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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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What causes headaches when under stress?

Answered by
Dr. Sudhir

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 1417 Questions

Posted on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 in Headache and Migraines
Question: Hi Doctor,
I am suffering from headache which usually comes when I am tired or stressed. The headache happens mostly in the back of the brain and then it spreads across the forehead. if the press the back of the brain tightly, I get some relief.

Please help me. This happens very regularly mostly once in 2 days. I am not using any medication however whenever I am unable to bear it, I take one 'Dolopher' and then it gets cured.

Answered by Dr. Sudhir 25 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Looks like tension/stress type headache.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for question.

Your headache seem stress or tension kind of headache.Such headaches do not usually respond well to OTC analgesics.Medications to treat such headaches are either abortive or prophylactics.

During the onset of a headache, some people respond to inhalation of 100% oxygen.So deep breathing and relaxation can be tried.

Alternative first-line treatment is subcutaneous administration of sumatriptan.

Topical anesthetics sprayed into the nasal cavity may relieve or stop the pain, normally in a few minutes, but long term use is not suggested due to the side effects and possible damage to the nasal cavities.

Ergot compounds like cafergot have also been effectively used.

Other abortive remedies that work for some include ice, hot showers, cool or lukewarm water sprayed on the face around the sinus, temple, and ear areas, breathing cold air, application of analgesic balm beneath the nostrils, caffeine, and drinking large amounts of water in the early stages of an attack. Vigorous exercise has been shown in some cases to be very effective in relieving and aborting an acute attack by increasing the levels of oxygen within the body.

Avoid triggers like deprivation of sleep, smoking(if any) , alcohol ,bright light , inhalation of strong chemicals , undue stress etc.

Prophylactic treatment include calcium channel blocker.

Try yoga and meditation to manage stress.It is most effective in long term.

Normally with some trial and error both doctor and patient reach most effective treatment in a particular case .So see your doctor and discuss about the treatments I have mentioned.Doctor will put you on one of them.

Please ask if there are doubts.Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Sudhir 23 minutes later
Hi Doctor,

I tried deep inhalation but that does not give any relief.
Apart from that if putting ice , taking hot showers, and other remedies suggested by you doesn't really work for me. I feel like sleeping and sometimes only after proper sleep I am able to get rid of the headache.

Can you tell me if using 'dolopher' is going to do any harm in short term or long run.

Answered by Dr. Sudhir 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Dolopar is a routine analgesic.

Detailed Answer:

Dolopar is a routine analgesic and it doesnt actually fit for such headache.It may provide some relief but its not long term solution.It does have long term side effects.

Rather than thinking of long term treatment, get appropriate treatment by your doctor , so that you dont have to take medications for long term.

Other remedies which I have suggested are actually supportive to proper treatment.Those can help abort, reduce intensity or duration of headache when tried with medications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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