If you’re dealing with headaches everyday, you know the constant strain and tension this condition can have on your life. While headaches can range from tension headaches to cluster headaches to full-blown migraines, sufferers have one thing in common–they want to find relief. While we don’t have all the answers, this month we focused on articles that could help patients who are managing headaches everyday, in the hopes that they might find some relief.
What causes people to suffer from headaches everyday?
This month, we started from the very beginning: children who suffer from headaches and what concerned parents can do to help. We discussed the most common causes of these headaches, as well as some preventative and treatment measures parents can take. Headaches in children typically stem from these causes:
- Lack of sleep
- Vision problems
Tackling each of these causes in a straightforward manner (drinking more water, working on sleep hygiene, etc) can help children who suffer from headaches everyday find some measure of relief.
Our sister site, PainDoctor.com, then went into more detail on specific headache conditions that could be causing headaches everyday for some patients. Read more on each of these types of headaches at the links below:
If your headaches aren’t caused by any of those specific conditions, it may be time to look at your daily habits. There’s one in particular that’s causing headaches everyday for many people: working on a computer. As we discussed in our post on the subject, a newly diagnosed condition related to this usage is “computer vision syndrome,” a condition that can cause headache, fatigue, and eye strain. We noted:
“The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that approximately 90% of adults who spend three or more consecutive hours looking at a computer will experience some or all of these symptoms, with headache and eye strain being the most common.”
This post also talked about some commonsense measures you can take to reduce head pain from staring at a computer (like you probably are right now!). Check that post out now to find some relief.
What conditions are related to head pain?
Head pain is caused by headaches and migraines, yes, but sometimes head pain can also be a secondary symptom of another pain condition. In “When Headaches Aren’t In Your Head,” we discussed many conditions that can also be linked to head pain. These ranged from another pain condition, such as fibromyalgia, as well as:
- Dental issues
- Heart or vascular issues
- Spinal fluid leaks
- The use of certain medications
- Sleep problems
Since the head and neck are so closely connected, neck pain conditions are also a leading cause of headaches everyday. As we noted in our post on whiplash:
“Pain and stiffness in the neck are the most common symptoms associated with whiplash. The pain is typically worsened by turning the head. More than two thirds of people with this condition also experience headaches at the base of the skull. It’s also possible for the pain and stiffness to extend into the shoulders, arms, upper back, and upper chest. Irritability, fatigue, or difficulty concentrating can even occur as a result of whiplash.”
Managing headaches everyday
All the research and resources in the world won’t help if you don’t have some information on actually managing your headaches. This month we looked at some common lifestyle management tips for relieving headache pain. On PainDoctor.com, we looked at 20 headaches remedies you can try at home, ranging from evaluating your medications and the stress in your life, to recipes that can help relieve head pain. Other options included cold therapy, meditation, and walking.
We also looked at how yoga can help with head and neck pain. As we noted:
“Yoga is an excellent way to improve strength and flexibility in the body. The deep breathing that comes with yoga helps practitioners become more aware of the tension in their bodies, and consistent yoga practice helps to release stress and the pain that it can bring. One of the main areas people hold stress is the neck and upper back. When these areas are tight, headaches can result. We often spend long hours hunched over a computer, and when we are tired, our shoulders slump forward into our chests, our head juts forward, and neck pain and headaches result. Yoga for neck pain can help you release that tension.”
You can also check out PainDoctor.com’s article on headaches for more information about interventional and medication options for treating head pain.
Learning more about headaches
With every chronic pain condition, it’s important to be an informed patient. This helps you become an active participant in your pain management plan. Thankfully, many online resources exist to help you learn more about your pain condition. We highly recommend looking into pain support resources at:
- The American Academy of Pain Medicine
- Specific pain condition awareness organizations, such as CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help
- Chronic pain forums, support groups, and bloggers
- TED Talks
TED Talks, particularly, are a great resource for pain patients. These easily-digestible videos (typically 20 minutes long, but sometimes as short as five) are presented by some of the top experts in the world, on a variety of subjects. We rounded up eight of our favorite TED Talks on health and wellness for when you want to take a break, be inspired, or make changes to your current habits.
Finally, we also looked at books that deal directly with patients who are living with headaches everyday. Our “Top 10 Books About Head Pain” post is a great place to start if you want to learn more about your head pain condition, while also hearing from someone who has suffered from a similar condition as you. Top books on our list include:
- All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache by Paula Kamen
- Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away by Jennette Fulda
- A Guided Tour of Hell: In The Words of Migraine Sufferers by Kristine Hatak
- Migraine by Oliver Sacks
What resources have helped you learn more about your headaches? Share what’s helped in the comments below!