Does stress cause headaches?
It is complicated. Stress is not a “cause” but can definitely provoke. “Let down” after stress can also provoke a headache. Some patients are “stress-sensitive” which means a certain amount of stress that would otherwise be unimportant in another person may in a “stress-sensitive” patient provoke a headache. Similarly, the relief from a stressful situation may bring with it a headache attack, so the “shifting of gears” emotionally from a bad spell to a good period may ironically provoke a headache attack. It is almost as though patient’s with migraine do not do well with changing phenomena, whether it be sleep patterns, time zone changes, stress dynamics, or other changing psychological or physiological parameters.