misdiagnosed.

tension headache

The main difference with the tension headache and migraine type of headache is, people with tension headache do not have an aura as seen in migraine. Additionally, people strictly complain or head and neck pain. Any other symptoms like nausea, vomiting etc related to either migraine or other pathological conditions.

How to diagnosis a Tension Headache?

It is usually self-diagnosed and self-treatable. Rarely a medical diagnosis or any special imaging is required for this type of headache. A person feeling the headache usually able to identify the triggers. It can be acute or chronic. Depending on the severity, it may lead to a reduction in efficiency, as well as productivity and affect the quality of life.

What are the Symptoms?

  • Complains of pain in front of the head.
  • A tight band-like feeling in the front of the forehead.
  • Pain in neck, shoulder, usually upper trapezius area.
  • Eye pain

Is it preventable?

Stress, as well as heightened emotions, are main triggers for the tension headache. Learning to manage stress successfully as well as with some lifestyle modification, one can lessen the frequency or even prevent the occurrence altogether.

How to treat a tension headache?

Relaxation techniques:

Since it is a direct result of stress, relaxing your mind and body can help to manage the frequency. Yoga, a long walk, physical exercises, meditations, water exercises, are a few examples of relaxation techniques. Acupuncture, massage, Ti -Chi, acupressure, can help reduce the intensity of the headache.

Proper positioning :

Proper body positioning is an important factor in the reduction of muscle spasm and build-up of stress physically.

Taking frequent breaks from computer work :

Computer work leads to a forward head posture as well as an increase in neck stress. Therefore, it is crucial to invest in an ergonomically suited workstation.

Resting eyes frequently:

Giving the eyes a break just by taking them off of the technology or screen will reduce the stress build-up. Prismoid glasses in the eyewear can reduce the frequency. Therefore, many ophthalmologists prescribe the prism glasses to the people with a complaint of headache with normal eye exam.

Neck stretches and trapezius stretches:

While taking a break from the computer, one can perform neck stretches and neck exercises. Cervical range of motion will relax the muscles of the neck and reduce the stress.

Who develops the Tension Headache?

The exact research behind the development is lacking. There are controversies about intense muscle contractions versus over-stimulation of pain receptors. Both the theories hold its place as people complaining of this type of headache demonstrates one of these two inconsistently.

So people under high stress, unable to manage the emotions, as well as people with improper posture are prone to develop it.

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NOTE: The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health program.