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Tension Headache: Understanding Of The Most Common Headache

Tension Headache: Understanding Of The Most Common Headache

Tension headache is a common form of a headache that is suffered by almost everyone. The headache occurs in the head, around the neck, and behind the eyes. It is believed that tension headache usually starts during the teen period, and reaches its peak during the 20-50 years of a human life. Women are more likely to suffer compared to men. Statistically, people who suffer from tension headache have intermittent pain that lasts for few minutes or hours, once or twice per month. However, there are cases of people suffering for 15 days or more per month. The headaches vary from mild, moderate, to acute aches.

The symptoms

Sometimes many people confuse their tension headache with migraine. Migraine is also another form of headache, but the severity is more in migraine than in tension headache. Understanding the symptoms of tension headache is fairly uncomplicated. There are dull aches on the head, plenty of pressure can be felt around the forehead, and throbbing around the forehead and scalp. At times, the tenderness of the head muscles can be felt, while the pain can spread all over the head, at the back of the neck, and all the way to the shoulders. Except for all these symptoms, a tension headache does not take a severe form, but in rarest cases, a patient may get sensitive to light or sound.

It’s not exactly what you’re suffering from? Then you need to check if you have one of the following headaches instead and learn about how to deal with it:

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Cluster Headaches: How To Deal With The Worst Headache

Sinus Headache: Symptoms, Causes And Natural Reliefs

How To Get Rid Of A Headache Without Medicine

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Tension headache vs Migraine

In order to differentiate between a tension headache and migraine, always consider migraine to be the serious one. In migraine, the throbbing pain is extremely intense and occurs at either one side of the head, or on the both sides, and cause nausea and vomiting. A migraine patient becomes exceedingly sensitive to light and sound. Considering these, a person with tension headache will not face nausea or vomiting. In the rarest cases, sensitivity to light and sound may crop up.

What causes tension headache?

As mentioned previously, tension headache mainly arises in the head, around the neck, and behind the eyes. One of the principal reasons for occurring is the contraction of muscles in the head. Apart from this, there are other factors as well. They are:

  • Looking at a computer screen for long
  • Cold temperature
  • Change of season
  • Dry eyes
  • Tiredness
  • Mental stress
  • Sinus attack
  • Fever
  • Alcohol
  • Bad sitting posture
  • Smoking
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Missing out on meals

Diagnosis

If a person is consistently suffering from tension headache to an intense level, it is advisable to seek a doctor’s help. The doctor will provide a list of tests just to assure that nothing serious is happening to the patient. The tests will include X-Ray, MRI, as well as CT Scan.

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Medicines

Usually over-the-counter (OTC) medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) work, but if the case is serious, the doctor will subscribe prescription medicines. Prescription drugs are muscle relaxants, antidepressants, antiseizure drugs or beta-blockers, depending on the situation. If a patient prefers OTC medicines, they have to make sure never to overdose the drugs, and it is always important to seek the doctor’s advise in case the medicines react with the patient’s health condition.

Home remedies to relieve tension headache

There are home remedies to relieve tension headaches. If a patient wishes not to consume any sort of medications, they can try out some home cure. The list contains:

  • Put an ice pack on the forehead for five to ten minutes.
  • Improve sitting on a good posture.
  • Take a hot shower to unwind the tensed muscle.
  • Take occasional breaks from working on a computer.
  • Do the proper exercise.
  • Have meditation.
  • Manage stress.
  • Get a whole body massage
  • Scalp massage- it will help in the circulation of blood in the head, relaxing the muscles.
  • Take supplements

Apart from trying any of the above tips, keeping track on the headache, and later trying to prevent it may come very handy in decreasing the pain eventually. In order to keep track, a journal is the best way possible. Also, a regular diet with proper meals, drinking plenty of water, being less stressed, and using computer with occasional breaks can ease out the headache. Or, inhaling few drops of essential oil, such as lavender or peppermint, can relax the muscles and help reduce the headache.

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Featured photo credit: r. nial bradshaw via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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