Many people experience headaches, often due to triggers related to their age, gender, health and overall lifestyle. Secondary school students are no different. In fact, these young and seemingly healthy individuals often lead lifestyles that put them at a very high risk for headaches.

Nearly all headaches experienced by Secondary school students are tension-type headaches. A tension-type headache causes non-throbbing, frequently bilateral pain. The underlying cause of a tension-type headache is likely due to chemical and neuronal imbalances in the brain and may be related to muscle tightening in the back of the neck and/or scalp. It is no surprise that tension-type headaches present themselves so frequently in the secondary school population. Students spend much of their time in straining positions, whether it be sitting in uncomfortable lecture hall seats or hunching over tables trying to catch up on reading assignments.

Moreover, secondary school students are no strangers to the other common triggers of tension-type headaches, including temporary stress, fatigue and anxiety. From cramming for finals to worrying over grad school applications, from straining to read endless pages of small-print textbooks to staring at a computer screen for hours a time. Secondary school students need to know how to avoid the headaches that can easily occur as a result of their lifestyles.

The National Headache Foundation (NHF) has prepared a list of tips for the collegians out there to make it through the best four (or more) years of their life with fewer headaches:

  • Studying for long periods of time can cause eyestrain. Take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest!
  • Invest in a comfortable chair. Uncomfortable seating can cause neck and back pain that may lead to tension-type headaches.
  • If you are trying to stay awake to study, drink coffee only in moderation. Caffeine withdrawal can be a common source of headache for frequent coffee drinkers.
  • Though secondary school students don’t always operate on a regular schedule, try not to vary your meal and sleep schedules too much. Irregular sleep cycles and missing or delaying meals can both trigger headaches.
  • Practice relaxation and biofeedback techniques to help relieve the daily stress and anxiety of secondary school student life.

Taking these precautions may help avoid headaches.