Headaches are most often of a vascular nature. They arise from irritation of pain receptors in the walls of blood vessels. In one case, when the walls are excessively stretched or tense, pain receptors are mechanically irritated. In the other, due to edema of the vascular wall, followed by the release of histamine, which irritates pain receptors. In the first case, the headache will be pulsating, in the other, dull pressing or bursting.
There may be a variant of a headache with vasospasm, when the nutrition of certain areas of the brain is disturbed, then symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and flies in the eyes may join the headache.
During stress reactions, one of the divisions of the autonomic nervous system is necessarily involved: sympathetic or parasympathetic, each of which regulates vascular tone in its own way.
Sympathetic – constricts the central vessels and expands the peripheral vessels (including skin and muscles). Parasympathetic dilates the vessels of the internal organs and narrows the peripheral vessels.
Depending on which system reacted to the stressful event, the headache will take on this character.
With a sharp increase in pressure or vasoconstriction, the headache will be throbbing.
With a strong expansion of blood vessels and a drop in pressure – aching and pressing.
Also, with very strong or long-term stress, vascular dystonia can be noted, when the action of autonomic impulses is uneven or quickly replaces each other. Then, locally, some vessels will be narrowed, while others will be dilated.
In this case, the headaches will change in intensity and character, then disappear, then appear.
Also, during stressful reactions, with prolonged tone of the sympathetic nervous system, muscle clamps in the neck and shoulders inevitably arise, as a result of which the outflow of blood from the head becomes difficult. The resulting venous congestion provokes an overflow of blood vessels and constant headaches of a dull aching nature.
What to do if headaches arise after a stressful situation?
Considering that any strong or prolonged stress depletes the nervous system, which provokes autonomic reactions, the most cardinal measure aimed at the root of the problem will be to strengthen the nervous system.
In simple cases, it is enough to restructure the mode of work and rest. And, ideally, eliminate the stress factor.
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And reasonable physical activity, in pleasure without overwork. At least, daily walks lasting half an hour in the fresh air to enrich the nervous system with oxygen.
But it often happens that there is nowhere to go out of the situation and nothing to change, then it is necessary to do so that the nervous system more firmly endures adversity and strong stress.
Nootropics can help in this difficult matter – drugs that improve metabolism in the nervous system. The most active at present are Pantogam, Phenibut and Mildronate.
I love Pantogam for its balanced action – it stimulates what is oppressed and at the same time suppresses excessive excitement in the nervous system.
Courses of cortexin on novocaine are also effective once a day every other day. Both drugs work with this scheme, since novocaine has a calming effect on the nervous system, prevents vasodilatation and the effect of histamine on pain receptors.
One of the most effective drugs for dealing with stressful chronic headaches is amitriptyline. Like novocaine, it has a strong anti-anxiety effect, removes the effect of histamine on receptors, and also eliminates the effects of irritation of the parasympathetic nerves that dilate blood vessels.
However, remember that it is not recommended to treat headaches on your own uncontrollably. Still, in each case, the doctor should understand, establish the cause of the headaches and, depending on this, prescribe a treatment regimen.