A hatband headache is a type of tension headache. It is characterized by a distinctive band of pain which runs around the head, much like a hatband. As a general rule, patients usually treat hat-band headaches at home, since the pain is mild and relatively easy to manage. Recurring headaches of this type may be a cause for concern; if you experience chronic hatband headaches, you should consult a doctor to rule out underlying medical conditions.
Tension headaches are usually linked to fatigue and stress. As you push your body to its limits, it may respond with a myriad of symptoms indicating a general imbalance in health. It is important to recognize these symptoms and to take steps to prevent them from recurring, as you want to keep your body healthy. Tension and fatigue can seriously undermine the health of your immune system, causing you to be more susceptible to serious medical problems.
The pain of a hatband headache is caused by muscle tension around your head. As your muscles tighten, they put pressure on your skull, leading to a generalized pain. The pain is usually not excruciating, but it can be distracting and irritating. Typically, taking aspirin or ibuprofen provides relief from a hatband headache, although some people also like to lie in a dark room or ice their heads to manage the pain.
These headaches are not migraines, more serious headaches which can cause vomiting and nausea. The pain of a migraine is usually described as entirely disabling, and it may come in waves, rather than settling in as a low-grade pain. A hatband headache also does not have an aura phase, like migraines do, and one may appear suddenly. Tension headaches may be related to diet at times; increasing caffeine uptake, for example, can help to treat them, but restrictive diets do not appear to help with tension headaches.
When you get a hatband headache, take pain relief medication. There is no reason to continue enduring the pain, and pain can be harder on your body than any medication would be. Frequent tension headaches indicate a need for medical evaluation or a change in lifestyle to reduce the tension and stress which is causing these headaches. In some cases, a doctor may also prescribe different pain relief drugs to treat your hatband headaches, or he or she may order medical testing to see if the headaches are caused by a neurological issue.