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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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Sumaiya Kabir

Sumaiya is a passionate writer who shares thoughts and ideas to help people improve themselves.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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