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Stress Headache Symptoms

Stress headache symptoms are underlined by a mild to moderate pain with a generally diffuse nature akin to a tight band around the head. These symptoms are closely associated with the tightening of the muscles in the head, neck and upper back, which are caused by triggers like stress, anxiety and even depression.

Why the necessity for acquiring information about the triggers and symptoms for stress or tension headaches? Knowledge is power and with power comes the opportunity for better management of tension headaches including better avoidance of the triggers and better pain alleviation. Here then are the most important symptoms of stress headaches as well as their possible triggers.

Triggers for Tension Headaches

What exactly brings on stress headache symptoms? Although tension headaches are the most common type of headaches, its exact causes are still unknown; but scientists agree that the following are the most commonly reported triggers:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

These mental states have been shown to either start or worsen the symptoms of stress headaches in many ways. Anxiety, for example, makes tension headaches worse by increasing muscle tension in the neck, head and upper back; by flooding the body with adrenaline and other stress chemicals; and by lessening the pain threshold, among other effects.

Studies have also shown that women are more likely to suffer from frequent bouts of tension headaches apparently because of their role-juggling pressures. Also, researchers have discovered that tension headaches are more likely to occur with small, everyday irritations than with major upheavals like divorce and job loss.

The bottom line: If you want to avoid the stress headache symptoms, then you must avoid – or at the very least, lessen –the intensity, duration and frequency of your stress, anxiety and depression episodes.

Common Symptoms of Stress Headaches

What then are these symptoms?

  • Dull, aching pain in the head that most affected individuals describe as a tight band around the head
  • Sensation of pressure across the forehead and/or the sides and back of the head
  • Tenderness on the neck and shoulder muscles as well as the scalp

Many affected individuals also report secondary stress headache symptoms including poking sensations in the eyebrow area and tautness from the head to the neck area.

The onset as well as intensity, duration and frequency of these symptoms will vary from one individual to the next as well as within an individual himself. For example, you may experience just an hour of tension headache today but several hours of pain tomorrow.

As with any health issue, appropriate medical attention is a must for tension headaches especially when these considerably disrupt everyday life or when anti-headache medications are necessary for more than 2 times a week.

Emergency medical attention is strongly recommended when the headaches become sudden and severe in nature, or when these are accompanied by fever, mental confusion, and weakness, or when these are the result of a possible head injury. Being too careful when it comes to your health is not ridiculous especially where your head is concerned considering that frequent headaches may be the symptom of an underlying serious health issue like brain tumors.

So, don’t dismiss your stress headache symptoms as being nothing because it may well be something serious!

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