Suffering from tension headaches can be tiresome, especially if you have headaches almost every day. Tension headaches are extremely common and can be caused by many things, but stress is one of the common causes of these types of headaches. If you have headaches all the time and have a lot of stress in your life, you may need to find ways to reduce your stress levels if you want to find relief from your headache pain.
How Does Stress Cause Headaches?
A tension headache is a type of headache that typically results from tightened muscles in the back and neck. Any activity you do that places a lot of stress on these muscles can result in developing tension headaches, but having stress in your life can also cause headaches and worsen the symptoms if you have tension headaches for other reasons.
Stress can lead to headaches for several reasons, but the primary reason involves the way your body reacts when you feel stressed. Each time you start feeling anxious, stressed, or worried, the muscles in your neck and back will naturally tighten. When you feel stressed, you may also clench your jaw, which can also lead to headaches. In addition, stress can interfere with sleeping, and your body might be more prone to headaches if you are not getting enough sleep. These effects are all natural responses your body has when the brain detects stress.
When your body reacts to stress by causing the muscles to tighten, headaches form for several reasons:
- Tightened muscles cause trigger points – When a muscle tightens, your brain produces chemicals which get trapped in the muscles. This results in trigger points, which are points on your body that will feel very tender.
- Nerve flow is restricted – When muscles tighten up, it can lead to a restriction of nerve flow. Nerves flow in between the individual bones in your spine. As the muscles tighten up, it stops the flow of nerves from your spinal cord to your brain. Your nerves are responsible for sending pain signals to the brain, but this is disrupted when the nervous system is restricted. If the brain doesn't receive these signals, it cannot properly respond to pain the body feels. This can result in more headache pain.
- Muscles compensate – When the muscles in your back and neck tighten, other muscles may begin working harder than they should to do the job of the tightened muscles. This too will lead to headaches.
How Can You Get Rid Of Tension Headaches?
If you believe your tension headaches are a result of the stress in your life, the best treatment option you have for eliminating the headaches is finding ways to control your stress. There are many ways to do this, but here are some of the options that may work best for you:
- Make changes in your life – If there are certain things in your life causing a lot of stress, change them if possible. For example, if your job is the main source of stress, look for a new one. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things in life you may not have control over, which means you will not be able to get rid of the things that are causing the stress.
- Practice meditation – Meditation, such as yoga, is something you can do to clear your mind of negative thoughts. It can make a difference with how you feel if you do it regularly.
- Visit a chiropractor – One of the best ways to treat stress and tension headaches is by visiting a chiropractic clinic. You can get massages there to help reduce the tightness in your muscles, and a chiropractor can adjust your back and neck to relieve the pressure. If these services help you with your headaches, you will start feeling better, and this too can be a good way to treat stress.
Stress is not healthy for you, and it can be a leading cause of headaches. If you would like to learn more about tension headaches and ways to relieve the stress in your life, visit a chiropractor today.