illustration of a man having headache

How to Recognize and Deal With the Stress-Related Headache

Stress is common in life, and there can be many causes for it. It can take a toll on both your mental and physical health, including causing headaches.

This article will describe why stress can cause headaches and how to identify if a headache is stress-related (vs. dehydration or migraine).

How do I Know if my Headache is From Stress?

There is a pattern to tension or stress headache symptoms. A stress headache is usually felt as a dull ache on the front, sides, and back of your head, that is mild to moderate in severity. The pain caused by these headaches is often compared to the feeling of wearing a headband. Stress headaches can also make your scalp, neck, and shoulders feel sore or tender. These headaches differ from migraines in that they are not usually set off by light, sound, or physical activity.

Stress headaches can be either episodic or chronic. Episodic stress headaches last for a short time and happen less than 15 days each month. Chronic stress headaches blend together and happen more than 15 days each month.

You should call your doctor if your headache worsens or you experience other symptoms such as vision problems, dizziness, or a stiff neck. Although stress headaches are very common, they may be caused by a more serious underlying condition.

There are a number of things you may do when you are feeling stressed that you may not even be aware of, but that may be contributing factors to your stress headaches.

You might tighten your neck and shoulders, and this muscle tension (which sometimes even extends to your scalp) can cause the severe compression feeling that is characteristic of a stress headache.

If you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, this can cause headaches as well.

Insomnia can bring on tension headaches and migraines.

Eating less or skipping meals when you are stressed can cause an imbalance in your blood sugar levels, and this may cause tension, headaches, and migraines.

Physical stress like poor posture or eye strain can also cause tension headaches.

How do You Relieve a Stress Headache?

Taking a break to do some deep breathing exercises or meditation may help your stress headache ease up.

Physical activity can relieve stress and anxiety that is causing your stress headaches. You can exercise during a stress headache without the exertion making your symptoms worse.

As much as you may be craving comfort food when you are feeling stressed, try to resist this urge. Staying well hydrated and eating healthy foods can relieve stress and headaches.

Becoming better organized might also help to relieve stress and make you less likely to experience stress headaches. Try making and keeping up with a to-do list, for example. This can help you keep track of the things you need to do and make you feel more accomplished as you check items off the list.

Not getting good quality sleep or not sleeping enough, in general, may be contributing to your heightened stress levels. Getting proper and adequate rest is important in order for your mind and body to function properly. Being tired can make you irritable and more likely to respond negatively to stressors in your life. Studies have shown that even just taking a 20-minute nap can help you feel more re-energized and ready to take on the rest of your day.

Talking to someone may help you let go of some of the burdens your problems are putting on you. Get in touch with a family member, friend, or therapist and vent away.

Believe it or not, even just smiling can help you feel less stressed out. This is because smiling causes endorphins to be released in your body, and these endorphins are known for their ability to reduce stress.

Another thing that can help treat the symptoms of stress headaches is over-the-counter pain medications. Since you do not need a prescription for them, you can rest assured that they are safe to take and are not habit-forming.

IV (intravenous) vitamin therapy can also help take away the symptoms of a stress headache. This treatment sends vitamins and fluids directly into your bloodstream. Oral medications need to go through your digestive system before they can take effect in treating your symptoms. Therefore, IV treatments work faster than oral medications.

You have many options for treating a stress headache. Some involve changing your habits over time, while some solutions work more quickly. Your best bet for fast, safe, and effective pain relief during a stress headache is IV vitamin therapy.

Drip Hydration Can Help You Rehydrate In The Comfort Of Your Own Home

Drip Hydration is open from 8 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week. Our certified nurses are on call to come directly to your home to deliver any IV infusion of your choice. If you’re suffering from a hangover or have just done an intense workout, IV hydration is a great way to quickly recover and get back to your day-to-day.

Simply schedule an appointment, and we will come directly to you. Drip Hydration offers convenient services that will improve your health and can be worked around even the most hectic schedule.