Nothing stops you in your tracks more than a headache, especially a tension headache. It can derail your entire day completely overwhelming you. Fortunately, there are tension headache symptoms you can look for and some ways you can relieve them naturally.
What Is A Tension Headache?
Headaches like this are the most common type out there and they can come out of the blue. There are different tension headache symptoms but it is most recognizable by that pinching sensation by the forehead and temples.
This type of headache is going to be different than a migraine in that the intensity of it will be more moderate. When the pain becomes more severe, you’re now looking more at a migraine.
With a tension headache, they can last as little as 30 minutes and up to seven days. It won’t have any associated nausea or vomiting and at the very least is just extremely aggravating. It makes daily tasks more unbearable and makes you want to throw the towel in on the rest of the day.
What Are The Causes Of A Tension Headache?
It can be hard to pinpoint the cause of them and there are thought to be connections to anxiety and stress. It seems logical to think that the cause of the headache comes from your head, but that’s really not the case.
It helps to keep an eye on different conditions in your body that may be the cause of this type of headache. If you suffer from bad sinus conditions that may be a cause. Hormonal fluctuations can also play a role in getting them too.
There’s the obvious hangover issue that may cause them, but you should be aware of other possible causes such as having recently cut out caffeine and the withdrawal from that. Gallbladders, poor diet, and strains in the neck can cause headaches.
A lack of sleep is a big cause of headaches and so is dehydration. There are many factors that can be involved and the main thing is you need to know of your history as it pertains to tension headaches. It helps to make note of what you were doing when one hits as this will help to give you more information and you’ll hopefully be able to narrow down the cause.
The next question is: How do you recognize tension headache symptoms? Here are seven things to look out for.
1. Inconsistent Pain
The pain won’t always be consistent when these types of headaches strike. It can vary from different severities and you won’t know exactly how long the various pain levels will last.
2. Changing Pain
The main pain from headaches like this will obviously be in the head around the forehead and temples. But one of the symptoms of a tension headache is pain that you start to feel around the eyebrows. The pain of the headache may spread from the whole head to the back of the neck.
3. Various Pain Sensations
This depends on if you experience mild or moderate pain from a tension headache. It may feel like a headband that is surrounding your head or like you’re wearing a cap. For some people, the pain symptoms will feel more like muscle tension especially in the neck or into the shoulder region.
One of the consistent descriptions with them is that of the feeling of pressure. This is one of the most recognizable symptoms and it may feel constant but have the unmistakable sensation of pressure.
5. It Slowly Progresses
When you get these types of headaches, you won’t get the full effects of the pain right away. It will slowly build up and start out pretty mild, to begin with. The pain gradually comes on but will start to escalate.
It’s important to remember that it won’t be incapacitating as that is more in the migraine stages. A tension headache is unpleasant but you can still go about your day with one.
6. Issues with Light and Sound
This will not be the condition of flashing light experienced by a migraine but more to do with the sensitivity to it. When a headache strikes, you may find yourself more sensitive to bright lights and even sound can be a symptom of one.
If you’re suffering from headaches, and not wanting to use medications, you may wonder how you can relieve them naturally.
Here are 7 natural remedies you try for your headache.
1. Drink Water
More often than not insufficient water may cause a tension headache. Dehydration can happen pretty easily and along with it come headaches. Along with that water is critical for things like digestion, absorption, transport of nutrients, body temperature regulation, and cognitive function.
To make sure you’re drinking the adequate amount you want to drink half your weight (in lbs) in ounces of water each day.
Magnesium is probably the number one mineral you’re not getting enough of. Most people aren’t in fact as neglecting real whole foods such as dark leafy greens will leave you deficiency in it. Magnesium is a crucial mineral and involved with over 300 different functions in the body.
It’s also seen to be a natural, and safe remedy for headaches. They have seen 600 mg of magnesium to reduce the frequency, and intensity, of them. Magnesium will also help relax your body and improve sleep so it’s a great natural remedy.
3. Get Enough Sleep
We mentioned this earlier as one cause of headaches and getting more sleep can be a natural remedy for them. When you don’t get enough sleep, you can raise your body’s stress hormone levels and this can contribute to those headaches.
People who get less than 6 hours of sleep often report an occurrence of headaches and you want to aim for the sweet spot between seven and nine hours each night.
4. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils have many therapeutic benefits and common use is as a natural headache remedy. Lavender and peppermint are two of the best choices when it comes to treating one naturally. Applying some to your temples is the best way to use them and lavender can also help relax you and lead to better sleep.
5. Use Cold
This is a classic natural headache treatment and for good reason. When you apply a cold compress or ice pack to your head or neck area, you will decrease the inflammation there. This will also constrict your blood vessels and slow nerve conduction and this can help rid you of your headache.
If you’re using something frozen, don’t put it directly on your skin but wrap it in a towel and use it on your head, neck, or temples.
6. Try Caffeine
If you’re coming off of caffeine that may be one of the causes of your headache as we mentioned before. But if this isn’t the case, some caffeine may be a good natural way to relieve you of your symptoms.
Caffeine also constricts blood vessels and at the very least will boost your mood if you’re feeling miserable from a tension headache. Try using some fresh-brewed coffee or organic green tea to get a natural caffeine dosage.
Yoga is one of the most ancient ways to reduce stress and pain in the body and this includes headaches. Starting yoga may also reduce the occurrence and severity if you experience them. People who practice yoga regularly have significant reductions in headache frequency and the associated symptoms compared to those who do not do yoga.
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