Probably we all have suffered from headaches, not a pleasing feeling for sure, but most of us are not aware that there are different types of headaches which are caused by various reasons. Headaches in general are described as a pain in the head or facial area and can be classified as primary headaches or secondary headaches.
In this blog we will focus on Stress Headaches, which are a type of the primary headaches. So here is what you should know about it.
But before getting into what Stress Headaches are and its causes, we have to first understand what primary headaches are; They are, as the Stanford Health Care Organization says, when the headache itself is the main problem and it’s not a symptom of an underlying disease or condition, as it is in secondary headaches.
There are four principal types of primary headaches:
- Migraine Headache
- Hypnic Headache
- Cluster Headache, and
- Tension Headache
Stress Headaches, also known as Tension Headaches, are the second most common ones. They are characterized for being referred to as a “thigh band around the head” or a “hatband”, this because the pain is usually located at the back of the head, across the forehead and the temples and a tightness sensation is perceived. The pain is described as a pressure like feeling, it is dull and can be mild or moderate, but not severe. And sometimes it even involves tenderness in the neck and shoulders.
Stress Headaches normally do not cause other symptoms such as nausea and are not considered as dangerous, although they are indeed quite uncomfortable and can last from hours to even days. They are divided into two types: Episodic tension-type, and Chronic tension type.
Two Types Of Stress Headaches
Episodic tension-type headaches:
The headaches have place less than 15 days per month and last from 30 minutes to one week.
Chronic tension-type headaches:
The headaches occur 15 or more days per month, this for more than 3 months.
Now that we know what stress headaches are let’s take a look at which are its causes and how they can be improved.
Causes of Stress Headaches
The main cause of Stress Headaches are the tension or contraction of the neck and scalp muscles, which can be a consequence of stress, anxiety, depression and even head injuries. Many activities that involve keeping the head in just one position for a prolonged period of time can also be a cause of stress headaches, activities such as working in a computer and handcrafts that requires you to be in one position for a long time.
There are other many things that trigger Stress Headaches, including sleeping in an uncomfortable position or in a cold room. Here are 5 other causes of it:
- Use of alcohol
- Jaw clenching
- Teeth grinding
- Physical and/or emotional stress
This type of headaches can occur at every stage of life and age, but are more common in teens and adults.
How Massage Therapy can Help with Stress Headaches
We have shown in some of our other blogs, that you can read here. And specially as you can see in our What Is Massage Therapy And Its Benefits blog, Massage Therapy helps you: improving and increasing blood flow, reducing stress and inflamed tissue, which can reduce and even eliminate the muscular tension that was generated and that is the cause of the Stress Headache.
That is why Massage Therapy is considered as an excellent and one of the most effective ways, which sometimes is even seen as effective as a pain killer, to reduce and relieve Stress Headaches.