Did you know that headaches affect over 1 billion people worldwide? Recent statistics show that 1 out of 4 people will get a headache in a given year. That's huge! Headaches are the third most common cause of chronic pain worldwide, right behind back pain and neck pain.
When you get a headache, do you ever wonder why? Headaches are often caused by stress, but not always. It is important to know the reason for headaches to get proper treatment. Our Manhattan pain management specialist can help you get an accurate diagnosis. So let's break it down a bit further and look at how people are getting headaches in the first place.
Headaches have many causes
Headaches are the most common type of pain and can present with a variety of symptoms. They can cause mild to severe pain, and they're not just a minor inconvenience — they can also have a big impact on your day-to-day life. The pain can be pulsing or throbbing. It can affect one side of your head or both sides. Headaches can also be intermittent or steady and may last from minutes to days. And different types of headaches can be caused by a range of factors.
Did you know that allergies can actually trigger headaches? Even the mildest of allergies can trigger headaches. This is especially true if the pressure in your sinuses increases while you're also suffering from a cold.
You should be careful, too, if you suffer from migraines and allergies because they can trigger migraines. It might seem counterintuitive that something like a runny nose can potentially cause headaches when the clear solution is to just wipe away the mucus. The problem is that when you do so, it will likely lead to nasal congestion. That's because trouble breathing through your nose is often caused by swelling of the membranes inside the nasal cavity, which in turn causes them to stick together, making breathing difficult.
You should consult a pain specialist in Manhattan if your headache doesn't go away after two days or if it gets worse and more frequent.
2. Stress and tension
There are a few things in life that almost everyone hates, and headaches are definitely on that list. They're totally unpredictable and can be debilitating. They last for hours on end, and they make you extremely uncomfortable and irritable. Although there are other causes, stress is the number one cause of headaches and is by far the largest.
Stress and headaches share a relationship. As stress, anxiety, and worry all build over time, so does a headache. Stress can be caused by many factors in your life: work troubles, frustrating situations you face with others, or maybe even by an issue at home. These sources of stress can affect your emotional state as well as your physical state. Even if the cause of your stress is small, it is important to learn how to manage stress since it can have an effect on your health.
Stress triggers the release of adrenaline, which increases blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. The result is a temporary boost in energy and a jolt in your brain activity that can feel like a caffeine high. But this adrenaline rush doesn't last forever, which is why people often feel exhausted and drained after a stressful event or situation has passed. As the adrenaline wears off, the body starts producing less dopamine, causing feelings of anxiety and irritability. This drop in dopamine levels can also cause headaches in some people because the neurotransmitters involved in transmitting pain signals to the brain become overactive.
If you have chronic headaches or migraine attacks, it may be helpful to see a pain specialist to help develop an individualized treatment plan. In addition, a pain specialist can help reduce stress by providing education about the problem and finding ways to control the pain. [Suggested article: How To Manage Stress For Chronic Pain Sufferers]
You may be surprised to learn that you can get a headache from being dehydrated. Contrary to popular belief, headaches are not always caused by stress or eyestrain. It's true that some headaches can be caused by a variety of factors, but dehydration is also one of those factors. Unfortunately, it's easy to mistake the symptoms of dehydration for the symptoms of a different ailment, which makes it all the more important to understand how your body reacts to dehydration and what steps you can take to prevent it.
When your body is in a state of dehydration, and the tissues of your body are dehydrated, it's much easier for them to misbehave. When the cells within your brain are dehydrated, they have a more challenging time getting the nutrients they need to function properly. The membranes surrounding these cells also have trouble holding onto their fluid and transporting necessary chemicals from place to place. Dehydrated brain cells can't absorb nutrients, which means that they're more prone to damage from free radicals that come from stress and polluted environments, as well as changes in blood flow and oxygenation.
4. Poor posture
People get headaches for different reasons. Some are stronger than others. But there are certain things that can trigger headaches, even when people don't think they will.
People get headaches for a number of reasons, but they can be a result of poor posture. When we stand or sit up straight with good alignment, our bodies rest easily on top of our strong skeletal structure. But when we slouch and slump, there's a lot more pressure exerted on our joints and nerves. As a result, the muscles work harder just to support us, and our bodies are under much more strain. Eventually, the muscles around those joints tighten up and become sore. This can cause tension headaches that feel like a tightness or pressure around the crown of the head, behind the eyes, or in the neck and shoulders.
5. Sleep deprivation
We all know that being tired can make us feel miserable. And, we've all had those days when we could swear our brains were leaking out of our eyeballs. But the physical and mental effects of sleep deprivation are much more widespread than we realize. Sleep-deprived people suffer from headaches, trouble thinking clearly and making decisions, changes in their moods, forgetfulness, confusion, and forgetfulness, among other things. While some of these symptoms are mild enough to go unnoticed or be brushed off as that one time we just didn't get enough sleep, they may actually be a result of long-term sleep deprivation.
The problem is that even though you may be aware that lack of sleep can make you feel groggy and cranky, most people don't seem to appreciate that it can also profoundly affect their health.
A study showed that people who slept less than six hours per night were at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke than those who got more sleep. On top of this, studies show that people who sleep less than six hours per night have a higher incidence of depression and other mood disorders.
6. Lack of physical activity
People who don't exercise regularly are more likely to have headaches than people who do exercise regularly. A lack of physical activity can lead to headaches because it causes the muscles in the body to become stiff and tense. This increases the risk of headaches by making it more difficult for blood vessels to expand and contract as needed.
Exercise helps your body maintain the proper flow of blood throughout your body and can prevent headaches from occurring in the first place. A physical therapist can help you create an exercise program to treat your headaches. They have the necessary training and expertise to help you find relief from your headaches in as little as one session—and unlike over-the-counter medications, they won't leave you with side effects that can make matters worse.
Consult A Manhattan Pain Management Specialist
There are many ways to get headaches. Some of them I've already mentioned above. Remember that a headache is not a disease but rather a symptom of something. When you have a headache, you may want to find any and all methods to either get rid of the headache or prevent it from happening again. You're probably here because you've had headaches before. And you've probably Googled around and found answers like "drink water" or "take an aspirin." That's all well and good, but after all is said and done, you still have a headache, and over-the-counter pain medications can aggravate the pain further.
But if you still experience headaches on a regular basis — especially if other symptoms accompany them, it's important to see a trained professional for an exam and diagnosis. You can find the right treatment for headaches by understanding the root cause. A pain specialist have the expertise necessary to figure out what's causing your headaches and how best to treat them.
There are pain management techniques that can help relieve headache pain by reducing stress and anxiety levels. These techniques also promote better blood flow to the brain and help prevent future headaches.
You should trust your healthcare provider and follow up their advice or recommended treatment without fail. Also, getting adequate rest, exercising, and getting enough water will help avoid headaches.
There are many reasons why a person can get a headache. So next time you experience this problem, think back to this post and see if one of the causes above was responsible. If your headache is caused by something else, then be sure to see a Manhattan pain management specialist.