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Headaches

There are many sorts of Headaches

Tension Headaches 

There are many types of headaches, usually determined by the location and severity of the pain they cause. Tension headaches are one of the most common types of headaches. Many moms, dads, and people with stressful jobs report having tension headaches.  

What Is a Tension Headache?

Tension type headaches account for up to 90% of all headaches. The pain brought on by one of these headaches is usually located somewhere in the back of the head and can radiate down the neck, into the shoulders, and also to the front of the head and to the eyes. A lot of times, tension headaches are accompanied by a feeling of tightness.

Primary or Secondary?

Tension headaches are considered to be primary headaches, and are not usually indicators of any severe underlying conditions.

Causes

There are many causes of tension headaches, but mostly they are connected with being overworked and stressed out. Being overly tired or straining your eyes can also bring on a tension headache, as can incorrect posture. Hunger is very commonly a trigger for tension headaches, too.

Symptoms

Tension headaches are commonly marked by a feeling of stress or tightness in the neck and shoulders, but that is not always the case. Most often the pain is described as pressure, like that of your head being squeezed. Tension headaches can last for just a few minutes or last for days, and they vary in severity.

 Treatment

There are many treatments for tension headaches. The effectiveness of each treatment is usually determined by the individual, the cause of the pain, and the severity of the headache itself. Over-the-counter medications are common to treat tension headaches. There are over-the-counter medications that are labeled specifically for tension headaches, but one medication might be just as good as the next depending on cause and severity of the headache.

For very severe occurrences, prescription options might be necessary. Depending on the individual and the severity of the headache, many times medication is not needed at all. Sometimes tending to the cause of the headache can go very far to treat it. A glass of water, a short nap, a snack, or a simple neck massage can sometimes be just the trick, as can finding ways to reduce stress.

How to Choose the Right Treatments

The right treatment depends on the individual experiencing the headache and how severe the pain is. Sometimes it might be best to try simpler methods such as a glass of water and a snack before resorting to taking medication. It is really up to you but if you are having issues with many stress headaches, re-evaluating your life might be in order.

When to See a Professional 

When or if your tension headaches become very severe or if you are experiencing recurrent headaches, it might be helpful to see a physician. First of all, you want to be sure that your headaches are in fact tension headaches and not a more serious type. Second, a physician might be able to help you find better treatments and even prevent recurrences and have suggestions that will help you avoid stress.

Prevention

Taking good care of yourself is the best prevention of tension-type headaches. Using good posture, staying hydrated and remembering meals is always a good start. Trying to avoid strain and stress are usually good preventative measures too.

If you have any doubts at all about what type of headache you are experiencing, it is always a safe practice to get checked out by a physician. Otherwise, tension headaches are typically benign and easily treated.

Headaches: Choosing the Treatment That Is Right for You

Millions of people suffer from headaches every day. To treat these pains, pharmacies and stores everywhere have aisles and shelves filled top to bottom with over-the-counter medications for all sorts of headaches, and behind the counter there are even more prescription options. Choosing the right treatment for your headaches can be a daunting task.

What Makes a Headache?

A headache is defined by pain anywhere in the head or neck region of the body. Depending on the type of headache, this pain could be sharp or dull, mild or severe. A headache can last mere minutes, or last for days. There are many types of headaches, and all of those types fit into a specific classification as a primary or secondary headache.

Primary versus Secondary Headaches

A primary headache is one that is likely benign, and is not attributed to any other underlying condition. Tension headaches and migraines are common primary headaches.

Secondary headaches are actually symptoms of a bigger underlying issue. Not all secondary headaches are life threatening, however. Sinus headaches, for example, are symptoms of common problems such as sinus infections.

Some headaches might be symptoms of very serious conditions, such as brain infections, tumors, or bleeding, which is why it’s so important to note when you are having headaches.

What Kind of Headache Is It?

Understanding your own headaches is the key to appropriate and effective treatment. Knowing what kind of headache you have can help you with treatment and possibly even prevent future headaches.

To figure out what kind of headache you are dealing with, you will need to first list all of your symptoms, and take note of any details such as how long the headache has lasted or whether or not it is a recurring issue. Take this list of information to your physician and discuss your options with them.

What Are Your Symptoms?

Paying attention to what symptoms you have will be the key to unlocking the mysteries of your headaches. Do not discount anything when listing these symptoms; any bit of information might help. 

Some common symptoms describe the type of the pain (sharp, dull, radiating) and where it is localized. Some symptoms may include sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, vomiting, pressure, congestion and so forth. Write down a description of your headaches to get it right.

Recurring Headaches

Something else to keep track of is whether or not your headaches recur, as well as whether there are any changes in the behavior of the recurrence. Keeping track of this information might help you figure out what is causing your headaches. For example, you might learn that extreme heat, a particular food, or a certain smell is an environmental trigger for your headaches.

Have You Seen a Doctor Yet?

When in doubt, get checked out. It is a good idea to see a physician, especially if you have recurrent headaches or if you suspect any sort of underlying condition. If you have any neurological symptoms at all, seek medical attention immediately. If the severity of your headache worsens, seek attention immediately too.

Treatment versus Prevention 

In some cases, preventative medicine is the best kind. If you identify the triggers or the cause of your headaches, you might be able to stop them. For severe migraines or recurrent headaches, there are some preventative medications you might talk to your doctor about as well.

Alternative Options

For people who prefer not to take medication, you and your doctor might discuss alternative options. Some people, for example, swear that drinking green tea and trying to live a stress-free life is the key to living headache free. 

Ultimately, there are as many treatment options as there are types of headaches. The treatment that works for you might take some trial and error. Discuss your options with a physician to figure out what might work best for you.

There is very much more information on this problem and tips for a more comfortable life in my book called Headaches which you can purchase here for just £15

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