Does Stress Really Contribute to Headaches and Migraines?
Many people think that stress contributes to their suffering with headaches and migraines and that it is causing them pain. But does stress really contribute to or cause headaches and migraines?
The truth is that stress is not actually the cause of headaches and migraines. The top three joints of the neck are the headache and migraine producing joints which actually cause headaches and migraines.
Yet when we are stressed we protect our vulnerable areas, being the neck, abdomen or stomach and tend to get in a crouched posture. We shrink down, shrug up and get really tense and tight in these areas. A key indication of this is if you notice that your shoulders rise. When you do this, it will actually tug on the top three joints and set them off, causing a headache or a migraine.
Stress affects you but is not the sole cause of your headache or migraine, because if it is, then pretty sure, everybody would get suffer headaches or migraines. A common misconception is that holidays are the answer to avoiding headache and migraines. Yet have you ever noticed that people often get sick around the holidays? Their sleep habits are disrupted and even in the absence of stress, they are prone to illness. Stress and poor sleep not only destroy the immune system but also increase the risk of having a migraine.
What can you do about it?
Stress is the number one trigger for headaches and migraines. Furthermore, it has been found that varying levels of stress can act as triggers. When you have a relaxed period and then have a really intense period of stress, you are likely to set off a headache or migraine. However, the inverse of this can occur and if you experience stress all week but then have a drop off of stress on the weekend you are also likely to set off a headache as well. This is how varying levels of stress can impact headaches and migraines.
Even if stress is not affecting you by causing headaches or migraines, it can still have adverse effects on your mental or physical health. It is very important that you look after your stress levels in every aspect of your life.
As we have previously discussed, stress is not the sole cause of headaches and migraines. If you successfully decrease your stress levels but do nothing else, you will still have a dysfunctional neck position and the headache or migraine does not go away.
However, if you find that stress is a contributor to your headaches and migraines, then it is something that needs to be addressed. Hence, you should take the time to look after yourself and manage your stress levels because, if you do not do it for yourself, no one else will do it for you.
As such, it is important to do things to help yourself to de-stress, wind down and calm down. Our practitioners personally like to exercise, remain active and even take time out to read and meditate.
These simple things can help with your mental and physical health. Most people do not have the time to look after themselves or to get fit. That is because they are pretty much occupied with the things they do for their kids and their family. But the best reward that you can give yourself is looking after your body and taking care of its needs, especially when it comes to managing your stress. Although stress is not the direct or main cause of your headache or migraine, it can be a significant contributor. Lowering your stress levels can make a huge difference to your physical and mental health, including the incidence and severity of headaches and migraines.