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Understanding the Link Between Stress and Migraines

Understanding the Link Between Stress and Migraines

If you experience stress-triggered migraines, preventing migraines and dealing with the chronic pain they cause are a challenge. Stress causes your migraine, and then the chronic pain caused by the migraine creates more stress. It’s a lot like being on an endless hamster wheel!

Even worse, if you typically experience constant stress and then somehow enjoy a few stress-free days, you may end up with a migraine as your stress level abruptly drops. 

At Summit Primary Care, board-certified family physician Lawrence Scott Wilner, DO, and our team help you understand the link between stress and migraines. We also offer treatment to relieve the frequency and severity of pain that migraines can cause.

Common migraine triggers

Everyone is different. What causes a migraine for you may not bother another person at all. Some of the most common migraine triggers include:

2021 study of 1,027 people with migraine indicates nearly 80% of participants have stress-induced migraines.

The relationship between migraines and stress

Stress is your body’s response to stressors, like running late for work, being chased by a wolf, or knowing you have unpaid bills. Anything that causes the adrenaline rush and flight-or-fight response in your body is considered a stressor.

Many people experience headaches after they’ve had an opportunity to calm down from a particularly scary situation or sudden major stressor, but if your headaches come from everyday stressors that aren’t life-threatening or immediately harmful, you’re at an increased risk of developing chronic migraines.

Tips for preventing and treating stress-induced migraines

Since stress is a migraine trigger it makes sense that improving your stress management skills can also help reduce the frequency of headaches. Try the following tips to manage your stress level:

Get treatment for your migraines

Stress-induced migraines are more than painful — they can also negatively impact your quality of life. Examining which stressors in your life trigger your migraines is a great place to start, and once you understand your triggers, spend time learning to manage your daily stress levels.

However frequent or severe your migraines are, our Summit Primary Care team can create an optimal treatment plan for you. Call one of our three locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, or Pueblo, Colorado, obook an appointment online today.

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