Friday, June 24, 2022
HomeHow To Help Tension Migraines

How To Help Tension Migraines

Acute Treatment For Cluster Headaches

How to Relieve Tension Headaches

Given the severity and also the relative brevity of cluster headaches, acute treatments need to work quickly to relieve the pain and suffering caused by them. According to neurologist and headache expert and researcher Peter J. Goadsby, MBBS, writing for the American Headache Society, effective acute treatments for cluster headaches include:

  • Inhaled oxygen
  • Injected dihydroergotamine
  • Topical lidocaine nasal drops

Another option, the drug Emgality , was approved in 2019 to treat cluster headaches, becoming the only drug specifically approved for this type of headache. Its also approved for the prevention of migraine attacks.

When used to treat cluster headaches, Emgality is self-administered using three, 100-milligram prefilled syringes, which are taken one after the other at the start of a cluster period and then every month until the end of the cluster period.

Emgality belongs to a class of drugs known as calcitonin gene-related peptide antibodies. Drugs in this class are either targeted against CGRP receptors or against CGRP itself.

Causes Of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are caused by muscle contractions in the head and neck regions.

These types of contractions can be caused by a variety of

  • foods
  • activities
  • stressors

Some people develop tension headaches after staring at a computer screen for a long time or after driving for long periods. Cold temperatures may also trigger a tension headache.

Other triggers of tension headaches include:

How Long Does A Tension

That depends. A tension-type headache may last for 30 minutes or months. In general, episodic tension headache symptoms tend to come on slowly and end sooner. They often happen in the middle of the day. Episodic headaches usually dont last longer than a week.

People with chronic tension-type headaches can have symptoms that last for months at a time. Pain may stay at the same level of discomfort for days. While uncommon, these headaches can take a toll on your quality of life.

Read Also: Tylenol Dizziness

Rest In A Dark Quiet Room

Stress is one of the main causes of headaches. Relieving tense muscles may help calm tension headaches, the most common type of headache. If you have one, you may also feel extra sensitive to light and sound. Rest or sit in a dimly lit room. Close your eyes and try to relax your back, neck, and shoulders.

Take Pain Relievers When Necessary

Does Caffeine Help Headaches

Depending on the severity of her headache, Begeti will take over-the-counter pain medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen. However, be sure to keep track of the amount of pain relievers you take: Begeti noted that she limits her monthly intake of over-the-counter pain medication to under 10 days a month to avoid medication-overuse headaches.

If you are experiencing more severe pain or symptoms, it may be worth a trip to the neurologist to see if you could benefit from prescription medication.

I get migraine attacks and will take a triptan an as-needed migraine pain medication and a nausea medication when I feel an episode coming on, Lopez said.

Read Also: Indomethacin For Migraine

Can I Treat A Tension

Absolutely. While medication may be helpful, its not a substitute for coping with stressors that may cause your headaches.

Other tension-type headache treatment options include:

  • Home remedies, like placing a hot or cold compress where it hurts, may help you feel better.
  • Counseling can help you identify whats causing your headaches and learn useful coping methods.
  • Relaxation training includes deep breathing exercises and listening to soothing music. These methods can relax your muscles and relieve pain.
  • Biofeedback uses sensors connected to your body to monitor and then counteract your bodys physical functions. It teaches you ways to manage stress by identifying and then reducing muscle tension. Biofeedback may relieve or prevent headaches.

What Is Chronic Tension Headache And Who Is Affected By It

Chronic tension headache is a condition where you have a tension headache on at least 15 days every month for at least three months.This can be tiring and depressing. Tension headache is the common type of headache that most people have at some time.

It’s not known exactly how common chronic tension headache is, as few studies have looked at this clearly. Some studies have estimated that around 1 in 30 of all adults have chronic tension headaches – which means they have a headache on more than half of all days for three months or more. However, it is possible that a proportion of these patients actually have developed medication-overuse headaches as a result of their tension headaches. Therefore, it can be difficult to be certain which is their main problem.

Chronic means persistent it does not mean severe. The severity of the headaches can vary from mild to severe. Because of the persistent nature of the headaches, however, this condition is often quite disabling and distressing, and most patients take preventative medication.

You May Like: Migraine Pill Names

Use Meds In Moderation

Pharmacy shelves are stocked with pain relievers for all kinds of headaches. To get the most benefit with the least risk, follow the directions on the label and these guidelines:

  • Choose liquid over pills. Your body absorbs it faster.
  • Avoid ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if you have heart failure or kidney failure.
  • Do not give aspirin to a child under age 18.
  • Take painkillers as soon as you start to hurt. Youâll probably beat it with a smaller dose than if you wait.
  • If you get sick to your stomach when you get a headache, ask your doctor what might help.
  • Ask your doctor what to take to avoid a rebound headache, which is pain that sets in after a few days of pain relievers.

And be sure to talk to your doctor about what headache symptoms you should not treat at home.

Ways To Manage Tension Headaches

Wellness 101 Show – How to Stop Tension Headaches

To prevent or to ease tension headaches, Dr. Bang recommends the following:

  • Minimize stress: Try to avoid or limit stressful events.
  • Take breaks: Limit the time you spend looking down at your phone. Take breaks on long drives.
  • Adjust the way you sleep: Try sleeping on your back or on your side with a body pillow and your neck in neutral posture.
  • Exercise and stretch: Use a therapy cane or a hard therapy ball to massage out or stretch your neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Use over-the-counter medicines: Aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be quite effective for episodic tension headaches.
  • Consider drug-free treatment: Try massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy or acupuncture.
  • See a dentist: If youre clenching your jaw and getting headaches, look for a dentist knowledgeable about temporomandibular joint syndrome. The right mouth guard can really help, says Dr. Bang.
  • Dr. Bang points out that the good thing about drug-free treatments is that any side effects go away on their own.

    What about rubbing your temples when a tension headaches starts to build does it help? Muscle tension varies, so rubbing on your temples may not bring relief, says Dr. Bang. But rubbing on the tender spots, or trigger points, in your neck and shoulder muscles can help.

    If tension headaches dont go away after trying these suggestions, it may be time to look at the psychological stress in your life, he notes.

    Also Check: Numb Tongue Migraine

    How Common Are Tension Headaches

    People dont always see their doctor for a tension headache, which makes exact numbers hard to predict. Researchers estimate that as many as 2 in 3 adults in the U.S. get tension headaches.

    Chronic tension headaches are much less common. They affect an estimated 3% of adults. Women get tension headaches more often than men.

    How Can I Prevent Tension Headaches

    Researchers have yet to uncover how to prevent all headaches. If you experience chronic tension-type headaches or frequent tension-type headaches certain medications may stop some headaches before they start. These are antidepressants such as amitriptyline or venlafaxine or duloxetine. These work on the pain centers in the brain.

    Overall, lifestyle changes and reducing your response to stress is the best way to prevent tension headaches. The most effective stress management tool is the one that fits into your life and you feel good using. You may want to try:

    • Massage therapy.

    You May Like: What Happens If You Take Sumatriptan Without A Migraine

    Improve Your Sleeping Habits

    Both too much and too little sleep can be headache triggers.

    In some cases, altering sleep or wake times can also trigger headaches.

    This is because sleep, mood, and headaches are controlled by common regions in your brain, and they use similar chemical brain messengers.

    Sleep-related headaches often occur at the same time of day, most often in the morning.

    You can help improve your sleep habits by going to bed and waking up at the same time daily, getting 7-8 hours of sleep, avoiding caffeine, and doing relaxing activities or meditating at bedtime.

    Can Exercise Or Diet Help Lessen Them

    Stop The Headache Fast And Efficiently With This ...

    Many of the symptoms of tension headaches are caused by poor lifestyle habits. Stressful jobs, poor diet, not enough sleep, and sedentary work environments all negatively contribute to produce these tension headaches.

    The good news is, to relieve many cases of tension headaches all it takes is a new routine and regime with an incorporated healthy diet and exercise. These can include:

    • Eating regular balanced healthy meals
    • Weightlifting
    • Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption
    • Limit your Processed Food Intake
    • Planned Daily Routines

    You May Like: Do You Take Advil For Headaches

    Nonmedication Therapies For Headache

    Although medication is the most commonly used treatment for chronic tension-type headache, a number of other methods have some evidence of efficacy. No large trials with well-designed methodologies have been conducted for most nonmedication therapies reports of beneficial effects need to be tempered by the high rates of placebo effects for pain treatment.

    The most frequently used nonmedication treatments for headache are biofeedback, relaxation training, self-hypnosis, and cognitive therapy. One study31 showed improvement in 39 percent of 94 patients with headache using relaxation training alone. Adding biofeedback increased the portion of patients experiencing improvement to 56 percent.31 One small, long-term study32 of relaxation and EMG biofeedback showed that improvement was maintained at five years’ follow-up.

    Numerous small studies have investigated cognitive psychotherapy alone and in combination with other behavioral treatment for chronic tension-type headache. Among these trials, at least 50 percent of patients had reduced symptoms when treated with progressive relaxation, cognitive therapy, or a combination of the two.33 This study33 compared patients who self-administered treatments at home with patients receiving therapy in the office and noted a trend toward greater symptom reduction in patients receiving in-office treatment however, this difference was not statistically significant.

    Read the full article.

    Improve Your Posture To Improve Your Alignment

    Finally, you need to think about improving your posture. Poor alignment does lead to headaches since it affects the muscles in the neck and back. When you stand up with good posture, youll find that your neck and shoulders relieve some of the tension that you wouldnt likely have realized they hold.

    This isnt always easy. You may find that you need to have your spine realigned by a professional, even when you do fix your posture. But start with working on your posture first.

    As mentioned, yoga is a good way to do this. Your yoga instructor will explain how you can pull your shoulders back and sit with your head up slightly to look straight forward. When youre standing, you should make sure your shoulders sit back with the spine completely straight.

    Sitting is when most people experience poor posture. Too many of us slouch into the chairs, rather than sitting with the back arched naturally. You can get back supports that keep that natural arch there, supporting it, so your muscles in your back dont get tired.

    We also have a habit of sitting with our legs cross. You should keep both feet firm on the floor and the shoulders back. Sit with the computer screen at the natural eye level, so you dont have to look down and put tension in your neck.

    At the end of the day, roll your neck gently to ease off the muscles. This will help you improve your ability to sleep on a night.

    Read Also: Naprosyn For Migraine

    Get An Ergonomic Desk

    If you work a desk job, adjustments to your workspace can help prevent tension headaches.

    An ergonomic seating device can help support the upper and lower back, and help maintain proper posture.

    A stand-up desk can also prevent poking chin posture, which compresses the cervical spine and irritates surrounding structures, contributing to headaches.

    Staring at your computer screen too long can cause headaches, so take breaks to rest your eyes.

    In addition, reduce excessively bright lighting and minimize glare.

    Replace your old CRT monitor with an LCD monitor, which is easier on the eyes because they have an anti-reflective surface.

    Managing Tension Headaches At Home

    3 Ways to Relieve Tension Headaches

    A tension headache is pain or discomfort in your head, scalp, or neck. Tension headache is a common type of headache. It can occur at any age, but it is most common in teens and adults.

    A tension headache occurs when neck and scalp muscles become tense, or contract. The muscle contractions can be a response to stress, depression, a head injury, or anxiety.

    Also Check: Tylenol Or Advil For Migraine

    Tips To Stop Tension Headaches

    Many of us suffer tension headaches. Theyre often brushed off by doctors, who tell us that we need to limit the amount of stress that we feel. If only the actual ability to stop the stress was as simple as telling ourselves that.

    Tension headaches can also be known as stress headaches, and people are suffering them describe pain that is on both sides of the head with sometimes stiffness in the neck. Most of the time the headaches will disappear within a couple of hours. Some people just have a blast of pain for a couple of minutes.

    While these headaches dont usually stop you from doing everyday activities, theyre annoying. They can also be depressing if they happen often enough. Why should you just have to put up with pain on a daily basis because of the tension in your body? Doctors will prescribe mild painkillers, but thats about it.

    So its time to stop the tension headaches yourself. Here are seven top tips that will help you add more peace in your life, relax your muscles, and get rid of the pain. Unfortunately, the tips arent going to work overnight. The aim is to reduce the amount of stress that you feel throughout the day to help relax the muscles. However, were more helpful than the doctor who says just reduce your stress and the headaches will go!

    How Is A Mixed Tension Migraine Diagnosed

    There is no test for mixed tension migraine. Your doctor can form a diagnosis based on your symptoms and by ruling out other causes of your symptoms.

    If youre experiencing symptoms of a mixed tension migraine, your doctor will begin by taking your health history. Theyll ask you about your symptoms, including where you feel the pain, what the pain feels like, and how often the headaches occur.

    Your doctor will also ask you about your familys history with headaches. This is because migraines may have a genetic link. Most people who experience migraines have a family member who also experiences migraines.

    Your doctor may perform a neurological exam to rule out neuropathy and neurological disorders that can cause similar symptoms. During this exam, your doctor will test your reflexes and muscle tone. Theyll also test your response to different kinds of stimuli like light touch, temperature, and vibration. The results will tell your doctor if your nervous system is functioning normally.

    Your doctor may order a CT scan or MRI scan of your head and neck. These tests will provide your doctor with an image of your brain and brain stem to see if your symptoms are being caused by a problem in your brain.

    Your doctor may also order blood work to determine if underlying conditions are causing your headaches.

    Treatment options for mixed tension migraine can include treatments for both tension headaches and migraines. The treatment will depend on your symptoms.

    Recommended Reading: Imitrex Headache Medicine

    Some Things To Consider When Placing The Electrode Pads On Your Skin:

  • First wash the area of the skin where the pads will be placed. You can use a mild soap and water before applying electrodes, just make sure that you rinse the soap off and dry skin to remove any moisture.
  • If the area for the electrode pads has hair you can use some scissors to remove excess hair. It is not necessary to shave the area where the pads will be placed. .
  • Sometimes a skin problem can happen from the pulling stress from the sticky adhesive that the pads have. This can happen when the pads are overly stretched across the skin during use. To avoid this, apply the pads from center outward do not stretch the pads over the skin.
  • When it is time to the remove the pads, it is best to always remove by pulling in the direction of hair growth.
  • A good rule to follow is to NEVER apply pads over broken or irritated skin. After removing you can put some skin lotion on the area where the pad was.
  • Are There Ways To Prevent A Mixed Tension Migraine

    Pin on Help With Migraines

    Although the exact cause of migraines isnt understood, its clear that some things can trigger a migraine. Avoiding your headache triggers can help prevent mixed tension migraines.

    Try keeping a log of your headaches, what you ate or drank, and your surroundings before you felt a mixed tension migraine. Use this record to figure out what triggers your headaches.

    Common headache triggers include:

    • alcohol, especially beer and red wine
    • bright or flashing lights
    • particular foods or food additives like nitrates
    • not enough sleep or too much sleep
    • menstruation and other changes in hormone levels
    • overuse or withdrawal from certain medications

    Recommended Reading: Side Effects Of Migraine Medicine


    Popular Articles