Tension Headache Symptoms, Causes and Remedies

Tension Headache Symptoms, Causes and Remedies
Tension Headache Symptoms, Causes and Remedies

Mesoth.Net - A tension headache, also known as a stress headache, can be among the most painful and annoying headaches you can get. Tension headache symptom is usually described as a constant, dull, pulsing, achy feeling on both sides of the head. Such headache symptom usually begin in the middle of the day and the intensity increases as time passes, going from bad to worse in a few minutes. More often than not, a doctor can properly diagnose a tension headache just by listening to a description of your symptoms. In some other cases, however, a full scan and some blood testing may be needed to gather more information.

The good news is chronic tension headache symptoms do not develop overnight. Usually, it is caused by your lifestyle. Take just a moment to examine your lifestyle. Are you under a lot of pressure and stress, either at home, work, school, or all three? Do you get enough sleep? Do you eat well, or grab some fast food when you have a spare moment? Are you pushing yourself too hard? Do you feel angry and/or anxious, or are other factors causing emotional stress? Most importantly, do you have frequent headaches?

If you answered “yes” to most or all of these questions, you’re a prime candidate for developing tension headache symptoms. Tension headaches are headaches caused by a completely different set of conditions that differentiate them from migraine or sinus headaches. The name given to these headaches describe exactly what causes them: tension

When you’re carrying a too-large burden of stress, when you’re tired a lot, when you don’t eat or exercise well, and when you’re suppressing anger or anxiety, the muscles in your neck and shoulders constrict and tighten. This is the cause of having tension headache symptoms; the tightened muscles in your upper back, neck and shoulders cause a throbbing pain centered in the lower center of your head.

Do you stare at your computer screen all day? Do you get up, walk around, take breaks, or do you pass the day hunched over that screen? Poor posture is another cause of having tension headache symptoms, making it obvious that you need to get up and stretch your neck and shoulders to avoid this type of headache.

Although not as insidious as the infamous migraine headache, having a tension headache symptom is every bit as debilitating to the sufferer because, without changes in your lifestyle, you could conceivably have these headaches every single day! This makes for an unhealthy and miserable life, to be sure.

What Can I Do to Relieve Tension Headache Symptoms?

The best thing is to avoid getting tension headaches in the first place. You can accomplish this by taking time to relax during your busy day, stretching your arms, neck and shoulders, at least every hour, eating nutritious food, doing some mild exercise that loosens up your muscles, and doing things that are pleasant for you.

If you feel over-burdened with work, a polite “no, I can’t do that right now but I can do it first thing tomorrow” is in order. A physical therapist or an osteopathic physician can show you some stretches that can not only prevent but also relieve a tension headache symptom. Remember, you are the determiner of your lifestyle; if you do things that cause muscle tension, you can expect unfavorable results.

Prescription medications for tension headache symptom are available if, after having altered your stressful lifestyle, you still have these headaches occasionally. Your physician may prescribe Midrin, a specific for tension headaches; it combines acetaminophen (Tylenol) with a mild barbiturate sedative to help you relax.

Midrin is helpful for many, but must not be over-used. Too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage, especially if you drink alcohol. The barbiturate in Midrin, although mild, can cause physical addiction. Your doctor will instruct you on the safe use of Midrin and other drugs like it so as to control your tension headache symptoms.

In addition, your physician may also prescribe a mild muscle relaxer like Robaxin or Skelaxin. These drugs are very safe and effective; they help you relax those tense muscles that are causing your tension headache symptoms. These drugs also must not be over-used as they can cause drowsiness, affecting your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. This is particularly true of Zanaflex, a more potent muscle relaxer that is known for its sedative properties and should never be used until you determine how it affects you.

Tension headache symptoms are always unpleasant, but you hold the keys to their frequency and severity. Only you can eliminate their cause; medications do help with your pain, but without a lifestyle change, the medications are virtually useless.

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