How can I exercise regularly to prevent tension headaches?
Tension headaches are caused by the autonomic nervous system’s reaction to stress and negative emotions. It is the flight or fight response at work. The tension tightens muscles in the head, which restricts blood flow, creating a lack of oxygen that results in pain. Tension headaches are just another form of Tension-Based Pain, which can occur anywhere in the body.
It is necessary for most people to put some time, energy and thought into reducing the effects of stress and negative emotions in order to relieve tension headaches, low-back pain and other body pain.
These methods can be used to reduce the involuntary tension response and the pain it causes.
This is an area of human health that should be taught in every school, but sadly it is not.
This post first appeared on Quora.
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Back pain can be so intense when it strikes that it feels like something very serious has happened to our spines, which may cause some people to run from doctor to doctor looking for answers.
What most people don’t understand is that the spine is the most powerful structure in the body. If someone did have a serious structural issue with their spine they wouldn’t be able to get to a standing position.
When you walk into a doctor’s office under your own power the physician may assume that it is just common stress related back pain. This is sometimes diagnosed as “non specific acute low back pain" and if it becomes chronic, it may be called “benign persistent back pain".
The doctor may order an MRI if the patient has certain red flags that could indicate an organic cause such as:
Generally, the pain is caused by a lack of oxygen due to contracted muscles, which reduce blood supply. Surrounding tissues send pain signals when they aren’t properly oxygenated. This loop of tension, muscle contraction and pain is called Tension-Based Pain.
The body compensates for our stressful lifestyles as long as it is able and when it can’t anymore, our autonomic nervous system prepares us to flee by tensing our muscles, but we don’t flee, and the contraction and pain continue.
This was posted on Quora.
A low level flight or fight response to stress and negative emotions can create tension anywhere in the body. This tension produces a condition, Tension-Based Pain, which when left unchecked, can wreak havoc on every muscle, organ, tissue in the body and even bones.
The pain comes from a lack of blood flow and oxygen to muscles and tissues due to the sustained tension. In the case of stomach pain, IBS, Crohn's disease, even illnesses like interstitial cystitis, these organs, which are made of what is called smooth muscle, will cramp and eventually cause bleeding and or other damage.
When we ignore our reactions to stress and negative emotions, we do it at the peril of physical health, as well as our mental health.
Very surprising health outcomes can be initiated from even modest changes in our ability to fully relax our muscles, and manage how we react to stress.
Personally, I overcame 20 years of low-back pain in a matter of weeks with some simple relaxation exercises. It can happen for almost anyone.
Anyone who has a medical problem should see a Healthcare Professional to rule out organic issues, such as infection or cancer.
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Please see my answer to the question: For lower back support, is the copper compression belt better than the other non-copper models? on Quora.
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- 8 Most Effective Acupressure Points for Stress and Pain Relief - The Great 8!
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Research confirming that Mind-body practices elicit the relaxation response (RR) and reduced psychological distress.
“Our results suggest consistent and constitutive changes in gene expression resulting from RR (Relaxation Response) may relate to long term physiological effects.
Link to research:
Genomic Counter-Stress Changes Induced by the Relaxation Response
After trying every conventional therapy for crippling, chronic low-back pain, I discovered the problem was completely within my control. I experienced an amazing health transformation in a matter of weeks. Mind-Body medicine worked for me, and it can for can too!