A is probably one of the first symptoms of anxiety and panic attack disorders that people take notice of. And the reason they do is they can be very debilitating.

Okay so everybody get headaches from time to time. But in the case of anxiety and panic disorder related headaches they seem to be more frequent, more severe and last a lot longer. What can’t be denied is that these type of headaches all seem to be related to stress in one form or another.

Whether that be physical stress such as not eating properly, not sleeping properly or something that  otherwise interferes with your physical well-being. Or mental or emotional stress which can come from the work or home environment and sometimes a combination of both.

The most common type of headache is the tension headache.  Symptoms vary enormously but typically the pain radiates from the neck, back, eyes, or other muscle groups in the body.

Tension-type headache pain is often described as nagging pressure, much like you would feel if your head were being squeezed in a vice.  The pain is present on both sides of the head at once.  Tension-type headache pain is typically mild to moderate, but may be severe.

Various precipitating factors may cause Tension Type Headaches’s but note that about one half of people with TTH identify stress or hunger as a precipitating factor.  Other causes include:

Caffeine withdrawal
Irregular meal time (hunger)
Sleep deprivation
Stress, usually occurs in the afternoon after long stressful work hours
Uncomfortable stressful position and/or bad posture

Until recently many believed that tension headaches were caused by muscle tension around the head, neck and back, and is some cases this may still be true.  Another theory says that the main cause for tension type headaches and migraine is teeth clenching that causes a chronic contraction of the temporalis muscle.

Something that should be considered is the fact that when we’re stressed out chest muscles tend to contract which has the effect of pulling our bodies forward. In order for a body to maintain its upright position the back muscles also contract in an effort to pull the body back upright again. So you have two groups of powerful muscles both fighting against each other. Some of those muscles have connections that go right up to the neck which is why a tension headache can often have a stiff neck along with it.

By dealing with the stress, the chest muscles can relax allowing me back shoulder and neck muscles to follow suit thus relieving the tension headache.

Alexander Technique when done properly is an excellent way of dealing with this type of anxiety disorder symptom as it will allow you to to release both the physical tension and go a long way to allowing you to deal with the stress as well.

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