Which can cause dull headaches

Tension headache

Tension headaches are something most people suffer from at least once in their lifetime. Chances are, anyone reading this article will have a headache from time to time. The symptoms can occur at any age - statistically speaking, adults are more often affected than adolescents and women suffer from the symptoms more often than men. [1]

It is important to be able to differentiate between the two clinical pictures migraine headache and tension headache in order to choose the right treatment.

What are migraine headaches?

Migraines affect approximately one in five women and one in every 15 men. [2]

Migraine headaches can in some cases be more severe and painful than tension headaches, although the latter are more common. Patients describe the pain associated with migraines as a throbbing pain on one side of the head.2 Not only can a migraine attack be very painful, but it can also bring with it a number of other symptoms, such as:

  • nausea
  • Vomit
  • Greater sensitivity to sound and light

What are tension headaches?

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and are often classified as "normal" or "regular". The most common triggers are stress, muscle strain, and anxiety.1

Symptoms of tension headaches

If you suspect you may have a tension headache, look out for the following symptoms:

  • Constant pain on both sides of the head
  • - Dull, pressing pain, like a cap on the head
  • A sore or stiff neck muscle
  • Pressure in the eye sockets

A tension headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several days, but unlike a migraine, tension headaches usually do not limit everyday activities.1

What causes tension headaches?

Tension headaches are called primary headaches because they are not caused by a previous illness.1 It is often not easy to pinpoint a clear cause of the tension headache. Among other things, external circumstances, such as. B. Stress causing pain in the head. Stress can be caused by different areas of life including work, family, and relationships. Other triggers and causes of tension headaches can include:

  • anxiety
  • Too little recovery from everyday stress
  • Bad posture
  • fatigue
  • Emotional or mental stress or depression
  • Skipping meals
  • Eye strain
  • Dehydration
  • Too little movement
  • Strong sunlight
  • noise
  • Smells

Short-term tension headaches are often triggered by individual events that, for example, were perceived as very stressful.

Regular tensioning of the neck muscles can also lead to chronic headaches. [3] It is important to learn more about the different types of headache in order to better understand your symptoms.

How can you relieve tension headaches?

Tension headaches can be treated or relieved in a number of ways:

  1. Relaxation techniques

Lifestyle changes can alleviate stress-related problems. Taking time out to practice yoga, a massage, or exercise can help you relax and avoid potential triggers.

  1. Home remedies

Home remedies can also help relieve tension headaches. Relieve your symptoms with a hot bath, cold towel, or ice pack on your forehead.

  1. Painkiller

Pain relievers are often recommended to help relieve tension headache symptoms. Nurofen Immedia contains ibuprofen - this active ingredient helps to relieve pain for up to eight hours. It is advisable to take the tablets shortly after the first sensation of pain, as the active ingredient can be absorbed into the body so quickly and provides rapid pain relief.

Please note that drugs do not cure the headache, only suppress the pain. Long-term use of pain relievers is not recommended. Make sure to follow the instructions in the package insert. Women in the third trimester of pregnancy should avoid pain medication as ibuprofen could harm the child. If your headache persists or you are not sure about the medication, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

How can you prevent tension headaches?

By making lifestyle changes, you can try to prevent tension headaches:

1.1 Avoid stress and tension

Try to relax when the headache begins to emerge. Time out with relaxation exercises and techniques, deep breathing, and meditation can play a crucial role in reducing stress. Be properly prepared for the next tension headache so that you can better treat it.

1.2 Avoidance of dehydration and a balanced diet

Did you know that your diet can affect the frequency, duration, and intensity of headaches? What you eat is very important. Therefore, make sure you have a healthy body weight and a balanced diet. Also, try to drink enough to keep your body hydrated. Consuming foods and drinks high in caffeine can also cause headaches or make the pain worse. Therefore, you should avoid consuming products containing caffeine as much as possible. [4]

1.3 Pay attention to your posture

Poor posture can cause tension in the shoulders, neck, or scalp muscles, which can cause or worsen tension headaches. The effects of poor posture are often underestimated. So pay attention to how you sleep or work.

Changing sleep patterns can cause headaches, so try to get the recommended six to nine hours of sleep.[5] In order to increase the chances of a good and restful sleep, create a relaxing sleeping environment that guarantees peace, darkness and optimal comfort. Give yourself some time to relax before going to bed. Try to switch off your mobile phone when you are asleep, as its lighting can negatively affect sleep.

In some cases, regular acupuncture treatment is also recommended. This ancient practice is proving beneficial in the prevention and treatment of chronic tension headaches.

Avoid causes and triggers

If you suffer from headaches for a long time, it is advisable to keep a headache diary. This can help pinpoint the potential causes of your problem and help you avoid these factors and thus tension headaches. These clues can provide the doctor treating you with important information.

When should you see a doctor?

You should see a doctor if:

  • You feel an extraordinary pain that is different from any headache you have felt before
  • The headaches are the result of a head injury
  • You experience severe or persistent symptoms several times a week
  • You have blurred vision or problems with your eyesight
  • Other symptoms including a stiff neck, weakness, fever, nausea, vomiting, numbness, or confusion may occur

[1] http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/headaches-tension-type/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[2] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Migraine/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[3] http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/tension-headaches#1

[4] http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/features/prevent-stress-headaches

[5] http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/insomnia/Pages/bedtimeritual.aspx