No brainer? Stress linked to headache frequency

No brainer? Stress linked to headache frequency

Stress is linked to headaches, according to a new report.

Next time you have a headache, instead of reaching for the Tylenol, you may want to make a cup of chamomile tea instead.

A group of German researches conducted a study confirming that stress is linked to headache frequency – the more stressed out you are, the more headaches you suffer from.

Data from the German Headache Consortium Study revealed that stress and headache frequency were directly linked. The study, which ran from 2010 to 2012 had a total of 5,159 participants between the ages of 21 and 71. The participants of the study answered questionnaires every three months during the span of the study, which asked questions about headache type and frequency, while a 100-point scale was used to visually express how much stress each participant experienced.

After researchers made adjustments based on age, sex, drinking habits, smoking and other relevant factors, the data clearly showed that people who reported experiencing tension headaches, “each 10 point increase in stress was associated with a 6.3 percent increase in the number of days each month they suffered through a headache,” according to a report made by NBCnews.

Similarly, participants who suffered from migraines and other types of mixed tension-migraines showed an increase in headache frequency with a surge in stress.

The results from the study are consistent with other studies made at Ohio’s Xavier University which found that hospitalization due to headache-related symptoms surged between 2008 and 2009, when the U.S. was hit hardest by the economical recession.

Researchers explain that for people who experience headaches, alleviating stress is key for reducing frequency. One researcher from the study also noted that when stress triggers on a headache, the headache, in turn, causes more stress, making it a vicious cycle. Individuals interested in breaking this cycle are recommended to seek medical, psychological and even behavioral assistance.

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