Headache tips: what to do when "normal" headaches?

Health FeelTheSoul August 8, 2016 2 1
Headache tips and advice to prevent headaches. Tension headache is the most common type of headache in adults and is slightly more common in women than in men. Tension headache is often referred to as "ordinary headache" and sometimes as "non-specific headache. The following tips and advice to provide tension headache head and relieve symptoms.

Headache tips and advice

  • What are tension headaches?
  • What are the triggers of tension headaches?
  • Headache Tips: How can you best deal with tension headache?

What are tension headaches?

Tension headaches, often referred to as 'normal headache "and sometimes as" non-specific headache', is the most common type of headaches in adults. It occurs slightly more often in women than in men. Tension headaches often start at an early age and the presence decreases with increasing age. A distinction is made between so-called episodic tension headache and chronic tension headaches. Episodic tension headaches has the following characteristics:
  • you experience an oppressive, constricting or clamping headache, similar to a tight band around the head;
  • the headache may be present for a few minutes to many days;
  • ¬†nausea without vomiting;
  • you do not suffer from photophobia or phonophobia are absent, or you suffer from one of two complaints;
  • the headache is mild to moderate, two-sided and the muscles of the shoulders, neck and skull are often extra sensitive;
  • shoulders are stiff and painful;
  • with ordinary physical exercise, such as cycling or climbing stairs, the pain does not get worse;
  • often succeed in this type of headache to continue with your activities.

Although tension headaches and migraines are two different entities, are both forms of headache often in the same person, and pull them hand-in-hand with one another. Tension headaches are not serious, but a bothersome condition.

What are the triggers of tension headaches?

About the exact origin of tension-type headache is little known. Stress and muscle tension are not primary causes all, both factors can trigger or exacerbate the headache it, just like fatigue or a "bad attitude", or cold, moisture and temperature. Possible dislocating or triggers of muscle tension headaches include:
  • prolonged tension or stress, making you unwittingly the muscles of the jaw, forehead, neck and
  • shoulders tightens;
  • insufficient rest and / or insufficient sleep;
  • physical exercise, such as lifting with heavy, running, frequent bending or climbing stairs;
  • mental effort: when you are intently concentrating on are often unconsciously tightened the neck, shoulder and head muscles, which can trigger headaches;
  • anxiety and depression;
  • incorrect posture of shoulders, neck and head can lead to overload the muscles and thus provoke headache;
  • a dental or jaw anomaly;
  • ooginspanning prolonged reading or TV - or computer screen look as well at - and farsightedness;
  • climatic conditions, such as changes in weather, climate change or change in air pressure and can also cold, moisture and drafts will cause stiffness and muscle tension headaches do provoke the neck muscles;
  • hormonal fluctuations that occur during menstruation, ovulation or menopause, as well as pregnancy or oral contraceptive use;
  • sinus infections, flu, colds or allergies;
  • fever;
  • Straining the muscles of mastication by the skew to each other of the lower jaw or upper teeth, nail biting, frequent teeth grinding or chewing gum;
  • power supply: a number of nutrients can have a negative influence on the headache; and
  • low blood sugar can trigger tension headaches.

Possibly heredity also plays a role in the development of tension headache. Tension headaches in children can sometimes be explained by the daily life of the child, for example, stresses at school or in the family.

Headache Tips: How can you best deal with tension headache?

How can you best deal with tension headache? Below are tips and advice:
Headache Tip 1: Headache Diary Tracking
Keeping a headache diary can help bring individual triggers and precipitating factors identified. Then you take this into account in future and affect your self headaches, for example by adjusting your posture to bring in a wrong posture or balance between exertion and relaxation. Of course you can not avoid all trigger factors, such as weather changes, certain emotional events or hormonal changes. But you can sometimes be better prepared. Thus, for example, hormones may be a trigger, and if you know you're always a headache for three days before menstruation begins, you can keep your account in your planning with that. A handy headache diary can be bought for a song by the Dutch Association of headache patients.
Headache Tip 2: Medication to treat headaches
As a relief for the attack treatment, his first choice means the regular painkillers that are available without prescription at the pharmacy or chemist, such as paracetamol, aspirin or an NSAID. These agents have a beneficial effect on the duration and intensity of symptoms. According to one study, caffeine enhances the analgesic effect of ibuprofen. Be aware that prolonged and / or excessive use of medication can lead to a so-called medication overuse headache. A rule of thumb for safe and responsible use of medication is: two days of medication, seven days nothing.
Headache Tip 3: Medication to prevent headaches
Remember that treatment with medication to prevent tension headaches, often comes last. The effect is often limited. In addition, provides the monitoring of a therapy or modification of lifestyle often more. The drugs that can help to prevent or to reduce the severity of the symptoms tension headaches, are not specifically designed for this purpose, but is by chance the operation of tension-type headache have come to light. The most commonly used agent in the prophylactic treatment of muscular headache is amitriptyline, originally an antidepressant. The agent may reduce the frequency and intensity of the headache. It has to be taken every day, for an extended period of time, wherein the dosage may be progressively inflated. This drug is prescribed only when other solutions offer enough support and there is a lot of headache days per month. It should be excluded that there is medication overuse headache. A favorable effect of the application of amitriptyline is mainly found in the earlier investigations, but the effect is not consistent. SSRIs are, moreover, not been found effective in the treatment of tension headache.
Headache tip 4: Physical therapy, exercise therapy and manual therapy
Tension headaches which is mainly triggered by a wrong position or wrong movements, then physiotherapy and exercise may help. The physical therapist can by massaging and stretching cramped neck - and shoulder muscles ensure that there is improved circulation and relaxation. Exercise therapy, such mensendieck or caesar therapy, can help to correct your posture and improve. You can also learn to exercise to relax the muscles.
Manual therapy have shown to be an effective treatment for people who suffer from chronic muscle tension headaches. By manual therapy not only increases the frequency of headache off, but it also improves daily functioning and there will be less absenteeism on. The positive impact of this form of therapy was mainly due to the increasing strength of the neck muscles, according to research.
Headache Tip 5: Psychological interventions
When mental exertion and / or stress triggers of tension headaches, can cognitive behavioral therapy, possibly combined with stress management and relaxation techniques, may help. The treatment will focus on the lowering of the muscle tension, causing headaches prevented as far as possible. This may be optionally combined with medication in order to prevent headache. Discuss this with your doctor.
Headache Tip 6: General advice to prevent headaches
The following advice may help to reduce or prevent headache symptoms:
  • Find a good balance between physical and mental exertion and relaxation.
  • Many people are scared out of shame or fear of 'mad' were found to be not to talk about their problems. However, it is important to share and discuss problems with others. The advice is to avoid problems immediately and avoid going worrying.
  • Avoid overload of various muscles by providing ear a good attitude. Sometimes there are changes in the workplace is needed, such as another chair or another agency. It may also be useful to make your work sound agreements on the division of tasks and to adjust them where necessary and possible.
  • Concern not only at work but also at home for plenty of 'computer breaks. Relax during such break your arms, shoulders and neck muscles and do some physical exercises to relax your muscles.
  • Stay during the lunch not sit behind your desk, but take a walk. Good for body and soul!
  • If your day already works pretty much the computer, then try to reduce the evenings and at weekends.
  • Leave the car more often and are going to walk or bike to work.
  • Take adequate daily exercise. Half an hour of moderately intensive exercise per day is healthy advice.
  • Make the evening a short walk before going to bed and put your phone on the side and let the TV.
  • Provide regularity and structure. Go to bed and get up again in time.
  • A warm shower or a warm bath can sometimes provide relief for headaches.
  • Provide fresh air.
  • Let your neck and shoulder muscles massage or do relaxation exercises.
  • If you have frequent headaches, then you can go for information and support to the Dutch Association of headache patients.

Headache Tip 7: Ginger headaches
Ginger can help combat headaches and migraines. Once you feel a headache coming on, take two capsules with sufficient water. Or slice some fresh ginger into slices and make it warm with some water and make tea then. After you have drunk the tea, you have to eat the ginger slices. After only about 20 minutes, the raging headache slowed sharply. The anti-migraine effect is due to the substance present in shogoal ginger.
  • Knuistingh Neven A Eekhof JAH. Tension Headache. Minor ailments. GP Act 2003; 46: 238-30.
  • Knuistingh Neven A. Tension headaches. In; Minor ailments in general practice. Fifth revised edition, second edition, Elsevier Health, Amsterdam, 2010, p.501-504.
  • Moja PL, Cusi C Sterzi RR, Canepari C. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for Preventing migraine and tension-type headaches. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005; 3: CD002919.
  • VUMC. Manual therapy works well for chronic muscle tension headaches.
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