What causes headaches?

Metro Creative photo Local physical therapists say, while the holidays are among the most stressful times of the year, tension headaches can be relieved by treating the causes.
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The exact causes of many headaches continues to confound medical researchers. Though the Cleveland Clinic notes that certain environmental factors, such as exposure to allergens or strong odors from household chemicals, can trigger headaches, the mechanism that causes muscles or blood vessels to swell or tighten remains something of a mystery.

During a headache, the mysterious mechanism activates specific nerves that affect muscles and blood vessels, and these nerves then send pain signals to the brain.

Harvard Medical School notes that tissues that surround the brain and some major nerves in the brain also can signal pain.

HMS also reports that while there are more than 300 types of headaches, only about 10 percent of them have an identifiable cause.

And what triggers a headache in one person will not necessarily do so in another. However, HMS notes that people who suffer from migraines, an especially severe type of headache that can increase a person’s risk of heart attack, tend to remain sensitive to the same triggers.

That’s good news, as it means that people who can identify their headache triggers can then take steps to avoid those triggers in the future in the hopes of reducing the frequency of their headaches. TF216045

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