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Stress and Headache


Stress headaches or tension headaches typically begin slowly as a dull, achy pain on both sides of your head. People who are 20 to 50-years-old are at highest risk for developing the symptom of a stress headache.

Stress as related to Headache - Nervous control of blood vessels

Arterioles and arteries are served by nerves which arise in the spine and carry messages using adrenaline. Adrenaline makes the blood vessels constrict. This type of nerve transmission is called sympathetic.

. Sympathetic stimulation normally increases under conditions of stress, anxiety and fear.

. Sympathetic stimulation is continuous, maintaining the blood vessels in a semi-constricted state.

. To dilate blood vessels, nerve transmission is inhibited, so that, fewer messages are sent.

This puts pressure on pain receptors in blood vessel walls. It is thought that tissues next to arterioles secrete chemicals such as adenosine, histamine and lactic acid when they are short of oxygen, increasing vaso-dilation so that more blood flows to the tissues delivering oxygen. This alerts stretch receptors in the blood vessel walls and may put pressure on neighboring tissue which causes pain.

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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