An Overview of Migraine and Tension Headaches

Most people have occasional headaches, but chronic head pain can be disabling and affect your quality of life. There are many different types of  headaches, and just as many causes. However, tension headaches are the most common type of headaches, while migraines are one of the most severe. Any level of pain can be distracting, but dealing with severe headaches can affect concentration, and inhibit the ability to perform simple, daily tasks.

Tension headaches affect women more often than men. They are typically characterized by mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head. The pain may be accompanied by a pressing or tightening sensation. The skull may be tender, and the tenderness may extend to the neck and shoulders. Symptoms may also include fatigue, irritability and difficulty sleeping. If you suffer from tension headaches you may notice the pain worsens with the  frequency of the headaches. Tension headaches are often caused by poor posture, muscle tension, stress, anxiety or depression. Injuries or health conditions related to the neck or spine can also result in tension headaches.

Most people treat their headaches with over-the-counter pain relievers. However, it is important to see a physician if you experience two or more headaches per week, or if the pain worsens. Your doctor may offer alternative therapies and preventive measures. Practicing good posture can help eliminate tension headaches. Try to reduce your stress levels by engaging in restful activities like meditation or taking a walk. Get plenty of rest and take a nap when possible. A good massage can work wonders for alleviating tension. Treat yourself to a spa day.

Migraines are known as unilateral headaches, meaning that they primarily affect one side of the head. Migraines can last from a couple of hours to a few days, and leave a person feeling completely debilitated.

People that suffer from migraines often experience a warning known as an aura, prior to the onset of the headache. The aura consists of seeing spots, lights or other visual cues A migraine headache usually results in pain on one side of the head, although it can occur on both sides. The pain is usually  concentrated around the eye or temple area, and may be moderate to severe. The pain normally intensifies with physical activity. Pain may develop in the neck also. Migraines are characterized by a throbbing sensation, as well as sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines may also be accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting or chills.

The exact cause of migraines is unknown. There are several possible factors that may play a role in the development of migraines. Researchers believe that heredity, hormonal changes and chemical imbalances may trigger migraine headaches. Food, stress and environmental factors may also be triggers.

There is no cure for migraines. The headaches are typically treated with pain medication. If you suffer from chronic migraines, you should see your  physician to rule out any underlying physical causes Try to relax and reduce your exposure to stressful situations as much as possible. Get adequate  sleep, good exercise and engage in relaxing activities.

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