What Causes Headaches?

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Your head hurts. Again.  You rub your eyes, twist your neck around and listen to the cracking and snapping noises in your neck.  Why do you have another headache?
Headaches can happen for many reasons. You may have eyestrain from spending too much time on your laptop, you could have an inflammation of your sinus cavities or it could be a life-threatening condition like a tumor, brain cancer, or encephalitis. You can also get a headache if you’re dehydrated or hungry.
More than likely it’s simply a tension headache.
Tension headaches are caused by tightening in the muscles in shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw.  I’ll bet you didn’t realize that you had muscles in your scalp, much less that they could contract. These are tension headaches. The contractions of these muscles are often due to stress, depression or anxiety.  If you’re working too much, not getting enough rest, not eating properly or using alcohol or drugs you’re probably more prone to getting tension headaches. Migraines and cluster headaches appear to be related to swelling of blood vessels. The pain comes from the blood vessel walls, membrane coverings of the brain and the muscles in the scalp and neck. Your brain itself actually cannot feel pain.  Inflammation of your sinuses is also a common cause of headaches.
In your quest to determine the cause of your headaches, it’s a good idea to keep a headache journal.  Get a little notebook and write down every time every time you get a headache.  What did you eat before it happened? What activities were you engaged in? Did your vision change? Did you become sensitive to light? You’ll be able to see patterns of what may bring on your pain, like stress, food triggers, medications, and menstrual cycles.  Foods that have been found to trigger certain headaches are chocolate, cheese and MSG (monosodium glutamate).  Your mileage may vary in what triggers your headaches.
Your tension headache can be caused by engaging in an activity that requires you to keep your head in the same position for an extended period of time—like using a computer or a microscope or any other repetitive action. It could also be caused by sleeping in an odd position, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth while asleep or sleeping in a cold room.
Once you know what causes your headaches, you’re more likely to be able to avoid them in the future.
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Content: PLR, Image: Pixabay

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