Is Stress Causing Your Chronic Migraines?

If you’ve had chronic migraine for any length of time, you’ve probably spent some time thinking about your triggers. One trigger that is often difficult for people to identify is stress. If stress is pervasive in your life, you may not even realize that it’s a migraine trigger.

Or, you may experience a migraine when you finally feel some relief from stress. So-called weekend or letdown migraines may occur on the weekend after a stressful work week. Scientists are not sure yet exactly how these headaches work, but theorize that changes in hormones in response to less stress could be the reason. 

Rather than simply telling you to reduce the amount of stress in your life, our team at Apex Medical Center offers treatment options to both help you handle the pain of a migraine and to experience fewer migraine episodes. If you’d like to learn more about how we treat migraine, book an appointment. In the meantime, here are some tips on dealing with stress. 

Recognize there will always be stress

You may daydream about living a stress-free life, but the reality is that you will always have some stress. It’s normal, and in fact, your body is built for it. You have a whole system built-in for handling stressful situations.

The problem arises when you perceive day-to-day situations as being stressful. For example, traffic snarls on your way to work may feel stressful and trigger your body’s stress response, even though it’s a fairly normal situation. Being involved in an actual accident is out of the ordinary and the kind of situation for which your body’s stress response is designed.

When you seek to reduce the amount of stress in your life, part of what you’re doing is actually working on how your body responds to events that seem stressful. By recognizing that you’re always going to have some level of stress, beginning to separate normal events from life-changing events is an important step. 

Take time to consider your priorities

It’s important to consider both your overall priorities and those things that need attention right now. All too often, we ignore our bigger life priorities in order to deal with what’s happening in the moment. 

Taking the time to think about what’s important to you in the big picture, and comparing that to how you spend your time daily can help you clarify your priorities. That clarity alone can help reduce the amount of stress you feel. 

Schedule yourself

If it seems like you are constantly being pushed out of your own schedule, you may need to make some changes. The activities that are usually suggested to reduce stress — things like exercise, meditation, or even reading quietly for a few minutes — are often the things that get pushed aside when life gets chaotic. 

Begin protecting your self-care time. If you preserve the time necessary to take care of yourself, you’ll have less stress, fewer migraines, and be more capable of handling life’s chaos.

Specific treatment options

The team at Apex Medical Center offers a variety of treatment options for migraine, and the most appropriate one for you depends on many factors. Some of the most common treatments can help you learn to better deal with stress. For example, biofeedback, acupuncture, and massage therapy can all be useful in treating migraine and in reducing your stress response.

We’re happy to evaluate your situation and make specific treatment suggestions tailored to your life. Book your appointment today, using our simple online tool, or calling the location most convenient to you. 

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