A Tension Headache: Causes, Symptoms and Home Treatments
Today, almost everyone lives under stress. Be your social, professional or personal life stress is spreading like a rust and growing deep and deep.
Stress along with changing lifestyle and poor food habits have resulted in a tension headache. It is very common and results in throbbing pain. Many times it is compared with a migraine, but the main difference is that it affects both sides of the head. An individual who suffers from a tension headache has one or 2 episodes at least once in a month. It is more common in females than in males.
What are the Causes of A Tension Headache
During a tension headache, there is a contraction of muscles in the neck and head regions. Factors that act as triggers are stress, alcohol, fatty foods, changes in the temperature, smoke, working late in front of the screen, common cold, fever, flu, caffeine, wrong neck and back posture and fatigue.
What are the Symptoms of A Tension Headache
The most common symptom of a tension headache is dull throbbing pain around your forehead along with the tenderness of the scalp and forehead. Pain also extends in some cases to behind the eyes, neck and shoulders. Pain is usually mild to moderate but, individuals may experience intense pain. Like migraine, nausea and vomiting are absent but there may be sensitivity towards noise and light.
What are the Home Remedies for A Tension Headache
1. Lavender Essential Oil- The calming aroma of lavender essential oil is very effective in treating headache and tension. It has analgesic and antipyretic properties. Add 2 to 3 drops of lavender essential oil in 2 cups of boiling water. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the aroma. You may also mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with some carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply it to your temple and neck. Your headache will disappear after a while.
Do not swallow lavender essential oil or it may upset your stomach.
2. Cayenne Pepper- It contains capsaicin, which is anti-inflammatory and also reduces pain. Mix half teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a cup of water stir properly. Now soak a cotton swab in this preparation and apply it gently into your both nostrils one by one. You will feel the heat and for a few seconds this will also burn. But soon it is followed by the disappearance of your headache.
3. Turmeric- Due to the presence of Curcumin it is very effective in reducing pain and also acts as anti-inflammatory. Just add a teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of water and drink it to relieve your symptoms.
4. Almonds- If you suffer from regular episodes of a tension headache make a habit of eating a handful of almonds daily. Almonds are rich in Salicin, which is analgesic and reduces the pain.
In a few cases almond may trigger migraine.
5. Peppermint Essential Oil- One more essential oil, which is very effective in getting rid of a tension headache is peppermint essential oil. It has a soothing aroma which promotes the proper flow of blood. You may apply it on your temples, neck or shoulder after diluting it with some carrier oil. You may also have steam inhalation by adding a few drops of this oil in 2 cups of boiling water.
6. Apple cider vinegar- This is a traditional method used for centuries. Add one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar to 2 cups of boiling water. Take a steam inhalation for 10 minutes. You may also drink a solution by adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. You will find a quick relief in throbbing headache.
7. Soaking Your Feet in Hot Water- Take a small tub and fill it with hot water. Now soak your feet in it. Remember water should be hot till it is tolerant. This will draw the blood towards your feet. This is also known to reduce the blood pressure and thus reduces a tension headache.
8. Hot Compress- Try placing a hot compress on the affected area. This will relax the muscles and reduce the pain.
9. Fish oil- Add a teaspoon of fish oil in a glass of orange juice and drink it. It is sure to reduce your pain.
10. Chamomile Tea- Chamomile has been used since ages to treat a headache. Steep chamomile tea bags in a cup of steaming water. After 15 minutes, strain it and drink it.
Besides the above home remedies try to bring changes in your life style. Eat healthy food. Drink lots of water. Avoid fast foods, caffeine, smoking and alcohol. Exercise daily for 45 minutes. Take proper 7-8 hours sound sleep and practice yoga and meditation to reduce stress.