Frequent Stress Leads to Headaches: Study

Frequent Stress Leads to Headaches: StudyFrequent stress leads to headaches. This is what a new study has claimed after assessing more than 5,000 individuals aged between 21 and 71 years. Researchers asked the participants to rate their levels of stress on a scale of zero to 100, and how frequent they experienced headache for a month.

The study helped the researchers establish a relationship between stress and headaches. It was found that 31% of all participants had tension-type headaches, 14% had migraines and 11% had the combination of the two.

The stress level was rated at an average of 52 by those who suffered from tension-type headaches and migraine sufferers rated their stress at an average of 62 and those who had both types of headache rated their stress level at an average of 59.

The researchers analyzed and found that people with tension headaches seek a 6.3% increase in the frequency of their headaches if experience a 10-point increase on the stress level. The same increase on the stress level brings 4.3% increase for those with migraine and 4% for those who have both.   

"Chronic intractable headache represents a major public health issue that is associated with impaired quality of life, as well as a significant economic and social burden", said Souhel Najjar, M. D., director of the Neuroscience Center at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City, to HealthDay.

Najjar added that this finding is important and being able to identify the source of chronic stress can be highly effective in reducing the frequency of all types of headaches in general and tension headaches in particular. There are various strategies, like meditation, deep breathing exercises and muscle relaxation techniques, to eliminate stress.