Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stress Headaches

By Owen Jones

I know we all realize what stress is like and how we behave during a stressful period. Some people can cope excellently with the pressures that problems bring with them. Other people become overwhelmed by the tremendous pressure that they are experiencing. In some individuals this pressure manifests itself in the form of stress headaches.

Stress headaches are primarily caused by excessive amounts of stressful situations; ie more than an individual would usually find themselves in. The ability to deal with these obstacles fades gradually, and so stress begins to take its toll on them and a stress headache can develop.

In other cases, having other kinds of headache can result in stress headaches just because we need to cope with the headache and get on with our daily life. As the pain from the headache seems to take over our life, we start to feel stressed and unable to cope. All of these headaches (including stress headaches) can be treated safely and, in some cases, prevented from occurring again with the correct medicine.

There are other methods of coping with stress headaches besides using medication. These methods include cognitive therapy, behavioural therapy and physical therapy.

Cognitive therapy seeks to 'redirect' a stress headache. In this method, the patient is taught to realize what triggers the stress symptoms and how they can alter their response to these conditions.

Behavioural therapy is the another method of curing a stress headache. When people become overwhelmed by a particular situation, they try coping with their headache by consuming medication, alcohol, over-the-counter tranquilizers, pain medications and some people also take illicit drugs. As taking these substances will only offer short-time relief, it is better to provide the tools to build a healthy lifestyle, which can help that person to cope better with their stress headaches.

Physical therapy attempts using biofeedback response. People experiencing stress headaches learn to recognize and reduce the amount of physical tension in their body. The techniques that are recommended for this method are muscle relaxation, deep breathing, yoga and other self-relaxing techniques. It is possible to see what effect these measures have on sufferers of stress headaches, as these techniques relax and calm the body.

The various methods of therapy that were discussed above are all interrelated. However, using all three of these therapies, including headache medication, will afford the sufferer a type of relief that will help them for the rest of their lives and not just the short period when they are experiencing a stress headache.

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