Headaches and Migraines

Headaches are a common problem that cause mild to severe pain in different parts of the head, sometimes venturing down the back of your neck.
There are many different types of headache with changing pain patters and other symptoms. Tension headaches are often the most common form of head pain and occur due to a number of reasons:
• Stress
• Fatigue
• Poor posture
• Eye strain
• Sensory overstimulation i.e loud noise, bright lights
• Tobacco and alcohol use
• During period cycles for women

The pain for this type of headache is usually felt in a generalized area of the head as opposed to one side and you may often feel muscle tightness in the back of the neck in relation to this. These kind of headaches aren’t usually a sign of a more serious condition and can often be relieved with every day medicines such as paracetamol.

Migraines are the cause of around 20% of headaches.
They differ to a tension headache in the pain they present along with symptoms that are associated with them. Migraine sufferers will usually face a throbbing pain on one side of the head with an additional feeling of sickness and sensitivity to light/sound. Known to affect more woman than men, they are often chronic and lead to total disruption of daily life if severe. Some of the factors that may encourage migraines are:
• Family history of migraines
• Prolonged muscle tension and stress
• Alcohol use
• Smoking or exposure to tobacco
• Lack of sleep
• Period cycles for women
• Certain foods such as chocolate, nuts or pickled condiments

Migraine pain often lasts longer than a normal headache but symptoms can usually be treated with medication and sleep.

In order to help prevent yourself from getting either form of headache, it’s recommended to:

• Avoid excessive use of alcohol and tobacco
• Engage in correct posture whilst sitting and working
• Perform relaxation techniques regularly
• Get plenty of fresh air and exercise
• Avoid triggers such as being overtired or intensely hungry.

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