- There may be a number of factors that contribute to the onset of tension headaches – stress is one of the more common.
- People who are prone to anxiety and depression are more likely to suffer from tension headaches.
- Women may experience greater stress because of their demanding lifestyles.
- Short-term treatment options for tension headache include massage, relaxation, exercise and painkillers.
Unfortunately in today's busy lifestyle the triggers for headaches are everywhere. The daily pressure on women in every aspect of our lives can be absolutely overwhelming.
Parenting, financial pressure, lack of sleep, juggling multiple roles and responsibilities and often feeling unable to fulfill your potential in any of these roles leads to stress and anxiety.
All of these triggers create very real physical reactions in your body. Muscles spams and hormonal changes are the most noticeable. Neck, back and shoulder pain, irregular periods and fertility issues, anxiety and increased blood pressure are some of the most common symptoms.
It's vital to find both long and short term solutions to managing both the symptoms of stress as well as the stress itself.
Short-term treatment options to provide pain relief include:
- medication such as paracetamol, anti inflammatory or muscle relaxants.
- heat treatment, such as a long soak in a hot bath
- ice packs to the face
- a scalp, neck and shoulder massage
- entertaining distractions
Research has found that regular exercise can relieve muscle tension and help alleviate stress-related symptoms such as tension headaches, anxiety, depression and some other mood disorders. Other ways to reduce the effects of stress in the long term, and help to decrease the incidence of tension headache, include:
- aerobic exercise. Joining a class like boot camp is particularly good!
- relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation
- consultation with a psychologist to improve stress management
- addressing the musculoskeletal tension with a massage therapist
- antidepressant medication.
Taking the first step towards managing your stress can be daunting, especially when you are already overwhelmed but just focus on one thing at a time. Find one exercise class, or make an appointment to see your doctor, or make a date to take a walk, or book a massage. The positive benefits of taking the first step to managing your stress levels can already make a huge difference in improving your health and quality of life.