If you’re concerned about your headaches, contact your primary medical provider!
How the Body Reacts to StressWhen the “fight or flight” response is triggered, our bodies become flooded with protective hormones like adrenaline, which leads to a chain reaction of neck and scalp muscles contracting. These physical reactions often result in either tension or migraine headaches.
Muscular overuse is another factor that leads to tension headaches. Holding your neck or shoulder joints in an unnatural position for too long causes supporting muscles to go into spasm. In turn, the muscles compress the adjoining nerves, sending pain impulses to your brain that result in headaches and sometimes a sore neck.
Working at a computer, bending over a work table or holding a phone to your ear for prolonged periods are all frequent causes of tension headaches from physical sources.
Additional CausesAlong with muscle-bunching activities like desk work, here are a few other factors associated with tension headaches:
- Emotional stress
- Excess alcohol
- Fluctuating caffeine levels
- Eye strain
- Use of tobacco products
Dealing With a Tension HeadacheHere are three of the most common tips concerning how people effectively deal with tension headaches:
- Stretch your neck muscles regularly. Tense muscles in the neck region are often tension headache culprits. Physical therapy can also help.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Whether it’s deep breathing, yoga or walking on your lunch break — finding a way to de-stress is key to stopping tension headaches before they start.
- Adjust your ergonomics. Your workplace setup can cause headaches. Consider simple adjustments like setting up your monitor to a more comfortable position, and getting a headset for your telephone.