About 90% of all headaches are classified as muscle contraction, more commonly known as ‘tension headaches’. These are the headaches most of us blame on work, bills, and arguments. The pain is typically all over the head. You may feel a dull ache or sense of tightness, and it mostly feels like a tight steel band is wrapped around your head. Not everyone under stress gets headaches, but millions of people get them time and time again. For them, headaches are a chronic problem.
Migraines have an even uglier reputation than tension headaches. Migraines are part of the vascular headache family and most often strike women. About 70% of migraine sufferers are female. Migraines can be crippling, so much so that migraine sufferers lose millions of workdays each year.
Usually, migraines bring severe, throbbing pain to either one side or both sides of the head. This is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. It can even cause blurred vision and numbness in the limbs.
Trying To Prevent Them
I myself have suffered for years with tension headaches, so now I try to head them off before they start. Here are a few tips:
Medication – Take It Now.
As soon as I feel a tension headache coming on, I take a small dose of medication. It’s no use using just a painkiller, you need something that will relax your muscles as well. After all, it’s the tight muscles that are causing the pain in the first place, so it makes sense to relax them. If you know what kind of headache you have, your local pharmacy will be able to advise you on the right medication.
Exercise and has helped me a great deal. Exercise helps you to release stress, so regular exercise and stretching will be real of real benefit. If however, you’ve got a severe headache, don’t exercise, relaxation is what you need.
Many people sleep a headache off, but too much sleep can actually cause a headache, so don’t overdo it. I little nap should be all you need to get rid of a headache.
Peace And Quiet.
Excessive noise is a common trigger for tension headaches, so try to find a quiet place where you can sit and relax. Practice some deep breathing exercises at least three or four times a day, you’ll feel better for it.
Protect Your Eyes.
Bright light can cause a headache. Whether it’s from the sun, television, or a computer screen, it leads to eye-strain which can then lead to a headache. So, protect your eyes whenever possible, and cut down on screen watching if you can.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake.
If you’re a heavy coffee or tea drinker, then try to cut down, the general opinion is that caffeine can be a cause of headaches in certain people.
Don’t Chew Gum.
The repetitive chewing motion can tighten muscles in the head especially around the jaw and bring on a tension headache.
Cut Down The Salt
A high intake of salt can trigger migraines in some people.
Foods To Avoid.
Food affects everyone differently. Here are some foods that can cause headaches for some:
Hot dog & mustard – Contains nitrates which dilates blood vessels, this can lead to head pain.
Chocolate – Contains tyramine, a chief suspect in causing headaches.
Nuts & Cheese – These also contain tyramine.
Drinking & Smoking. We all know the problems we get with these two, don’t we? If you can’t stop either, then cut down. Not only will your health improve, but you’ll also save a lot of lovely cash as well.
Have A Sense Of Humor.
We all take life too seriously, and we put ourselves under a lot of unnecessary pressure. The stresses of modern life will take its toll eventually, so lighten up and have some fun before you finish up a wreck!
As a chronic headache sufferer myself, I’ve finally been able to change my lifestyle and keep my headaches under control. Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of problems.