Most people experience headaches from time to time but if you are having headaches more often than not you may be experiencing what is known as chronic daily headaches (CDH). The definition of CDH is that the headaches must occur 15 days or more a month, for at least three months and must not be results of another condition.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and can cause mild to moderate pain. With tension headaches the pain usually starts in the upper part of the neck and moves up towards the front of the forehead and often described as having a tight band across you head.
“Over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurring headaches.”
National Headache Foundation
Causes of Chronic Headaches
It was once thought that tension headaches were caused by tightening of the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and jaw when tensed. But new research shows that the muscles of a person with a tension headache are no different than a person without a tension headache. New theories suggest that the tension headache is caused a change in neurotransmitters which may be triggered by the tight muscles or muscle tightness being the result of the change in neurotransmitters.
There are other factors that may trigger a tension headache such as:
- Emotional stress
- Depression or Anxiety
- Holding your head in a poor position while reading, sitting at a computer, and reclining watching TV
- Eye strain
- Skipping meals or eating certain types of foods that can trigger headaches.
- Clinching your jaw or grinding your teeth
- Cold, flu, a sinus infection
- Alcohol, caffeine, smoking
- Hormonal changes
It is rare to have a serious condition due to headache. However, you should go to the emergency room if you experience any of the following:
- Sudden, severe headache that is accompanied by slurred speech, loss of balance, change in vision, or loss of strength or numbness in any of your limbs.
- Headaches accompanied by a fever, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting.
- Headache after a head injury
Treatment for Chronic Headache
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