If you suffer from headaches it might be helpful to determine the different types and how they are caused. To find the best home remedies for tension headaches the first step is to understand the causes and factors contributing to the ailments or symptoms that you are experiencing.
Types Of Headaches:
- Tension headaches are the most common type and often occur because of muscle tightening in the back of the neck and top of the head. Emotional stress, fatigue and depression are often triggers that bring on a tension headache. They can occur at any age but are most prevalent in adults and adolescents.
- Migraine headaches can be severe and debilitating with throbbing pain that increases with activity. Other symptoms could be, sensitivity to light and sound, along with nausea and vomiting. Pain can become so bad that even the slightest movement is unbearable.
- Sinus headaches are caused by inflammation and infection of the nasal area.
- A cluster headache can be caused by alcohol and smoking excesses and are recognized by a severe pain that can be felt behind the eye.
Symptoms And Treatment Of Tension Headaches:
It is best to start some form of treatment as soon as you feel the symptoms of a headache coming. Some symptoms to be aware of are:
- A tightening sensation around the neck and/or head.
- Pain that is occurring in the temple, forehead or neck.
There are some differences in symptoms that can help you determine what type of headache that you are suffering from. The pain from migraines is like a throbbing or pulsating feeling whereas the tension headache is more dull and pressure like and it is all over instead of just in one place. Tension headaches do not normally cause nausea and vomiting like a migraine can.
Tension headaches can occur infrequently and randomly in some people or they can be chronic with daily occurrences in others. The pain can last for as little as 30 minutes or up to a few days. Sometimes over the counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen taken at the onset of symptoms can be enough to get rid of or lessen the discomfort of a tension headache. Continual use of pain relievers may help the symptoms but if you are experiencing daily or frequent headaches that interfere with your activities you should consult a health professional for a diagnosis.
Triggers And Causes Of Tension Headaches:
- Combined with symptoms of the flu or cold.
- Dental problems such as teeth grinding or clenching of the jaw.
- Nasal congestion or sinus infection.
- Alcohol, smoking and excess caffeine or withdrawals.
- Eye strain and fatigue.
- Sleeping in an abnormal position or in a cold room.
- Keeping the head in the same position for long periods of time. Sitting behind a desk while typing or working on a computer can cause a tension headache.
Home Remedies For Tension Headaches:
- Use an ice pack or heating pad on your head and neck.
- Sometimes taking a hot shower can help reduce symptoms.
- Lie down and rest in a quiet, dark room.
- Stress is one of the major factors in the development of headaches and the best way to reduce stress is to exercise. You don’t need to become a fitness fanatic, just get the blood flowing by doing mild cardio for about 20 minutes at least 3 times a week. A brisk walk outside in the fresh air will work wonders in keeping the stress at bay.
- Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation are routines that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. (Simple Way To Meditate Here.)
- Some people have found relief by trying acupuncture for their headaches. This preventative therapy may help to release endorphins to ease pain in the neck, shoulder and back.
- Try using a different pillow and change sleeping positions and practice good posture when reading or sitting for long periods of time.
- Do not skip meals! Get into a regular routine with smaller meals periodically during the day.
- Avoid junk and processed foods. Fresh is best for overall health and well being.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water and non caffeinated beverages all day.
- The tension headaches can be caused by a lack of sleep and by changes in routine. Try going to bed at a regular time and avoid distractions in the bedroom like television.
- Getting a massage can help with stress and also relieve the pain from aching muscles.
- If you spend long hours at a desk or in a stationary position make a point to get up and stretch at regular intervals. Exercise, stretch and move the neck and back muscles.
The overuse of painkillers can result in what is called a rebound headache that keeps on coming back. See a doctor if you are suffering from chronic headaches to determine if they are a symptom of some more serious medical condition.
If you suffer from headaches it is suggested that you keep a diary of information about them. This can help in determining the triggers that are causing the headaches. Include the date and time that the pain began and the food and drinks that you have consumed in the previous 24 hours. Sleep disturbance and changes in routine should also be recorded.
In a nutshell, these are the things that will help relieve or prevent tension headaches.
Eat healthy foods, get exercise, get enough sleep, quit smoking, avoid excess caffeine and alcohol, get stress under control, simplify your life, quit worrying about things that you can’t control, stay positive, massage sore muscles, meditate, avoid stressful situations, correct your posture, don’t stay in one position for too long, stretch and move around, keep a headache diary.
In most cases, changes in lifestyle and habits can go a long way in the prevention of chronic and future problems with tension headaches. The need for prescription drugs and medical treatments can also be avoided by recognizing and avoiding the triggers that cause the symptoms of this most common form of headache.
Always see your doctor if headaches persist for more than a few days or if they are sudden and severe. If your headache is accompanied by dizziness, fever, double vision or things like confusion and shortness of breath, see a doctor immediately.
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