Tension headaches are the worst. Sometimes it can feel like a band tied around your head that you just can’t take off.

These types of headaches are the most common type of headache and are often confused with migraines. Tension headaches are known to be difficult to get rid of and can be brought about by many factors.

If you have a tension headache that won’t go away or have experienced one in the past, keep reading to learn eight things that might be causing it and how to potentially relieve them.

Here are the 8 things

1. Stress

We have all experienced it before, the dreaded feeling of being overwhelmed and nowhere to escape to. According to the American Institute of Stress, 77 percent of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress.

The amount of people that suffer from daily stress is staggering. Stress can lead to many unwanted side effects, including tension headaches.

How to Relieve
  • Try essential oils
  • Cold compression
  • Yoga
  • Drink tea

There are a number of ways to relieve stress that is causing your headache. Try using essential oils such as peppermint oil or lavender to relieve stress and reduce the symptoms of a tension headache.

2. Alcohol Use

Many individuals will drink alcohol to numb the pain, but it might not work the way they are intending it to.

Excessive alcohol use can lead to unwanted side effects including tension headaches and migraines. In a study from the American Migraine Foundation, around one-third of individuals suffering from a migraine reported alcohol as a trigger.

How to Relieve
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • OTC medicine
  • Try Magnesium
  • Drink a lot of water

Tension headaches caused by alcohol can be some of the most painful headaches you will experience. Luckily, there is an easy solution to avoid these types of headaches, limit your alcohol consumption. You can also try using tension headache medicine such as aspirin, just be sure to avoid taking medicine too often.

3. Cold and Flu

Nobody likes being sick with a cold or the flu, not only will it leave you with aches and the chills, but it can also lead to painful tension headaches.

It’s very difficult to avoid getting sick with a cold or the flu, but there are certain things you can do to lessen the effects it has on your overall wellness. To avoid getting a tension headache from a cold or the flu, it is recommended to drink plenty of liquids and you could also try a decongestant.

How to Relieve
  • Try a decongestant
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Catch up on sleep
  • Drink ginger tea

Having the flu or a cold can lead to serious tension headaches that are nearly impossible to get rid of. Try staying ahead of it with some ginger tea. Ginger has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory that can reduce symptoms associated with headaches as well as common migraine medicine.

4. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ is a disorder where the joints and muscles of the jaw become inflamed and tight leading to pain and swelling.

There is a common link between TMJ and tension headaches. The swelling and inflammation can lead to pain while chewing and can often be debilitating.

How to Relieve
  • OTC medication
  • TMJ treatment
  • Jaw exercises
  • Sleep

TMJ is a painful condition that can lead to painful side effects like tension headaches. If you are experiencing TMJ, it is recommended to visit a specialist in order to receive treatment.

5. Food Sensitivities

A common culprit of tension headaches can actually be found in the foods we eat. Several recent studies have found that individuals who regularly experienced migraine headaches were more likely to test positive for IgG activity, an immune response.

The study concluded that over 75 percent of the individuals who were experiencing regular headaches no longer experienced them after going on an elimination diet.

The elimination diet is designed to cut out certain foods or food groups that may cause unwanted side effects.

How to Relieve
  • Elimination diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Consider an herbal remedy

Food sensitivities can make even the easiest of tasks seem difficult when symptoms are present. Consider trying the elimination diet by cutting out certain food groups like gluten, dairy, and soy one by one to see if this is causing the issue.

6. Caffeine

Caffeine is a common denominator for most people when it comes to tension headaches. Caffeine is, in most cases, the cause of the headache but many individuals will take caffeine to try to eliminate it or “cover it up.”

Caffeine is an addictive substance that can lead to frequent headaches caused by withdrawal symptoms. It is becoming more common than ever to intake caffeine and it is even being put into unusual foods like peanut butter and ice cream.

How to Relieve
  • Slowly remove from your diet
  • Consume plenty of water
  • Take B-vitamins
  • Try drinking tea

It is not an easy task to eliminate caffeine from your diet altogether. It’s best if you can slowly wean off caffeine rather than cut it out altogether because that can trigger headaches. Try sipping a low caffeine tea like green tea in the morning to get a little boost without overdoing it.

7. Depression

Depression can also be another significant cause of tension headaches. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), close to 40 percent of individuals experiencing migraines may also suffer from depression.

Depression is a difficult disorder to overcome that can bring about many unwanted side effects, including tension headaches.

How to Relieve
  • Practice self-care
  • Antidepressants
  • Exercise

If you suffer from headaches associated with depression, its best to speak with your doctor about possible solutions. Regular exercise can help individuals suffering from depression and is also known to reduce the frequency of headaches.

8. Eye Strain

The dreaded eye strain after a long day of work is typically accompanied by a tension headache.

Eye strain is a common issue among individuals who work on the computer all day.

How to Relieve
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Adjust lighting
  • Limit screen time

Avoiding looking at the computer is not possible for many people who work on computers. If you find yourself with frequent headaches from eye strain, consider taking breaks more frequently to let your eyes rest.

Final Thoughts on a Tension Headache That Won’t Go Away

Having a headache can limit your productivity and can really put a damper on your day. If you are experiencing a tension headache that won’t go away, consider following these steps to see if one of them is the cause.

For more informative articles like this one, check out the rest of our website!

0 Shares:
You May Also Like