Dr Dillon D’souza shows you how to reduce stress and prevent headaches.
While many people associate the term ‘stress’ with psychological stress, scientists and physicians use this term to denote any force that impairs the stability and balance of bodily functions. Some stress is required for normal functioning and efficiency. It is only when stress is overwhelming or poorly managed, that its negative effects appear.
Tension Headaches are the most common types of headaches and are caused by stress (both mental and physical), impaired sleep or skipping meals. Most of the time when people say they have a headache, it is a tension headache. Children and teens experience tension headaches more often than adults, with females being affected twice as much as males.
What causes it?
The exact cause of tension headaches is still not known, but contributing conditions have been identified.
Symptoms of a tension headache
Migraine is differentiated from Tension Headaches by the following:
How to treat a tension headache
Exercises: Including physiotherapy, stress management and relaxation techniques comprising meditation, yoga relaxation techniques, time-management skills, counselling or group therapy are beneficial.
Exercising and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, breathing exercises and other alternative therapies like guided imagery, biofeedback, tai chi, qigong and progressive muscle relaxation work well too.
Caution with medications: Overuse of painkillers makes headaches worse. Products with aspirin should not be given to children because a condition called Reye’s Syndrome (vomiting and mental status changes, liver damage, high blood ammonia levels, low glucose levels and occasionally permanent brain damage), which is rare but is often severe or even fatal, may occur.
Non-medicinal options: Can include massage therapy, hot and ice packs or acupuncture. Learning to identify stressful situations which trigger headaches and taking steps to avoid these is also a useful strategy for many individuals.
Improved work posture, using chairs with lower back support, keeping the computer monitor brightness just right, and never holding a phone between the shoulder and ear are some things to prevent tension headaches. Maintain a headache diary to identify triggers and then avoid them.
Home remedies to cure tension headaches
See a doctor if:
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