Five Habits That Contribute To Chronic Headache.

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Five Habits That Contribute To Chronic Headache

Recurrent headaches persisting for more than fifteen days up to three months, whether aggressive or mild, are categorized as chronic headaches. Statistics reveal that twelve percent of the U.S population faces the debilitating pain. Here are the leading causes of chronic headaches:

1. Sleep deprivation:
A 2015 study suggests that lack of sleep decreases the body’s pain threshold and increases pain sensitivity. Researchers from Missouri State University found out a biological link between sleep deprivation and migraines. Lack of sleep triggers chronic pain by interfering with the normal mechanism of certain proteins specific for pain inhibition. During restorative sleep, the brain receives the required rest and hence sleeping uninterrupted seven to nine hours each night helps prevent migraine. Studies conducted also depict that more than fifty percent of individuals suffering from long-term headaches were those who slept less than six hours a night, or those who had irregular sleeping patterns.

Consider watching this video to know more about what is migraine…..



2. Stress.
Both the brain and the skull are surrounded by pain-sensitive membranes. Most tension headaches stem from certain abnormalities in these membranes or nearby blood vessels and nerves. Stress build-up is one of the major causative agents of such abnormalities. During stressful situations, the body responds by releasing stress hormones that induce a “fight or flight” state, during which several metabolic fluctuations occur inside the brain. One such example is vasoconstriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels supplying the brain, as more blood is directed towards the limbs. Stress is also known to trigger the trigeminal nerve, which results in an agonizing headache.

3. High alcohol intake.
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to consistent migraine attacks. According to a research conducted by the Harvard Medical School, more than one-third migraine sufferers are reported to be alcoholics. Several alcoholic beverages may lead to headaches because of the presence of molecules termed as phenolic flavonoid radicals, which interfere with serotonin, a signaling neurotransmitter in the brain that is involved in migraine mechanism. Another causative constituent is ethanol, which may produce dehydration and certain chemical imbalances in the body, both of which can lead to migraine episodes. Another group of hazardous chemicals called congeners have been linked to a greater risk of headaches.

4. Unhealthy dietary habits.  
Dehydration brought about by inadequate water intake can cause the thin layers of tissue in the brain to shrink and tighten, further pressing on nerves and pain receptors, leading to headaches. Furthermore, skipping meals and particularly breakfast results in hypoglycemia, or abnormally low blood glucose concentration. This has been linked to an increased risk of migraine because the neurons in the brain do not receive sufficient glucose to function. Hunger also triggers hypertension, or increased blood pressure which may tighten blood vessels around the head and neck, resulting in persistent headaches. Moreover, processed food containing high levels of nitrate along with chemicals present in artificial sweeteners also result in cluster headaches.

5.  Poor posture.
Tension headaches, along with consistent neck pain, mainly arise from muscle tension and tightness due to constant mechanical strain on the muscles supporting the cervical spine and the head region. Excessive load on the upper back and neck can also cause tension headaches and several musculoskeletal issues. Approximately eight out of every ten individuals suffering from chronic migraines were reported to have poor posture leading to symptoms such as neck stiffness and pain in the posterior head region. Similarly, when the body is hunched over, the clenching of the jaw adds to stiffness in the facial muscles, which also causes tension headaches.

In conclusion, it is vital to refrain from these injurious habits.

Until Next Time,

Team Doctor ASKY!

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