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The Impact of Stress On Headaches & Migraines

From the Show: Staying Well
Summary: Is your stress the reason for your dreadful headache?
Air Date: 6/16/14
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Stephen Silberstein, MD
stephan Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Neurology, and the American Headache Society. He has served the American Headache Society as President, Treasurer, and Board of Directors member. He has served on the Publications, Scientific, and Education Committees of the American Headache Society and was Co-chairman of the Annual Scientific Meeting.

Dr Silberstein is an active member of the American Academy of Neurology and is Co-director of the national and international Headache Guideline Project, in cooperation with the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. He was the Chairman of the International Headache Society meeting in Philadelphia in 2009. He is Chairman of the headache research group of the World Federation of Neurology.

Dr. Silberstein received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After completing a fellowship in neurology at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, Dr. Silberstein served as a Pharmacology Research Associate in the Toxicology Laboratory of Clinical Science at the National Institutes of Mental Health, and completed a neurology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Silberstein is the Senior Editor of the 8th edition of Wolff's Headache and Other Head Pain, Associate Editor of Cephalalgia and CNS Drugs, and a present or prior member of the Editorial Board of Headache; Cephalalgia; Acta Neurologica Scandinavica; Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry; and Topics in Pain Management.

He is an ad hoc reviewer for many publications, including the New England Journal of Medicine; Brain, The Lancet, JAMA, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Annals of Neurology, and Neurology.

Dr. Silberstein has more than 300 publications to his credit. He lectures extensively on the pathogenesis, neurobiology, diagnosis, and treatment of headache.
 The Impact of Stress On Headaches & Migraines
Everyone has stress on a daily basis, but studies have indicated that high levels of stress increase the occurrence of headaches and migraines.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), headaches are one of the most common nervous system disorders; around 47% of the global adult population has had headaches at least once within the last year. And, the study authors say around 12% of the Western population experiences migraine attacks.

How does stress affect your mind and body?

When you're constantly stressed, it may seem like you are always on the edge. Your body gets wired from adrenaline, causing your blood pressure to rise and the inability to fall asleep. Your body will eventually crash from this adrenaline high, and when it does, you begin to realize the hidden consequences of stress.

If you're struggling to find some stress relief that doesn't include any medication, try attending a yoga class, do breathing exercises or find a place that calms you. However, if the stress is producing headaches which causes you even more stress, migraine medicine can help.

What are some ways you can try to prevent headaches, as well as other ways to prevent stress?

Professor of Neurology and Director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University, Stephan Silberstein, MD, discusses the correlation between stress and your headaches and ways to address the pain.