We have long suspected it, and for many people it seems to be confirmed by life experience, but science is showing more and more that there is a strong connection between headaches and stress. Now a German study shows that this is true and that the strongest link is between tension headaches and stress.
More Stress, More Headaches, and More Painful Headaches
This new study is an extensive one. Researchers surveyed 5,159 people about their . Surveys were given four times a year for two years. (Just because I like math, I’m going to point out that that’s 41,272 surveys! That’s a lot of data points, which is good, because it increases the statistical significance of the study’s findings.)
The participants, who were between the ages of 21 and 71, rated their stress levels from zero to 100, and told how many headaches they had each month.
The participants had different headache types:
- No regular headaches: 27%
- Tension headaches: 31%
- Migraine headaches: 14%
- Migraine and tension headaches: 11%
- Unclassified headaches: 17%
People with tension-type headaches rated their stress at 52, migraineurs rated their stress at 62, and people with both types rated their stress at 59.
The data showed that for every type of headache, more stress led to more headaches. The link was strongest in tension headaches, where an increase of 10 points of stress was associated with a 6.3% increase in the number of headache days per month. Migraine headache sufferers saw a 4% increase in headaches for each 10 points of stress, and those with combined headaches saw a 4.3% increase in headaches for each 10 points of stress.
TMJ: A Link between Stress and Headaches
For many people, TMJ is the link between their stress and their headaches. Stress can cause you to clench or grind your teeth, which puts tension not just on your jaw muscles, but those in your head and neck as well. When your jaw is out of balance, more tension gets transferred to these other muscles.
If you are getting stress headaches, TMJ treatment can help reduce them in intensity and frequency. It can also reduce neck and shoulder pain, and prevent damage to your teeth.
To learn whether TMJ treatment can help your headaches, please contact Beyond Exceptional Dentistry in Savannah, Georgia today.